How to Care for Your Horse during the Colder Months of the Year

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How to Care for Your Horse during the Colder Months of the Year

The short days and long nights can add to the complication of caring for your horse during the winter months. You must therefore rise to the challenge of providing your four-legged friends with the extra care and attention they need to cope with the short days and long nights associated with the autumn/winter season.

Planning for the winter

A good working routine is essential during the winter season as you will need to devote more of your time to your horses. You should therefore devise a plan of action to help you fit your horses’ care needs into your daily routine. If you are unable to devote extra time and attention to your horses during the winter, you may wish to consider keeping your horses at full livery, where they will be able to receive a high standard of care on a daily basis.

Shelter requirements

While stalling is not necessary for all horses, you may wish to provide your horses with some protection from the elements. Your horses will adjust to wintry conditions but should be able to escape harsh winds and heavy rain. You should take particular care when leaving young, inexperienced horses on winter pasture. Ideally, you should enlist the help of an older horse, who will teach your youngsters to find shelter.

Coat care

During the winter months, a heavy hair coat will provide your horse with as much warmth as a high quality blanket. Once you have allowed your horse’s coat to grow, regularly assess his conditions by feeling over his ribs. A long, fuzzy hair coat can be deceptive and may hide a range of underlying health conditions. If your horse requires medical attention, you may find it helpful to call upon your horse insurance from

Hoof care

It is essential to keep to a hoof care schedule throughout the winter season. If your horses are to be maintained outdoors, they should have their shoes removed. Shod feet are prone to becoming ice packed and will increase the risk of your horse suffering from nasty slips and falls on snow and ice. You should trim hooves every six to eight weeks to prevent problems caused by cracks and breakage. However, you must not trim them too closely or your horses may suffer from sore feet when standing or walking on frozen ground.

The winter months can present many challenges. However, the extra time and effort you put into caring for your horses will all be worthwhile when your horses emerge fit, full of life and ready for action as soon as the weather starts to warm up.


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