Firewood bucket – Even though the news media is still talking about global warming. Many areas are experiencing record cold and extreme amounts of snow and ice. However, if you are new to horse ownership or new to the weather outside your window this year. Here is a short list of tips to get through till the mercury rises and the sun comes out. Make sure your horse has access to open water. This can be the biggest challenge in winter. The colder the water the fewer horses will usually drink. When hanging a bucket, begin with hot water. Your horse will have a chance at the warm water and it will stay open longer. If you don’t have hot water close to your horse’s pen or pasture. Use an electric bucket heater to heat the water. All you need is a regular outlet or extension cord.
The shelter is necessary. If your horse has to depend on grazing for part or all of his roughage. Standing in a shelter isn’t really an option if they need to eat. The good old canvas blankets do well and stand up to pasture wear. If you just can’t provide shelter from the wind and wet, a quality blanket is a must. If you experience a freezing, thawing, re-freezing cycle, or a day where rain turns to snow. Check your horse’s feet for ice build up. In extreme weather, one small problem may quickly lead to another. To prevent ice from collecting on the sole of your horse’s foot, spray the bottom with WD-40. Some folks swear by the stuff. Horses need more fuel to keep warm in extremely cold situations.
Do not let your horse sweat under their blanket. If you have a night that dips to 10 degrees followed by a sunny afternoon at 45 degrees. Run your hand under the blanket at your horse’s shoulder to make sure they aren’t getting overheat. Watch your horse carefully so you will notice any changes in their behavior immediately. Horses are prone to colic in severe weather, many times because they don’t drink enough. The first clue that your horse isn’t drinking enough may be a reduced appetite. Make sure they continue their normal routine. If your horse lies down in an odd place or at an unusual time, go out and check on him. Extreme weather conditions are hard for everyone. Highly credentialed in issues of leadership, relationship, and most things equine, Lynn has a unique perspective not found elsewhere.