Wising up to winter horse care

 
By Connie Orcutt • Published: January 1st, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves
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When it comes to winter care, your horse counts on you to help it weather the cold. So here are some horse-healthy tips for frosty days.

Assuming your steed has a winter coat, top-notch nutrition, great health and adequate shelter, blanketing isn’t necessary. In fact, excessive blanketing can cause dehydration. Likewise, keeping your horse in a stuffy, closed barn can increase the risk of respiratory disease. Your buddy is better off being turned out in an area with a covered, three-walled shelter.

Horses need plenty of water year-round, so you may need to use a heater to keep waterers thawed over winter. A horse’s diet also needs tweaking to provide more calories and fiber (in the form of hay) as the temperature plummets.

Finally, even though it’s winter, be diligent about hoof care, grooming and exercise to keep your steed in tip-top shape.