In this blog, our team share seven winter horse care hacks and tips to help you through the worst of winter! We might not be able to change the weather, but we can share some valuable advice!
Frozen Water Troughs
Check your water troughs twice a day in freezing weather to check they are not frozen and remove any ice. You can temporarily leave a football in the trough, which will help stop it from freezing. If you know a freezing spell is coming and your water pipes could be frozen overnight, fill water carriers with water and try insulating your pipes with foam lagging.
Mud Free Zone
If your horse is turned out for many hours, ensure they have some hard standing or a mud-free zone as a respite from muddy conditions. Every day, remove the mud from your horse and check your horse’s legs carefully to ensure they don’t have any cuts, scratches, or early signs of mud fever, rain scald or mud rash and treat accordingly. And don’t underestimate the power of aloe vera in supporting healthy hooves, skin, coat and digestion! Aloeride is your winter warrior in your fight against winter ailments!
Frozen Arena No Go
If you’re expecting a cold snap, harrow your arena the day before. A compacted arena surface will prevent water draining, so if you can disrupt the top layer, this should help disperse the water/ice. Harrow again the following morning after a frost to allow the arena to thaw more readily.
Encourage Water Uptake
Feed wet hay and serve tempting warm mashes to increase your horses’ water uptake. Some horses won’t drink ice-cold water, so adding a little warm water to their bucket in their stable will encourage them to drink. Put an apple in their bucket for some apple bobbing fun, encourage drinking, and prevent dehydration in your horse this winter.
Have A Plan
There is bound to be a spell of bad weather over the winter months where turnout might not be possible, so be prepared, plan, and be more productive this winter. If your horse is the type that struggles with a break in routine, make sure you have plenty of stable toys and ideas to keep them occupied! Hiding sliced succulents in a double haynet can keep horses entertained whilst slowing their eating.
Hands Up Who Hates Cold Hands
We all hate cold hands, and cold, wet hands are even worse! Leave pairs of washing-up gloves around the yard for those messy yard duties. Choose the larger size, so they fit over your slimmer gloves and offer a waterproof layer.
If you don’t have a heated rug rail (the dream!), leave your horse in his wet turnout rug for a few hours longer in the stable to help dry the worst off. As long as it is dry next to your horse’s skin and suitable for the temperature in the stable or barn, it will save you from having to wrestle with a heavy, wet and muddy rug daily!
Something To Make You Smile? Read Our 10 Tips For Surviving Winter With Your Horse!