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How to Prepare My Horse for the Long Winter Months

Your horse has stayed happy and healthy through the warm months, but winter is coming and the trend needs to continue. You need to be well prepared before the first frost checks in to ensure that your horse will be well taken care of, with ample food, warmth and some protection against winter related diseases. So how can you effectively do that? Here are some guidelines you can follow to give your horse the boost needed to last through the next few winter months.

~Vaccinations
See to it that your horse is vaccinated against winter diseases before the cold kicks in. Let an equine veterinarian give her some shots to boost her immunity and fight the diseases that could be present. A healthy horse will be well capable of handling the cool temperatures!



~Parasite and pest control
Ensure that harmful parasites like bot larvae are taken care of by consulting with a qualified veterinarian. A thorough inspection and treatment if there are parasites should do the trick. This is also a good time to get dewormed. Discourage pests that could be lurking around the barn by denying
them access to stored foods. Keep away the materials they could use as warm nests because they are also trying to stay away from the harsh winter conditions.

~ Extra warmth and comfort
Your horse will need a little extra warmth to combat the cold. You might want to let her coat grow out slightly before and during the winter months so she can naturally keep warm. Another great option is to buy a comfortable coat to provide extra warmth when it gets extremely frosty. Build a good shelter for your horse to still enjoy some pasture while staying protected from harsh winter conditions like rain, snow and the cold biting wind.

~ Ample food and water
In the colder months, your horses need a little extra caloric intake so they can be able to fight the cold and stay healthy. Consult with your equine nutritionist about the amount of calories that your horse will need. Have a good amount of hay and grain to sustain the demand. Ensure that there is enough water for hydration too, especially since the snow your horse may eat while outside is not exactly perfect for proper digestion.

~ Physical fitness
Your horse should be physically checked to ensure that she can withstand the winter months. For instance, the horse's mouth and teeth should be in good condition to allow for the horse to comfortably consume the right amount of calories needed per day. The hooves are another area that needs proper care. You must never stop taking care of your horse's hooves throughout the year! Consider the fact that snow could accumulate in your horse's hooves and cause some winter diseases. You can avoid such situations by the use of snowball pads when you take her out for riding.

Winter does not necessarily have to be a time to stay gloomy as you wait for the harsh weather conditions to dissipate! You can spend some good time with your equine friend and still maintain his/her health. Snow riding could be a fun activity if he/she is properly protected. Make your work easier by stashing away the materials you will not need this winter to make your barn more organized. This way, you can comfortably feed and groom your horse while finding enough time to carry out other activities.

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