Cold Snaps and Horses
As we've been enjoying a pleasantly mild winter here on Vancouver Island, Mother Nature has decided to throw a curveball our way with an impending cold snap. As horse caretakers, it's crucial to be prepared for temperature fluctuations, as they can pose challenges to our equine friends. In this #TackTipTuesday edition, let's explore some tips to help your horse stay comfortable and healthy during the chilly weather.
1. Bundle Up with the Right Blankets ❄️: Just like us, horses feel the cold, and a well-chosen blanket can make a significant difference. If you already use blankets, consider adjusting their weight to match the severity of the cold. Remember, not all horses are the same – some may need a thicker blanket than others. While rainsheets (0g) are excellent for keeping horses dry, they don't add warmth. Opt for blankets with varying grams of insulation (100g, 200g, 400g) to ensure your horse stays snug and cozy.
2. Hay, Hay, and More Hay! 🌾: Harness the power of nature's insulator – food! Horses are natural grazers, and increasing their forage intake during colder weather helps generate internal heat. Provide ample hay to your horse, as the process of digesting fibrous material produces heat. This not only keeps them warm but also mimics their natural behavior, contributing to a happy and healthy equine companion.
3. Prioritize Hydration 💧: Cold snaps can increase the risk of dehydration, leading to potential colic issues. Combat this threat by ensuring your horse stays adequately hydrated. Encourage drinking by offering heated water buckets, incorporating salt into their diet (with veterinarian approval), or preparing a warm and enticing soupy mash. Hydration is key to overall health, particularly during rapid temperature changes.
Share Your Cold Weather Tips! ❄️: Have your own tried-and-true methods for handling cold weather with horses? We'd love to hear them! Share your insights and tips in the comments below, and let's create a community resource for keeping our equine companions warm and happy during the winter chill.