Winter Horse Care

As horses are outdoor animals they have different requirements as seasons change.  Some horses are stabled overnight or kept in during particularly bad weather and others live out 24/7 so it is important to provide them the right food, clothing, horse supplements and where appropriate bedding to ensure they remain healthy and happy.

Winter Horse Care

It is important to ensure your horse is wearing the correct rug.  During warm summer days they will generally be ok to go rug free but if it is wet, cool, cold or snowing they will definitely need a rug of varying thickness and waterproofing.  Horseware Ireland does a great range of durable, warm and comfortable turn out rugs.  It is also important to ensure your horse has the correct headgear accessories and where necessary foot and leg wear.  Rain scald and mud fever are a problem for horses in cold wet conditions especially if they live out and prevention is easier then cure so correct foot and leg wear would help.

The cold will aggravate some problems such as degenerative joints and osteoarthritis. Synequin is a brilliant nutritional supplement containing glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate and anti-oxidants that will help the body repair and maintain cartilage, ligaments and other joint structures.  Synequin is easy to use as it is available in powder form and can simply be added to feeds.

Another great winter tip is to ensure you always have some spare water.  If your taps freeze in the winter you will struggle to fill your horses water bucket.  If possible always keep some spare water, a bucket of water should stay defrosted if placed in a bucket in a tyre which is insulated with straw or try keeping large bottles of water wrapped up and indoors if possible.  You may notice your horse drinking less as some horses do not like cold water so try and take the chill off by mixing in some hot water, a portable travel kettle would help in this situation!

Make sure you are aware of ice in the winter.  Concrete yards can become a death trap so don’t always sweep them clean as some grit and hay will provide grip.  Do not leave spilt water and if possible keep some ice grit available.  If there is a lot of ice then keep your horse out of the area and do not ride on icy roads.