Make sure you’re ready for the cold months with these winter horse care tips from the American Quarter Horse Association:
- Horses drink an average of 10-12 gallons of water per day. Fresh water should be available at all times. In the winter, if heated tanks are unavailable, ice should be broken several times a day. If a horse goes off feed, check his water. Horses will not eat if they are thirsty.-A horse’s energy requirements increase by 1 percent for every degree below 16 F. Digesting forage creates more heat than digesting grain, so ample hay should be provided when conditions are harsh.
- If horses are on pasture, provide hay if the grass is low-quality or snow-covered.
- If a horse tends to lose weight in the winter, increasing his body condition score by one point could be beneficial. Monitor your horse in the fall and spring to establish your plan of action to maintain his winter BCS.
- Always float teeth and deworm several weeks before winter.
- Exercise tends to be limited in the winter. Watch easy-keepers to make sure they don’t reach an unhealthy body condition score.
More winter tips from the American Quarter Horse Association: