Winter Precautions For Your Horse
As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, now is the time to start preparing for you and your horse. Some main things to consider for your horse are:
- Start by acclimating your horse to the cold weather-once acclimated, they prefer to be outside
- Provide adequate amounts of water-hay and grain contain less moisture in winter
- Feed additional hay during extreme cold
- Provide warm water during the winter-about 45⁰F to 65⁰F
- Exercise your horse in winter to reduce lower leg edema
- When riding, avoid icy areas to keep you and your horse safe
- Young horses need to be fed extra calories to avoid a growth slump
Depending on your horse’s age, size, and hair thickness, horses can tolerate cold temperatures as low as 0⁰F outside and -40⁰F if sheltered. A shelter should be provided in case of a storm, strong winds, and severe weather. A shelter will also keep your horse from getting wet, which leaves air pockets for cold to enter and affect your horse’s natural insulation.
A blanket can help for many reasons. Some are:
- Keeps your horse dry and warm without shelter
- Helps keep younger and older horses, who need the extra care, warm
- Perfect for horses who have not been acclimated to the cold
Hamilton™ Horse Blankets help the insulation of those who have been trace clipped or do not have a shelter. If your horse is wet, make sure to wait until he is dry before putting the Hamilton™ Horse Blanket back on. Click here to find the proper way to fit a horse blanket.
Your horse needs all the love are care you can give so make sure he is safe and happy by following these precautions for winter. Keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior and check under the coat for weight loss or gain. Also make sure to check your horse’s hooves every day since ice and snow can build up and cause joint pain and slipping. Follow these steps to keep your horse safe while enjoying a winter wonderland!