Caring For your Horse in the Winter
I live in NE Ohio where the winters are snowy, grey and seem to go on forever.
|Pine Trees, Snow and a Horse|
- Buy Carhartts for YOU. You need to dress for the weather- you will be out in it.
- Buy a good, large, stock tank and stock tank heater. Follow the instructions to the letter from the manufacturer.
- Have a reliable source of water- preferably close or in you barn. A well pump with insulation and a heat tape has worked for me.
- A good, heavy duty farm hose-- not a garden hose... a farm hose! They are expensive but worth it. Garden hoses will break.
- A reliable source of good, clean, grass hay. I know hay varies from one area to another so buy what other horse people recommend in your area.
|Horse in the Snow|
There are 3 points that you need to adhere to in order for your horse to be happy & healthy during the winter. Three.
- Your horse needs plenty of fresh, unfrozen water.
- Your horse needs plenty (preferably free choice) hay. This is what keeps him warm. Eating and digesting large quantities of hay.
- Shelter- to get in out of the wind/rain/sleet etc. if he so chooses. He may choose to NOT get out of the weather but he must have a choice.
|Horse eating hay.|
Your horse will be happier and healthier if he can move around and be part of a herd. I know it feels good to us to lock them into a nice, cozy stall but that is our human side wanting to hunker down for the winter. Sure, go ahead and stall if you want.... but trust me, they can handle the cold if you do the 3 things above.
Horses running in the snow.
I have found, my horses tolerate the snow and cold very well, provided I do the 3 things I wrote above. I usually do not blanket, but you can argue the pros and cons :) amongst yourselves. I do bring them in if there is an ice accumulation or freezing rain.
|Snow covered horses.|
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