During the winter months and even during the holidays it can get busy and cold.
It is difficult to make sure every chore is done. Here are a few key chores that need to be handled at least twice or more a day.
Feed: Horses are used to eating forage throughout the day, all day. Making sure horses have enough forage during the day is important because it will keep them busy and it will keep their digestive systems moving.
Water: When it comes to the cold temperatures, ice buckets/troughs will freeze. Having a heater bucket will help prevent the water from freezing and also adding warm water in your horse’s bucket while you are there will also prevent the water from freezing for a long while.If horses don’t get an adequate amount of water, horses can get winter colic. There is one way to test if your horse is not getting the right amount of water. You can test this throughout the year to make sure your horse is getting enough water. The pinch test is when you pull a bit of skin from your horse’s shoulder and release it with counting how long it will takes to flatten back out. If it takes more than 2 seconds, please contact your veterinarian.
Grooming Your Horse(s): Just like in the summer months, you need to make sure your horse is brushed every day. When brushing your horse it will stimulate circulation to keep their skin healthy and it will also keep their fur clean. It will get rid of the mud, dirt, and snow, but it is another way to check your horse over for scratches, and bumps. Make sure when grooming your horse to watch if they have been losing or gaining weight during the winter months. If horses are in a herd out in a pasture, there is a pecking order and not all horses will get the correct amount of feed or hay, but also winter can be tough for older horses as well. Keeping an eye on your horse’s weight is important during the cold winter months.
Keeping Stalls/Paddocks Clean: Even during the winter months, cleaning your paddock/stall is important and should be done at least once or twice a day. You want to make sure they are mucked out so you horse has a place to lay down to rest or keep warm during the day or night.