Winter care advice for horses
The winter months are a challenge for horses and their owners. Horses and ponies must cope with everything the weather can throw at them, while as an owner, you'll need to rise to the challenges of the extra care and attention their four-legged friends need from you.
Planning ahead for the winter care of your horse
Work out how you'll manage to care for your horse in winter and make sure you can fit your horse's care into your daily routine.
- Consider full livery - if you're unable to devote more time to your horse's care during the winter, consider keeping your horse at full livery, where there's good winter turnout and a high standard of daily care.
- Visit as early in the morning as possible - short days add to the complication of winter care. Make your first visit to your horse each day as early in the morning as you can. If there's a problem, you can call for assistance in daylight.
- If you plan to ride your horse in winter, beware of getting your horse sweated up in the afternoon. Horses can easily catch a chill.
Make arrangements with an experienced person to take care of your horse in the event of an emergency, for example if you're ill, delayed or cut off by bad weather. Network among local horse owners; you may be able to share horse care with a like-minded friend.
Winter horse care checklist
- Does your field have a good shelter?
- Does your horse have company?
- Have you got a good supply of extra feed?
- Are you registered with an equine veterinary practice?
- Do you know what your horse's normal behaviour is like?
Above all, remember that your horse needs you just as much in the winter months, as they do during the lovely summer months of riding.
Follow the links below to learn more about caring for your horse.