Winter means colder weather no matter where you live. For horse owners everywhere, cold weather comes with a few necessary changes in the care of their animals. Winter weather can be harsh on a horse, so here are some tips for providing quality care for your animals throughout the winter months.
When the weather gets cold your horses’ nutritional needs shift. Experts say that a healthy horse should eat between 1.5-2% of its weight in hay or forage every day. As the temperature drops horses need to eat more, and that number increases. For each 10-degree drop in temperature you should be adding 2 lbs. of feed to your horses daily diet. So while a 1000 lb. horse should eat between 15-20 lbs. of feed or hay in temperate weather, that amount should be adjusted accordingly as the temperature falls.
For horse owners that prefer hay to grain, experts suggest providing a trace mineral salt block for your animals to enjoy. This is a safe way to ensure your horses receive their necessary sodium intake and stay happy and healthy through any weather.
A final concern for horse owners everywhere should be the status of their water sources. As temperatures drop owners must pay closer and closer attention to their horses’ hydration needs. Frozen water is impossible for your horses to drink, and breaking up ice can become tedious and time-consuming in the dead of winter. Studies show that horses prefer water between 45 and 65 degrees. Electric waterers are a simple and innovative way to ensure that your horses stay hydrated and healthy through cold weather.
We’re committed to quality animal care. We hope these tips will help you to care for your horses through thick and thin because here at Tarter we know that a healthy animal is a happy animal.