Proper care for horses can do so much in minimizing your vet care bills, particularly during the months of winter. Water is an important element that horse owners should have all the time because, among many other things, water can help prevent gut impaction.
Plenty of water to drink.
However, winter can be a difficult time to make your horse drink. Recent studies have revealed that it is healthier to give your horse warm water to drink during the cold months. Horses tend to drink less water during winter, especially if the only available water is cold. You can use insulated buckets to warm the water. You can do-it-yourself by using the cheap method of using old car tires, or perhaps with the use of insulated bucket holders. There are also other ways in which you can ensure your horse gets enough water. You can add water to his feed. Hydration is important to horses in summer as well as in winter. You can mix in lukewarm water to feed pellets so it appears as a palatable mash. Your horse gets to eat and at the same time, you are providing hydration. If your horse is prone to developing health problems such as stable cough, you can feed it haylage. Haylage has more moisture content compared to hay. When doing so, remember to maintain the right levels of nutrition and fiber. This means you may need to feed more compared to when feeding with hay.
When developing a winter feeding program, you need to plan out things before the first frost. Sudden changes in the feeding practice can disturb the delicate balance of the equine digestive system. This can result in colic and overwhelming vet bills. Your horse relies on the feed you are giving as a source of energy to achieve warmth during colder months. About 80% of the total feed you give it will be used to warm itself up. Adding slow-release energy on your horse’s feed is essential for a competing horse during winter and one that spends too much time in the stable. You can add ingredients such as fiber and oil to your horse’s feed. These ingredients are excellent sources of slow-release energy. This is beneficial for horses that need extra stamina. However hardworking or laidback your horse is, keep in mind that it needs to have a significant amount of reserves of vitamins and minerals and proteins to maintain general health and also help repair injured tissues.