Winter is tough on horses, and it is equally challenging for their owners. You have to make sure that the animal is comfortable and feeding well. Keeping it warm and healthy is another concern during these difficult months of the year. Also, you cannot go slack with its training. Although you may need to make some extra effort to winter-proof your horse, it is worthwhile to make the season stress-free. Here are some simple prep tips that can keep you and the animal on the safe side.

Adjust feeding plans

Nutrition can become a big challenge during the frigid months because grass often stops growing due to snow. The nutritional quality of grass may also decrease. Consider increasing hay intake to make up for the pasture inaccessibility or loss of quality. The animal will get ample nutrition and not lose weight. Apart from feeding the horse well, make sure that it gets water that isn’t frigid. It will keep the animal hydrated by encouraging it to have enough.

Keep it warm and comfortable

A warm and comfortable shelter is essential to keep the horse happy and healthy at this time of the year. Providing a run-in shelter during the day is a good idea to ensure safety from cold wind and snow. While you need to control the stable temperatures, extra insulation with blanketing can keep it cozy in the frigid weather. The blanket will preserve the body heat and provide the animal’s coat from getting wet.

Don’t skimp on training

Although you may feel like missing out on training sessions, it is all the more important when the temperatures drop. While training keeps the horse warm, you need to be a tad more careful because the risk of injury runs high in winters. You can have a seasoned horse trainer managing it for you. The professional can design a program to keep the animal moving while cutting down the risk of injury. They can even recommend indoor training if the weather is too cold to take the animal outdoors.

Trim the hooves regularly

It is easy to overlook grooming because you feel lazy at this time of the year. But keeping the horse’s hooves clipped is vital because they will not chip when trimmed regularly. Also, it will keep them from holding snow and provide a better grip on the slippery ground. Moreover, ice and hard ground can result in cracking and damage to the overgrown hooves.

Check under blanket

Covering the horse with a blanket will keep it warm, but it elevates the risk of skin issues being undetected. Remove the blanket every day and check for signs like irritation and chaffing on the skin underneath. You may need to replace the blanket if it is irritating the skin. Daily grooming is also important because it keeps the coat clean and the animal is comfortable even if it has to wear a blanket.

Although winter care prep for horse owners may seem like a challenge, it is easier than you imagine. Just doing the extra bit will keep the animal happy even when the weather isn’t favorable.

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