Lisa Chelenza knows that not everyone in your family walks on two legs. For helpful tips on taking care of your animal friends, and advice from local veterinary experts, watch Pet Pointers Wednesday and Saturday on YNN. If you have ideas for Pet Pointers segments, email Lisa at email@example.com.
Pet Pointers: Taking care of horses in the winter
Caring for horses requires daily effort on the part of their caretakers, even in the winter. In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza looks at what it takes to properly care for a horse when the weather turns colder.
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As winter begins to really sink in across the country, it’s important to remember that care for some animals needs adjusting, even some of our largest domestic animals like horses.
When days get shorter, the coat of a horse gets fuller to provide an additional layer of natural protection against the cold. Daily grooming helps keep their longer locks in good condition. In the barn or outside on mild days, their own coat is enough protection from the chill. But out in the pasture when the wind picks up and temperatures dip below freezing, a cozy horse blanket gives an extra layer against moisture, cold, and wind. Remember to remove it and check for chaffing.
Hooves should be well maintained and kept clear of ice and snow.
Continue de-worming medication and talk to your vet about adding minerals and other supplements to help support your horse’s joints, skin, and bodily functions. Access to a little extra hay is also recommended to help keep your horse’s digestive furnace running.
Getting plenty of water isn’t only important for people, but horses also need lots of water to stay hydrated. Starting with warm water or adding a heater to buckets will prohibit the formation of ice. Feeding a watery mash or soaked beet pulp can help prevent dehydration. Use warm water and try to keep it from freezing by using heated buckets if possible.
If you are new to horse keeping, it’s important to find a good equine veterinarian who can advise you on how to best care for your horse.
Special thanks to Sunshine Horses Inc. Horse rescue. Visit nysunshinehorses.org/donations.aspx to learn more.