Horse Health: Wellness Tips for the Winter Months
Outdoor life for horses can be comfortable year round if the necessary precautions are taken. Requirements for winter wellness include feed modifications, ice and mud management, and shelter from the elements.
Your horse should be fed 2% of his body weight per day to maintain a healthy body temperature, but more athletic animals may require more. Likewise, pregnant mares could require up to 3% of their body weight. When it comes to feed, organic livestock feed can help your horse maintain essential calorie levels and much-needed fiber throughout the winter.
Fiber digestion is what keeps your horse warm in the winter months. If you find that winter is shaping up to be especially cold, you may need to manage more feedings. However, it is important to balance their diet with sufficient amounts of water. This will help keep your horse from getting impacted. Horses prefer to drink water that is slightly warm so be sure to check their water source for ice at least twice daily.
Winter Care Details
If you intend on riding your horse in the colder months, plan accordingly. Additional care is required before and after rides in the cold. It is important to take time to fully dry your horse’s coat if they sweat during winter rides. Likewise, regularly trimming thick winter coats helps reduce the possibility of trapped moisture.
After invigorating winter rides remember to also check your horse’s hooves as hidden ice chunks can become problematic. These chucks may cause your horse to walk like he is on high heels which is not good for his tendons, ligaments, or muscles. Additionally, a keen eye should also look for small lacerations caused by these frozen chunks.
After ice melts, mud can develop. Mud should be removed from your horse’s legs as soon as possible as it can cause fungal and bacterial infections. If an infection occurs, it will be necessary to remove your horse from the muddy environment. A clean, sheltered area is essential to your horse’s health in the winter. The best protection for horses in the cold is a spacious three sided constructed dwelling.
Learn More About Organic Livestock Feed
Feedex organic livestock feed is specifically blended. It provides the best nutrients, vitamins and minerals for your animals. Our special blends are made with steam-flaked oats, corns, soybeans and barley. Feedex organic animal feed consists of high levels of fat, protein, fiber and starch content to assure your animals gain more weight per pound of food.