Winter is here! It’s time to evaluate your horse’s diet to ensure they’re receiving everything they need for their health and wellbeing. The easiest way to start is with our top five recommendations for feeding your horse during Winter.
Tip 1: Fibre, fibre, fibre
Your horse’s digestive system is designed to process fibre. Fibre provides them with energy, helps to keep them warm in Winter and assists in preventing
digestive upsets, such as gastric ulcers, colic and diarrhoea.
This Winter, your horse’s diet should be comprised primarily of forage sources, including quality pasture and hay. In addition, it’s important to encourage
natural foraging behaviours to keep your horse chewing. Consider utilising slow feeding hay nets as low to the ground as possible.
Tip 2: Keep them hydrated
Dehydration is just as dangerous in Winter as it is in Summer. Due to the colder temperatures, your horse may consume less water, which increases their
risk of impaction colic. Therefore, it’s vital they have unlimited access to fresh, clean drinking water around the clock.
But, providing water is only part of the solution. You should also encourage your horse to drink throughout the day, including before and after exercise,
and at feeding time. Allowing your horse to graze also helps as pasture contains more water than hay.
Tip 3: Support their fitness
Creating the ideal feed ration for your horse begins by evaluating their body condition, workload and current fitness level. If you intend to keep your
horse in work throughout Winter, ensure their diet contains the right blend of energy, fibre, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
We encourage you to continue working your horse in Winter. Vary your riding and lunging routines with different exercises to keep your horse engaged, and
reward them with a relaxed hack at least once a week. Paddocking your horse, instead of stabling, will also help in keeping them active.
Tip 4: Protect their health
Winter is not a time to neglect your horse’s health.
- Ensure your horse receives a dental examination at least once a year and watch for signs of poor dental health that can lead to unexpected weight loss
- Ensure your horse is seen by a professional farrier or trimmer every six weeks to keep their hooves sound and healthy in these cold and damp conditions.
- Ensure your horse’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Every horse should be vaccinated against Tetanus, Strangles and Equine Herpes Virus. You may also
consider protecting against Hendra.
- Ensure your horse is de-wormed regularly throughout the year as internal parasites can wreak havoc on your horse’s health, including in Winter.
Tip 5: Consider all the ingredients
Lastly, your veterinarian or qualified equine nutritionist can help you formulate a diet for your horse that sustains their health and performance needs.
At Running Cool, our premium quality horse feeds are fully steam extruded to provide your horse with improved starch and protein digestibility in a soft,
palatable and dust-free feed ration, combined with your choice of roughage, to enhance their health and performance.
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.
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