The warm weather has left us and a cooler autumn is finally here. Cold seasons can have an effect on your horse in various ways. The start of a colder season should prompt you to give your horse the best care you can provide to make sure he stays healthy, inside and out.
Autumn is also the perfect season to give your horse preventive care regimen. Internal parasites at this time can reanimate and proliferate in the cool environment. You might want to consider having your horse tested for faecal egg count and ask your veterinarian if any deworming program may be necessary. Some important areas to consider during autumn is your horse’s nutrition, any travelling that may occur and prepping your barn for the cooler months.
Horse Nutrition in Autumn
The horse’s feeding program should also be altered due to the coming winter months and autumn is just the time to make those changes. How do you go about the changes in your horse’s nutrition program? The first thing is that your horse might consume less water as the temperature cools down. Nevertheless, be sure to give your horse access to clean and fresh water at all times. If the temperatures get too low, check that water supply has not frozen up.
When it comes to the feed, your horse should receive the right amount of nutrition for every day. To achieve this ensure your horse has access to forage which is ideal and hay is a great source of providing different nutrients. It also helps promote a healthier hindgut for your horse. If supply of hay is inadequate, there are alternatives that you can provide such as beet pulp and hay cubes, just to have a variety of forage sources. Fibre is important part of the horse’s diet during the colder months. The digestion process can generate heat as warmth for your horse. By digesting hay this liberates more heat compared to when digesting feed concentrates.
Trail Rides in Autumn
Autumn is also a great time for trail riding and most riders would prefer to set out without too much tack. However if you plan to set out on a trail ride in Autumn there are some essential items that you should consider taking to ensure you make your adventure safe and exciting.
Consider bringing along with you a heavy-duty flashlight with extra batteries and a whistle – they are important if you get lost and are trying to attract attention of your whereabouts. On long rides it is a good idea to take a snack packed with protein which can help maintain your mental focus and come in very useful during emergency situations involving someone in distress. Prepare a first-aid kit that contains necessities for you and your horse. These include tweezers (in case of splinters), toilet paper, paper towels, vet wrap, and fly spray.
It is always a good practice to have your mobile phone on your person and not attached to your saddle for those worst case scenario where by you get separated from your horse. A good idea is to have an informational tag that displays your name and contact details which can be placed in the saddle just in case of emergency situations. This could assist a search team in those extreme cases. Maps are also important to bring along. Keep an extra one just in case you meet other riders who may have lost their way.
Trail riding is a very rewarding experience for you and your horse. Each trail ride adventure can be a wonderful journey for you and your horse to enjoy. It is a great way to appreciate the scenery and beautiful landscape from your saddle whilst riding your horse.
Breakdown of Things to Do in Autumn
Autumn is all about preparing your horse and your barn for the coming winter season. Here are some things to do in autumn to help you for the coming winter months.
1. Fixing winter rugs – If you didn’t get the chance to fix your winter rugs over the summer, autumn is the best time to do it.
2. Choosing horse bedding wisely – Get great quality bedding for your horse to lie on in winter. If your horse has respiratory problems, you might want to get the dust-free bedding.
3. Grooming – Sharpen your blades and clippers to prepare yourself for the wool in winter.
4. Deworming program – Horses can harbour tapeworms over the summer from foraging grass that may be infected with the worm’sintermediate host – the forage mite. Autumn is the best time to deworm your horse for tapeworms. Check with your local veterinarian for an appropriate deworming program.
5. Vaccinations – Update your horse’s vaccinations. Consult your vet on which vaccinations are needed by your horse.
6. Dental Check-up – Have your equine dentist perform a dental check-up on your horse before winter sets in to make sure your horse can get the most out of its feed.
7. Prepare the ground for winter – ifyou have not fenced your yard, you should do it before winter and before the grounds get frozen
Colder weather starts in autumn and it would be the perfect time for horse owners to monitor the wellbeing of the horse. A good preparation for winter helps you relax a bit as you enjoy the colder months and as your horse takes a break from all the work it needs to do.