Tips for caring for horses during winter:
- Did you know hay has a much lower water content than grass? This alongside colder water in their bucket can often lead to dehydration and in severe cases impactions – which is a common cause of colic. To help avoid this: Monitor your horses water intake (a normal day >15L)
- Feed little and often to encourage the digestive tract to keep moving
- Tailoring the feed to their energy requirements and how this may have changed over the winter months
- Always make changes to their diet slowly
- Check your pastures for acorns and sycamore seeds fence off & rake any areas, ensure there is enough grazing and supply hay where necessary
- Make any management changes slowly (eg gradually reducing their turnout over a few weeks)
Keeping your horses moving:
- The warm up and cool down are crucial parts of protecting your athletes and this becomes even more important over the winter months. Make sure you warm your horse up slowly to reduce risk of injury and let their body temperature slowly return to normal after exercise.
- Osteoarthritis is one of the most common diseases affecting the equine population, this stiffness is often exacerbated over the winter months as horses spend longer periods standing in. There are many management options available to your horses.
This information has been taken from our Autumn-Winter Newsletter 2019, which also covers information on mud fever (pastern dermatitis).
For any advice, please call to speak to one of our vets directly: 01344 426066