Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Winter Horse Keeping

These are a few things that I do during the Winter to get through it. If anyone has anything to add to it, I welcome it.
1) I keep the 100 gallon water trough full and heated.
2) Once the weather hits below 20 degrees F, I blanket the girls. Usually by then they have well established winter fuzzies and Misty is my indicator because she will shiver and it's time to pop on blankets even though she hates it.
3) I up their grain just slightly, Jess once told me that it's like a warm cup of hot chocolate to them. I also up their hay a bit too, but I still watch them closely for too much weight gain. They usually maintain fairly well.
4) I still keep up their feet of course, right on schedule.
5) I close my pasture. I still give them plenty of turn out room because the training area and paddock are connected via gate and I keep that gate open.
6) I've got rubber mats layed in the entire loafing shed. It's large and sturdy and can be easily converted to box stalls if necessary. I keep it nice and clean.
7) I feed them in the loafing shed. Keeps them out of the wind and they like it.
8) I watch them as closely as ever, constantly adjusting blankets and watch them for normal stir crazy horse behavior for that may cause them to injure themselves.
9) I often will lay straw out in various areas in the snow that I have observed Kola lay and sleep on, not that once the straw is layed, she'll lay on it.
10) I keep a closer eye on the fence line as last year at one point we had so much snow that I had to move the fence line and keep them out of an area as the snow had drifted high and packed where they could have simply just stepped over the fence to complete freedom.
11) I've made sure they have had their fall shots before we got to this winter stuff.


Transylvanian horseman said...

That's a good list that you've made. Your horses sound like they are very well cared for. Corn is a good heating feed that might be a good supplement to the grain. A little cooking oil in the feed (a cup per horse per day) can help keep horses warm too.

Rising Rainbow said...

Wow, I can't believe you get so much snow they could step over the fence. That's amazing to me.