Dogs may be a man’s best friend, but every westerner knows that horses are a cowboy’s! These cold winter months can be tough on our larger four-legged friends, but there are plenty of steps you can make to ensure that they are properly taken care of.
1. Keep Them Out of the Cold
The most important and obvious step is making sure that your stallions and mares are out of frigid temperatures.
2. Provide a Warm Shelter
Having a proper, full-coverage shelter is an absolute must when temperatures start to dip. The shelter should be warm and cozy. Make sure to keep tabs on your horse’s bedding as well, as it needs to remain dry. After you take him out in the snow, make sure that he is dry and check his hooves for ice.
3. Monitor Food Consumption
It is also very important to monitor what and how much your horse is eating. Their appetites or desire to drink may decrease as it gets cold. Keep an eye on them and try to entice them if you notice that food is not being eaten.
4. Check for Icy Water
Remember that water may get icy in the cold weather, so monitor it. You can pour hot water in the trough to ensure that the water is at the right temperature, if you need to.
5. When in Doubt – Go to the Vet
If you notice your horse is acting funny, don’t hesitate to take him to the vet. Problems can quickly escalate when it is very cold outside, so always err on the side of caution.
While the winter months can be tough on your horses, Sheplers knows that if you take right precautions, and follow these simple steps – your horse is sure to last through the winter and happily gallop into spring.