Checking All Is Well before Winter: Health for Horses

Checking All Is Well before Winter: Health for Horses

Winter is coming, and for many, this means the return of cold weather and all its woes. For horses, this means a whole different ballgame. During the winter, horses are more susceptible to certain conditions, and being well-prepared can mean the difference between sickness and health. How often do you check your horses for proper nutrition and health? If you have a lazy horse, you are not alone in this. Many horse owners aren’t checking for their horses and are unaware of how vital it is to keep them healthy.

Chances are if you own a horse, you spend a significant amount of time caring for it. Depending on your horse’s breed, size, and personality, you may have to clean out its stall, brush it, make sure its coat is looking good, trim its hooves, and perform other tasks that keep it in top shape. So, here are winter health care basics for your horses.

How tolerant in the cold are horses?

It’s that time of year when the weather is getting colder, and the animals are all bundled up. In the past, horses would be able to tolerate frostbite and even die from cold weather and the cold winter months, especially if they weren’t fed well and didn’t get enough to drink. However, with the advancements of medical care for animals, they can now live much longer than ever before.

When winter truly arrives, many horses will begin to slow down and are less active. This is often when vets will treat horses for cold and lack of exercise. The Cold Tolerance Test is a simple and effective way for vets to check a horse’s cold severity. By placing horses on a treadmill and monitoring their heart rate and breathing rate immediately after the test, vets may be able to determine the horse’s cold tolerance.

How to feed your horses during winter?

Winter is upon us, which means that many of us will be enjoying the deep freeze. For many of us, that means riding our horses. While many of us enjoy the freedom that winter has to offer, it can also bring some challenges. For example, many people will be relying on hay to feed their horses during the cold months. Hay is a vital food for horses, but it is very difficult to keep them healthy and happy when it is frozen.

During the warmer months, horses and other animals need to be fed the same food year-round. However, during the winter months, horses and other animals need to be fed different foods to help them lose weight. This is because, in the warmer months, they can eat a lot of non-nutritious food like hay and grains, which they are able to digest and absorb well. During the winter months, horses are able to eat more of the nutritive and nutritious food they need; this is especially helpful for horses that have to be kept indoors during the winter.

Blanketing the horses during winter

As a pet owner, you know that winter can be a scary time. The brutal cold and snow can make your horse very uncomfortable and can strain its body. The good news is there are steps you can take to help your horse be as comfortable as possible in the winter months. The horse’s coat is a biological barrier that protects its body from cold conditions. If it is wet, it reflects heat away from the body to prevent overheating. And if it is dry, it insulates the horse to prevent hypothermia. The coat is also used for social communication, with horses blowing out their coat to signal a greeting to other horses or signalling dominance by blowing out their coat.

Many of us have longed for a horse to love or to snuggle up with and feel safe simply, and yet, in the winter, horses can be dangerously cold. There are several ways to protect a horse, ranging from the more expensive to the less expensive. You could, for example, use an indoor portable propane heater in the stables, which would use a little amount of propane to operate efficiently (which you can source from and the like).

Know that such heaters can provide warmth to the horses making them feel comfortable during chilly weather. Additionally, propane is considered a clean-burning fuel that tends to not emit as much smoke as burning fuels. This might prove to be an added advantage for your horse, and for you, especially if you have the right propane delivery service provider similar to Kelly Propane & Fuel, Inc. in your vicinity.

That said, you might have to take into consideration that while many animals enjoy the cold weather, they are still susceptible to cold-related issues. This is why one of the most important steps you can take to ensure the welfare of your horse is to have a proper check at the beginning of each winter. As a horse owner, this can be a little daunting, but it is one of the most important things you can do for your equine friend with the right information in front of you.