During Winter, the cold and damp conditions can bring up a number of health problems linked to diet and management. In this article, we share five common nutrition mistakes that you can easily avoid this Winter.
Mistake 1: Providing inadequate calories
When it gets cold outside, your horse has to utilise more energy to stay warm. A forage-first diet that provides your horse with unlimited free-choice roughage does more than you think. Fibre is the key ingredient for warmth this Winter, so be sure your horse is getting enough.
Mistake 2: Forgetting about water intake
Just because your horse isn’t sweating, doesn’t mean they aren’t dehydrated. Throughout Winter, your horse may consume less water than they really need, so it’s up to you to remain vigilant. Ensure they have unlimited access to fresh, clean drinking water at all times.
Mistake 3: Missing the signs of weight loss
Under a thick Winter coat, you may not notice subtle changes in condition. Even if you’re confident that your horse is getting enough calories, by examining them daily at groom time, you’ll be on alert for signs of weight loss, poor teeth and hoof health, infections, wounds and irritations.
Mistake 4: Limiting turnout time
Unless your horse’s pasture intake must be limited, you should allow them to graze amongst a herd throughout Winter. Stabling for prolonged periods inhibits movement, vitamin D absorption and social behaviours. In addition, poor light and ventilation also have adverse effects on health.
Mistake 5: Neglecting dental care
One of the most common reasons for unexpected weight loss is poor dentition. Keep an eye on your horse’s behaviour at feed times during Winter. If you notice anything unusual, consider a dental examination, so your horse will be able to properly chew and digest their feed.
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. Click here to learn more.