Cold-Weather Tips for Horse Owners

Make sure your horses are taken care of before the cold weather hits. AQHA photo. Make sure your horses are taken care of before the cold weather hits. AQHA photo.

February 1, 2018

Cold-Weather Tips for Horse Owners

These five important tips will keep your horses healthy and safe during the cold days of winter.
With snow already on the ground in many locales and temperatures dropping, Dr. Liz Arbittier, staff veterinarian in the Section of Equine Field Service at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center, offers five important tips to keep horses healthy and safe during the cold days of winter.

1. Provide adequate shelter: Horses can do fine living outside through the winter. As long as they are metabolically healthy, receive enough calories, develop a nice winter hair coat and have appropriate shelter, they can happily ride out a bad winter that has humans groaning. 
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2. Provide adequate calories: The phrase “bulking up for winter” is no joke!
Horses expend significantly more calories keeping warm in the winter than they do any other time of year. High-quality hay should be the staple of any winter diet, especially for horses that are out a lot.
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3. Water, not ice: One of the major causes for colic in the winter is an impaction caused by inadequate water intake. Technology has provided us with excellent solutions to that problem: heated water tubs and non-freezing automatic watering systems.
Read more about keeping your horses warm this winter at AQHA Daily.