As the temperature drops, the risk of impaction colic often rises — particularly as you increase your horse’s forage intake to promote body warmth. In this article, we discuss the three most common causes of impaction colic during Winter.
There are many benefits of feeding forage, such as pasture and hay, including in Winter. A concentrated source of fibre, forage helps your horse:
- Gain energy
- Maintain body condition
- Produce body heat
At all times of year, every horse needs to consume between 1.5 and 2.5% of their bodyweight in forage every day to maintain a healthy body condition.
Fibre is, by far, the most important ingredient in your horse’s diet. During Winter, forage intake not only maintains a healthy body condition, but also
enables the production of body heat — powering your horse’s health and performance.
However, there are several risks associated with feeding forage during Winter.
Causes of Impaction Colic
At Running Cool, we advocate that every horse should receive a forage-first diet year-round. Feeding forage should remain a top priority for your horse’s
feeding regime, including in Winter. But, it’s important you’re aware of the risks, so you can avoid them.
- Dehydration – Due to the cooler temperature, horses often consume less water in Winter. Water is crucial to proper digestion as it aids the passage
of food through the digestive system. Ensure your horse remains hydrated throughout Winter to reduce the risk of dehydration.
- Change in feed – As pastures become depleted of nutrients, many horse owners change their horse’s forage or grain source. Any changes in feed should
be made over several weeks to reduce the risk of digestive upset, including impaction colic. Click here to learn more.
- Lack of activity – Finally, daily activity isn’t just important for healthy circulation, joints, ligaments, hooves and muscles, it also supports healthy
digestion. Encourage daily activity by keeping your horse with others at pasture and giving them regular exercise.
At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance.
to learn more.