Caring for your horses in the winter

Caring for your horses in the winter isn’t as easy as 1-2-3

If you have horses then surely you need all the information you can get on caring for your horses in the winter.  Horses are a luxury these days and very expensive to care for.  We care for our homes and vehicles, thus we want to give the best possible care to our farm animals and pets.  Caring for horses in the winter will assure your animals live long and happy lives.

The basics:  Feeding, water, and shelter

Continue to caring for your horses in the winter the same as you always do. The obvious basics are feeding, water, and shelter.

However, there are additional concerns for caring for your horses in the winter, particularly in brutally cold or extreme winter weather conditions.  Here are some things you may not have thought about:

Caring for your horses in the winter

Horses, like most furry friends, acclimate to cold weather.  However, there are additional concerns in regards to caring for horses in the winter.

  • Winter water requirements
  • Winter feeding requirements
  • Shelter
  • Blanketing
  • Hoof care
  • Exercise

Additonal winter requirements – caring for your horses in the winter

Water and feed – winter care for horses

The consumption of winter feed may also increase the amount of water needed.  Grain and hay contain very little moisture while pastures contain a high percentage of moisture, often upward of 70%.  Because horses can’t always pasture in the extreme winter conditions its essential that they have an ample water supply even greater than in the summer.  Many farmers have relied on snow and ice as a water source in caring for their horses.  Remember that there are important and often serious concerns with horses consuming snow, including the time it takes ingest snow and the low water content.  You run the risk of gastrointenstinal tract problems even colic and because your animals are a precious, including an investment you would never want to put them in harms way. Simply put, additional sources of food and water are required during the harsh and often brutal winters.

Shelter and blanketing – winter care for horses

An animal with proper shelter usually does not need blanketing.  However, in extreme weather conditions a blanketed horse will be a healthier horse, and without doubt a happier horse.  For sheltering your horse or horses, take a look at the horse sheds photo gallery. We construct excellent buildings with our motto, “Built better to last longer” is obvious. Click here now to view our horse sheds gallery:   Horse sheds  Remember that horses grow longer hair in the winter, which helps to prevent them from being cold. Shelter and blanketing a horse in well constructed horse sheds are also important to supply added comfort.

Exercise and hoof care – winter care for horses

Keeping your horses inside during the winter is ideal, however your animals do need exercise.  Wet and muddy conditions can lead to a number of health conditions and especially for horses where hoof care is a big concern.  Wet conditions can lead to thrush in any scratches in the hooves of your horses. Dry conditions, keeping your animals indoors, regular hoof care, keeping your animals lower limbs trimmed, along with walking your horses (in circles indoors if you have to), will keep your animals healthy.

Be Observant – Horses like humans need love

One of the best winter health care tips for horses is to be observant. Being observant, checking your horse from head to toe when feeding or watering can cover a multitude of potential problems.  Horses, like humans, need love too!  We’re observant of a baby when he cries or whines. We’re observant of a child when they cough and are lethargic. Be as observant to your horse(s) as you would a baby child and your horse will be happy and healthy for many years to come.