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How To Care for Horses in Cold Weather

Horses are well adapted to cold weather, as they have a thick winter coat that helps insulate them and keep them warm. However, there are a few things to consider when caring for horses in cold weather:

  1. Shelter: Provide your horses with a well-insulated shelter, such as a barn or a run-in shed, to protect them from rain, wind, and snow.

  2. Bedding: Use good quality bedding, such as straw or wood shavings, in the horses' shelter to provide additional insulation and warmth.

  3. Water: Make sure your horses always have access to fresh, unfrozen water. Use heated water buckets or tank heaters to prevent the water from freezing.

  4. Nutrition: Horses require extra calories to stay warm in cold weather. Provide them with ample hay to help generate heat during digestion. If necessary, add in additional feed or supplements to meet their energy needs.

  5. Exercise: Regular exercise helps horses generate body heat and keep their muscles active. However, be cautious of icy or slippery conditions that could cause injury.

  6. Blankets: Some horses may benefit from wearing a blanket during extremely cold or wet weather. However, it is essential to monitor them to ensure the blanket fits properly and does not cause any discomfort or rub marks.

  7. Hoof care: Regular hoof care is crucial in cold weather to prevent issues such as snowballs or ice accumulating in the hooves. Regularly check and clean their hooves and consider using hoof boots if necessary.

  8. Wind protection: If possible, provide windbreaks or create sheltered areas in the pasture to protect the horses from strong winds.

Remember, horses are naturally equipped to handle cold weather, but it's essential to monitor them regularly for any signs of discomfort or health.

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