Essential welfare advice during the winter:
- During the winter the quality of grazing changes so elderly horses may need additional supplementary forage and feed. You can monitor your equines weight using a Body Condition Score regularly.
- As the evenings draw in and many of us aren’t able to ride as often through Winter, adjust your horse’s diet accordingly so his energy intake is suitable for the lighter work you’re asking of him.
- If your horse spends more time stabled during Winter, provide environmental enrichment for him. Horses are naturally curious and would ordinarily spend lots of time investigating their surroundings. Try to mix things up and provide something different each day.
- Check stables/shelters and storage areas for leaks and arrange any repairs before the weather gets too wet.
- Ensure gutters are kept clear of fallen leaves.
- Consider using fieldmats/straw in gateways to avoid having very muddy gateway areas.
- Ensure all lighting is in working order before the evenings draw in. If you have minimal lighting a headtorch is a really good investment.
- Check your horse’s rugs (if he needs rugs) are washed and proofed ready for use.
- Make sure pipes are lagged wherever possible to avoid freezing in very cold weather and make a plan for how you’ll provide water if the worst happens.
Download our Winter Checklist for Equine Owners
We have put together a winter checklist for equine owners to ensure you’re prepared for the challenging and unpredictable weather ahead.
Download the checklist today and ensure you have everything you need, from high vis jackets to buddying up procedures, to ensure you and your equine are safe this winter.