Winter can be a challenging time for many and that includes horses. The sudden change in temperature and icy weather conditions can make it difficult to adapt. However, there are plenty of ways you can ensure your horse is kept content during this season. Continue reading for the best tips on keeping your horse happy this winter.
Invest In A Good Rug
Just like we would invest in a puffy, waterproof coat, horses need an extra protective layer to ensure they’re kept warm. There are lots of different horse rugs available, but for the winter you’ll most likely want to go for ones on the thicker side. You’ll also want to check that the rug is waterproof as elements like snow and rain will be more common during this time of year. You don’t want to leave your horse in a damp rug as this can cause skin problems and make it hard for them to stay warm.
Winterproof The Stable
In the winter, you’ll probably use the stable a lot more than at other times of the year. To make sure your horse is kept as protected as it can be, you might want to take a look at any damage that could be mended before the cold sets in. Make sure that the stable is prepared for anything the weather could throw at it and your horse will be kept safe and sound.
Have Plenty Of Water
During the winter, horses may actually consume more water as their hay is now dried and contains less hydration. To ensure you’re supplying them with enough water, make sure you regularly check their water buckets. It’s also good to check them in case they begin to freeze over. Some people add a little warm water to their horse’s supply to stop the water from being so icy cold when they drink too.
Make The Paddock Safe
The weather during winter can be quite destructive so it’s always best to make sure the area outside is safe before allowing your horses out of the stable. For example, there could be dangerous ice patches that could cause them to slip and injure themselves. Similarly, strong winds can topple trees and scatter branches about, so confirm the meadow is completely free from potential hazards before bringing your horse out. It’s wise to grit areas that can get particularly bad from the ice as this eliminates the risk of your horse falling.
Be Aware Of Moisture
The colder seasons can also bring a lot of damp too, so you need to be aware of moisture build-up in the stable. Make sure that it’s well ventilated to help prevent dampness from occurring. Too much moisture inside the stable can have negative effects on your horse’s health, which can include respiratory illness and infections. Try to give your horse plenty of fresh air throughout the winter, as staying in a poorly ventilated stable can cause more harm to them than venturing out into the cold. You also don’t need to keep the stable as warm as you would your home. The purpose of a stable is to keep your horse dry and comfortable. It’s should only be slightly warmer than the outdoors otherwise your horse can easily overheat during the night.
Keeping your horse happy during the winter doesn’t just include keeping them warm. You need to take their safety and hydration into account too. Providing them with well-ventilated shelter and keeping their environment safe is a sure way to look after your horse’s wellbeing throughout this chilly time of year. Before you know it, the ice will be thawing, spring will be on its way, and you’ll be back to lovely sunny days with your horse.