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  • Dr. Katy Mayhew

Winter Reminders for Your Horse


  1. A safe and frost-free water supply should be available to your horse at all times. Horses will consume more water if it is provided at 50 degrees than at 33 degrees, which is important to prevent dehydration and impaction colics! 
Remove any ice that forms daily.

It is a very good idea to place SAFE water heaters in any water source available to your horse. This will encourage your horse to drink water throughout the cold winter months.

  1. Good quality forage needs to be available to your horse. Horses are able to generate more body heat with hay than grain, and hay will provide them with the necessary roughage to enable proper G.I. health.

Horses are less likely to eat dirt and develop other adverse habits if they have good quality hay available to them. Offering hay will satisfy their natural instincts to graze and decrease boredom! 
 If a round bale is provided, ensure that it is placed in a dry, covered area. Hay that is left exposed to the elements is more likely to become moldy and spoiled, which can lead to health problems for your horse and excessive wastage of hay. 


  1. Routine dental care to ensure efficient digestion of feed and hay.


  2. Regular immunizations and deworming programs should be implemented each spring and fall.

  3. Proper shelter to protect your horse from the elements.

Horses fortunately have thick hair coats to protect them from the cold; however, if their coat becomes wet, it loses its insulating capabilities. A roof overhead and a protective windbreak are all they need, or a good waterproof blanket will suffice

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