Horse Care is a Responsibility Not a Duty

Horse Care

Besides all the fancy horse care products you can buy at your local feed store in the extreme weather it is still the basics of life support that will keep your horse able to survive some of the coldest nights and hotest days.

It still amazes me that people don’t use basic common sence when it comes to horse care.
Even the winter chills can’t keep us from visiting our horses. Whether you’ve just come to say hello or plan on some riding, be sure your horse gets plenty of hay, water, and turnout time. Always check that it is 25 degrees or higher before you do any serious work or training. Watching your horse play in the snow might provide the perfect picture, but you should always be aware of just how dangerous winter can be.

Water is an important issue. “Horses need a certain amount of water during the winter months,” explains Dr. Bob Coleman of Kentucky. A half-frozen bucket of water will never meet your horse’s needs. Water should be at least 37 to 40 degrees.

In the fall, all food intake converts to body fat, storing energy and supplying your horse with warmth. When a horse is given proper food, they feel less need to eat more and are comfortably insulated. But don’t expect your horse to care for himself! While that extra layer of blubber may be helpful, it burns quickly in cold conditions. Despite our best attempts to keep them trimmed, horses also grow much longer hair; it grows as the days get shorter, not colder. Yes, that shaggy coat does protect him as the temperatures drop, but rain diminishes the insulating factor. He will also start to burn calories to keep warm. Fortunately, horses can eat for warmth!

We humans can always drink tea or hot chocolate, but horses don’t have it quite as easy. Hot bran mash and other heated foods aid only temporarily, so always keep your horse’s stall supplied with good quality hay to keep him toasty at night. Grain also works, but only for a few hours. Horses pastured regularly outside have it even harder. Not only is grass low in nutrition, but deep snow can block access. Nearly 25% of the feed can be lost at pasture due to rain and ice.

Provide plenty of water and (free feed) not free to the horse but freely able to eat as much hay as they can, and some means of a wind break and most horses can survive some of mother natures worst.

Now I do know that some of you live in some extreme conditions hot or cold best to use common sence or call a vet if you have any questions for your area.

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