Horses are strong, sturdy animals but they do require a little extra care in the winter, even here in Robinson, TX where winter temperatures average around 60 degrees. While we’re not dealing with snow and ice like our friends to the north, it’s still important to take a few precautions to care for horses in winter to keep them healthy and happy. From routine vet checks to sprucing up a horse barn, horses can add a few tasks to your to-do list.
Here are 4 tips to care for your horse this winter:
1. Keep horses hydrated
While your horse may not be at risk for overheating in the winter, hydration is still vitally important. Make sure that your horse’s water source is clean and isn’t at risk for freezing. Temps rarely get below freezing around here but, if the last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for everything!
2. Schedule a routine veterinarian check
In addition to routine vaccinations, horses need annual checkups to make sure they’re healthy and strong, and to catch any early signs of illness. Typically an equine veterinarian will take a look at the horse’s gait, check its eyes and gums, listen to the belly, heart and lungs, perform a hands-on exam of the body and legs, and examine each hoof. (Phew, and I thought my annual physical was taxing!)
3. Provide adequate shelter
Keep your horse protected from cold wind and rain with a horse barn or run-in shed. Most horses will avoid extreme weather and seek shelter themselves but a horse barn is a great fit for young or “brave” horses that might not turn in when they should. There are many styles of horse barns and run-in shelters but no matter your choice, make sure it’s well ventilated and cleaned frequently.
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4. Create a comfortable environment
We all like to be a little more cozy and comfy in the winter, and so does your horse. Add extra layers of hay to stalls, add a blanket on extra cool nights, and stay on top of horseshoe maintenance and hoof care. It’s also a good idea to double up on pest control efforts for both your horse and the horse barn.
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Horses are incredible creatures but keeping them healthy and comfortable is a year-round job. With these four tips for preparing your horse for the winter, your horse will be in great shape for a fun Spring full of riding.
Deciding how to shelter your horse can get overwhelming with so many options to consider. We’d love to help! Whether you’re interested in a run-in shed or ready for a multi-stall horse barn, or can’t decide which is best, we provide free consultations to help you make the best decision for your specific needs.
Click here to schedule a free estimate or contact us by phone: (254) 537-1014