Coping in the snow, frost and ice
In these sub zero temperatures all we can do is cope with getting through each day and ensuring our equine friends are as warm and comfortable as possible.
- Beware the ice – do grit where possible or put down used straw to make a safe walkway for you and you horse
- Beware the risks of heaters and putting clothing etc over them – whilst we are all trying to dry our gloves and socks and dry out our horse’s rugs we put ourselves at more risk of fire. Never dry or warm anything over an open flame and never leave clothing unattended on a heater.
- Keep your horse as warm as it needs to be using rugs, stable bandages and deep beds.
- If your horse is living out ensure there is a deep bed in the shelter and plenty of hay for it to eat. Remember a horse uses food to provide inner warmth.
- Ensure you break the ice of your horses’ water supply so that it can get to fresh water. Bring hoses in etc.
- Your horse is more prone to impaction colic in this weather so why not add some warm water to its feed to ensure it takes in enough water to ensure gut mobility.
- Try to warm food before feeding if you are feeding wet products (i.e soaked foods such as sugar beet or mashes) rather then feed icy cold food. You can do this by just adding warm water.
- Please remember to keep an eye on other horses on your yard. Maybe work out a rota so you know that all horses are being cared for, in case someone is unable to get in due to the weather conditions.
- Spare a thought for the horses that are tethered or left in fields without the care we would afford our horses. Please try to keep an eye on the ones in your area.
- Perhaps set up a rota so that you can get hay/food out to these horses. It absolutely is not our job to care for other people’s horses but in sub zero, freezing or snowy conditions it’s a time to put aside the politics of the situation and help the animal concerned.