Seasonal Care

horse in winter, winter horse shelter, winter hoof care, winter horse feed

By Lynn Baber - Horses who are acclimated to severe winter weather usually do well with their natural haircoats and the care experienced owners provide. However, if you are new to horse ownership or new to the weather outside your window this year, here is a short list of tips to get through till the mercury rises and the sun comes out.

mud fever horses, equine mud fever, supplements for equine mud fever, vetcur, stone hedge farms, Cur1, DiVet, ImVet

This time of year it is a constant battle with the mud and our horses are at risk of getting mud fever. Mud fever is not a single disease but can come in different forms. The condition occurs especially in warm, wet weather, and is certainly not limited to horses that are paddling in knee-deep mud. Mud fever starts off with dry crusts, which are caused by the inflamed skin weeping. The condition can range from a mild skin irritation to very painful infected sores, and can in some cases cause significant swelling with severe lameness.

feeding horse in winter, winter horse feeding, low quality hay, water temperature horse, pregnant horse nutrition, foal nutrition

Most horses have some “down time” in winter, when adverse weather will not permit much riding or showing activity. A reduction in your horse’s activity level usually means a reduced need for calories, and requirements for grain or concentrate feeding can be lowered. During the winter season, temperatures typically fall below that necessary for pasture grass to grow. Pastures become rapidly depleted of natural forage and horses must increasingly rely on their owners to provide them with a nutritionally adequate diet. To properly feed a horse during the winter months the key factors of water, fibre, and essential nutrients must be addressed.

winter riding, riding in winter, horse riding in the winter, winter riding clothes, cooling horse out winter, equine quarter sheet, horse quarter sheet, weatherproof tack, horse riding jackets

There is nothing quite like heading out for a hack on an invigoratingly clear winter’s day with a horse eager to power through the snow. Riding through the winter is not only fun – it benefits your equine partner by keeping him physically and mentally fit year-round.

equine electrolytes, riding in the winter, wendy pearson, herbs for horses

Q: Since it’s cold out and my horse doesn't sweat much when I ride him, should I still give him electrolytes?

saddle fitting, short person saddle, short legs saddle, schleese, saddlefit4life

If you’re in the market for a new turnout blanket for your horse, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a great selection to choose from. Blanket technology has come a long way from the days of those heavy New Zealand rugs; today’s blanket shopper can select from a range of features and options to find the blanket that fits both their horse’s winter wardrobe needs and their budget.

equine laminitis, horse laminitis, nsc, acth, horse pituitary gland, horse metabolic syndrome, equine metabolic syndrome, horse hay analysis, juliet getty

Horses are more likely to suffer from laminitis in the fall than at any other time of year. Two reasons are the high NSC (non-structural carbohydrates) from cooler nighttime temperatures and increased blood ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) secretion from the pituitary gland. Both of these lead to elevated insulin.

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