Caring for a horse does not include neglecting one’s duties during the winter. While the horse may stay indoors more, the weather conditions will worsen outside. Every horse needs many weeks of care and maintenance to stay healthy.
Supply more water
A caretaker should increase the volume of drinking water that is given to a horse. More water is needed to prevent dehydration and colic and increase tolerance to the cold. The average 1,000-pound horse needs ten or more gallons of water every day.
Check the water buckets
The leftover water in a bucket could freeze overnight. Warm water needs to be provided to the horse up front, and any water needs to be unfrozen and kept at proper temperatures.
Provide additional hay
Horses need more feed to sustain their strength and energy during the cold season. A horse needs a stockpile of grass hay since the animal cannot graze a field full of dead grass.
Provide a warm shelter
A horse needs a stronger shelter to protect against icy cold winds, ice, and frost during the winter. Although some horses are built to withstand winter conditions, they still need the highest level of shelter protection.
Perform hoof care
An owner often fails to tend to the hooves that need regular trimming as nails do. The shoes need to be replaced when necessary and fitted with the correct type for cold, frozen conditions. It’s important to check the horse’s balance and not increase additional strain to the bones, muscles, or ligaments.
Monitor the horse’s condition
Most animals remain stagnant during the winter, so they’re not likely to run into accidents or suffer from serious injuries. However, they are at increased risk of developing colic, which affects the colon and could be fatal. The horse needs to maintain a healthy diet and exercise at the basic level. Additionally, the owner needs to check the animal’s body and physical condition every week or few weeks.
When many people buy horses, they don’t consider the year-round responsibilities that are included. The costs and efforts of maintaining a horse never end, and there is a new list of tasks to perform each season. So, know what is required to protect a horse during the coldest months of the year.