Horses are fairly self-sufficient creatures. These majestic animals need very little preparation for the impending cold snap. Their coats thicken to provide extra insulation as the weather chills, so all you need to do is ensure you’re properly stocked up with the right supplies and a well-appointed barn, and your horse will be happy all winter long.
The Right Food for a Healthy Winter
Winter Feed should consist of quality forage combined with grain. Ensuring hay is provided regularly will help your horse maintain his inner furnace, as digestion is a primary way he generates heat! Consider using a Slow Feeder so your horse has a consistent supply. Installing a heated water bucket will encourage regular hydration and keep the digestive flow moving. Giving him a daily dose of Apple Cider Vinegar also has numerous health benefits and, as always; stay away from added sugar and molasses.
Keep Up with Hygiene
Establishing regular check-ups for healthy teeth allows your horse uninterrupted comfort for eating and drinking, an important task they must keep up during winter months to maintain caloric intake and for warmth. Healthy hoof growth is also important, as are regular brushings to keep the mane and tail from matting. Check under their blankets periodically for signs of rubbing.
Prep the Barn for Snow and Pests
Make repairs and fortify the barn for colder weather with ample time so you’re not stuck fixing a leaky roof in the snow! Keep an eye on the feed for mold, which is common in winter, and keep it in sealed containers to avoid attracting small creatures looking for a warm winter hideout. Even blankets and tack can make attractive nests, so keep them in sealed storage.
Create a Run-In Shed or Run-Out Paddock
When the weather gets frightful, seeking shelter is your horse’s first instinct. Ensuring they have easy-access to one is the best thing you can do for your horse in the winter months.
Use Leg Saver Maintenance Therapy
The other #1 way you can help your horse brave the elements is to use Leg Saver therapy on a regular basis. By keeping infection and inflammation at bay, Leg Saver allows your horse to function at his best and work his hardest when he is able to exercise in the snow, and maintain optimal conditions when he can’t. Learn more about Leg Saver wave form therapy here.