Taking Care of Horses During the Winter

Cold weather, snow, and ice can make life difficult for horse owners while providing care to their horses. Horse owners in frigid winter climates are often forced to navigate through mounds of snow in order to reach their stable.  This can make the process of taking care of and exercising your horse a much more arduous task.  Additionally, horse owners worry about how the drop in temperature will affect their horses, as one of the last things they want is for their horses to be cold in their barns or stables.

Fortunately, there are preventative measures that horse owners can take to ensure that winter’s frigid conditions does not prevent their horse from receiving its normal care.  Firstly, a properly built barn or stable will be the first step towards ensuring your horse stays nice and cozy.  The builder should take the local climate into account while building, and the horse’s quarters should not be near a drafty area.

Secondly, make sure on nice days that your horse is taken out for fresh air and exercise.  The exercise will help with circulation, and it will help the horse acclimate to the chillier temperatures.

If you have an older horse, you may want to look into purchasing a blanket for him or her.   The cold could have an adverse effect on older horses who aren’t as equipped as a younger horses to handle the rigors of winter.  Just make sure you choose the correct size to ensure your horse is comfortable, and be cognizant of the materials.  For example, if the blanket is not waterproof, you will not want to take the horse outside if it’s even just lightly snowing out.  All horses can benefit from a blanket, but older horses and injured horses could especially use one.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you spend time with your horse during the dreary days of winter, check for any winter colds or illnesses, and be certain that the winter’s elements haven’t created a skin ailment.  Moreover, make sure the horses have a little extra hay for energy to get the blood flowing, and have access to plenty of water to stay hydrated.

And before you know it, the sun will shining in the spring!