Proudly owning a horse or pony is a pleasure and a privilege, however in fact that comes with the duty for his or her welfare. Whereas the overwhelming majority of homeowners are vigilant about their horse’s well being and luxury all 12 months spherical, it’s all the time helpful to be sure you are effectively ready upfront for the colder and wetter months forward.
Assess the person wants of your equine
Any recommendation on equine care will all the time be basic, as a result of they’re all people with their very own particular wants. For instance, native ponies such because the Highland and Dartmoor are effectively tailored to the British local weather, with thick waterproof coats, and a pure foraging intuition.
Heat bloods and cross breeds are likely to have thinner pores and skin and coats, and are usually much less hardy. In case your horse or pony is aged or sick, they will even want some additional attention in winter.
Feeding horses in winter
Equines who’re saved out in winter ought to have entry to enough ranges of grazing. If the pasture is muddy or sparse, the grass needs to be topped up with good high quality hay or haylage. Construct up the quantity you give them progressively, as a sudden change can upset their digestive techniques.
Horses who’re stabled, and/or in common work through the winter, might have their weight loss plan supplementing with additional fibre and protein. This will likely additionally apply to any equine in poor situation, to assist with the steadiness of nutritional vitamins and minerals of their weight loss plan.
Aged animals could have poor enamel which makes foraging troublesome, they usually want pellets or cubes soaked right into a mash. Guard in opposition to dehydration by retaining water troughs ice-free, and topping them up with heat water in case your horse is reluctant to drink.
There are many bagged pony pellets horse feed to select from, so it’s value having a chat together with your vet about which kind will fit your horse or pony finest. These which include cereal, resembling oats and barley, are larger in power than these that are fibre-based, resembling alfalfa or sugar beet.
Rugging horses in winter
It is very important do not forget that horses and ponies don’t really feel the chilly in the identical method as people do, and most don’t want a rug in temperatures above 5°c. Nevertheless, equines who dwell out over the winter ought to have entry to a safe subject shelter to provide safety from the wind and rain.
Horses who’ve clipped coats, or who’re very lean and with out a lot physique fats to maintain them heat, will want rugging up ahead of wholesome animals with a thick coat. When you do rug your horse, take care to ensure that it matches effectively, and doesn’t rub them anyplace.
Examine their toes usually in moist climate
In case your horse is saved out all winter and the situations are moist, chances are high the bottom will change into waterlogged and muddy. Regulate their legs and hooves for any signal of an infection, and rotate your grazing land if doable. When you would not have room for this, cowl up the worst boggy floor with sand or straw.