How to care for your horse during Winter

How to care for your horse during Winter

May 16, 2023

The cold, wet and wintry weather has certainly started to settle in.

As we head into winter it is important to care for your horse according to changes in weather.

While a winter in Australia is never as cold as some other countries it is still extremely important to provide your horse with the correct care to ensure they make it through the cold season happy and healthy.

Here are a few tips to help keep your horse healthy and happy this winter:

Ensuring your horse has access to clean water, this will reduce the chances of them becoming dehydrated, dehydration in some cases will cause colic. Horses tend to eat more dry hay during this period rather than grass meaning they are not consuming as much water. You may find it beneficial to add water to your horse's feed.

It is important to ensure your horse is at a healthy weight as we head into winter, you will find it is much easier to maintain a horse's weight during winter rather than having to feed for weight gain.  

Providing your horse with shelter is important, could you imagine standing out in the pouring rain on a cold winter's night? You become stiff and sick, our horses are the same.

Aququate feed is important. Do not be fooled by the lush green grass in your horse paddocks. Grass during the winter months will lack nutrients meaning it is important to ensure your horse is getting an adequate amount of feed daily.

Adequate fibre from hay is critical during the winter months as it keeps horses warm during cold weather. Digestion and fermentation of hay produces heat that helps the horse maintain its body temperature during winter

Horses can get a variety of respiratory illnesses over the winter, if you notice your horse coughing, sneezing or with a runny nose, it is best to seek a vet to ensure the best treatment.

Hoof diseases such as Seedy Toe and Thrush over the winter months are common – as the horse may be standing in mud more frequently. For this reason it is very important to keep your farrier visiting regularly to keep your horses fett healthy. Providing them with an area where they are able to stand out of the wet and mud will reduce the chances of hoof diseases.