Winter Equine Weight Loss
 By Winniefield Park   •   28th Dec 2015   •   1,346 views   •   0 comments
Winter Equine Weight Loss

About this time of year, my horse starts to put on weight. There are a few reasons for this. Her work load lightens, although itís not very strenuous to begin with. The bugs are gone, which means thereís less pacing and swishing to evade them. And, the weather is cooler, but not yet very cold. So, sheís eating as much as she wants, but not burning many excess calories. I donít give it a lot of thought, as I donít mind seeing her go into deep winter with a little stored fuel. Not all horses will be like this, and some will burn a lot of energy keeping warm and dealing with winter weather.

If your horse tends to lose weight easily, or is a hard keeper that never seems to put weight on there are a few things you can do.

Shelter From the Weather
You might provide your horse with a warm winter blanket, a snug shelter or put it in a stall for part of the day or night. Whatever you do, a horse that has a hard time maintaining a healthy weight will need some protection from the elements. That means it needs a place to get out of the wind and wet. Most horses are okay in fairly cold temperatures as long as the air is still, and their coat is not flattened by rain or melting snow. But the hard keeper might need some extra help. If you use a blanket be sure to check under that blanket frequently, because youíre want to keep a close eye on your horseís condition.

Parasite Control
Internal parasites can run a horse down, so itís important to have an effective deworming schedule. Not only are parasites nutrition thieves taking the good from your horseís food, they can also damage your horseís internal organs, which can cause other health problems. After the first frost in a good time to deworm with a medication that targets bots, as well as other parasites.

Dental Care
Most horses need to have their teeth checked at least once a year. Sharp edges on teeth and other dental problems can make it hard for a horse to chew efficiently and that means they will have a hard time getting all of the nutrition they need. Bad teeth can also lead to infections and other health problems.

Free Choice Hay
When cold weather hits, your horse keeps warm by digesting food. Their digestive system is like a big internal furnace, burning grass or hay fiber that generates a lot of heat as it breaks down. Keep your horse warm by making sure it always has good quality grass or hay to nibble on. Grass hay is fine, but some legumes in the mix will add extra calories and nutrition.

Concentrated Feeds
Grains and mixes can help a horse who has a hard time keeping weight on because they provide a high power hit of calories. Older horses especially may benefit from pelleted food thatís been cooked, and is easily chewed. Various types of oils, rice bran, ground flax and beet pulp can help as long as almost 2/3 of your horseís diet is roughage. Adding these things in too quickly, or feeding too much oil can cause digestive upset, so go slow and donít go overboard with the oils.

It is extremely important that your horse has drinkable water available. Horses canít eat enough snow to stay hydrated and trying to do so will chill them down. Studies have shown that horses actually prefer tepid water. They may try to drink icy water, but if they don't drink enough because it makes them uncomfortable, not only will they not only not drink enough for efficient digestion, it can lead to dehydration and colic.

Whatever changes you make in your horseís diet, go gradually. Sudden changes can cause problems. But a few adjustments can help the hard keeper weather the winter cold more comfortably and in better condition.
Horse News More In This Category:  Care and Grooming      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 More News by Winniefield Park
RavenSide Studs Record PonyBox Horse Madd Marla
9th Aug 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
It looks as though another jump record, if not fallen, has been well matched. RSS Madd Marla has matched previous record holderís, RSS Another Level record jump of 102.75". Madd Marla also holds current #1 Best Rank and has beat A ...
Miles Ranch Connects PTSD Military Vets with Horse Therapy
8th Aug 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
Ex-military personnel who have been on active duty often struggle with PTSD when they return to what is supposed to be normal life. The suicide rate of veterans is alarming. But there are many programs that use horses to help woun ...
Top 15 Summer Horse Products
5th Aug 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
The lazy days of summer are the busiest for many horse owners, although COVID19 may be holding things up a bit. The only annoyances this time of year are the high temperatures and the bugs. Thanks to some great products, most of t ...
Dapples on A Horse Coat Sign of Good health
3rd Aug 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
1Dapples on a horseís coate are often thought of as a sign of good health. And, many a grey owner wishes there was some way to preserve those amazing dapple grey spots before they fade to white. But what are dapples? Why do some h ...
Horse Foam Bit Review
2nd Aug 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
Whatís the newest in horse bits. According to Youtuber RaleighLink14, you might want to check out the foam bit. The idea is that the thickly sponge covered bit is much softer on a horseís mouth than any other material. But, says t ...
PonyBox Champion Casual Boho
1st Aug 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
As we headed into the July holiday weekend was Casual Boho held the top ranking spot. The 15 year old Casual Boho is owned by Jumping Bloom Horses. This 16.3 hh mare is by 21st generation Boho Express, a breeding by Fox Tail Forg ...
Love For Wild Horses Org Responsible for California Relocation
1st Aug 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
A herd of wild horses from California has found a new home in the Red Feather Lakes of Colorado. Advocates say the horses are useful because they clear the ground cover that feeds wildfires, and they plan to move more horses there ...
Woman Kicked By Wild Assateague Horse
28th Jul 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
Recently, a woman found out the hard way that smacking a cooler-raiding horse with a toy shovel is a good way to get kicked. Which is why you need to take those do not feed that animals signs seriously. ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
183 Members Online 268,704 Registered Members 2,751 News Articles 11,687,526 Unique News Article Views 278,151,678 Website Views