Cold Weather Care for Your Horse
Although winter in the Tucson area does not bring extremely cold temperatures such as those experienced in the north, it still represents a temperature and weather change. Horses that are acclimated to our extreme summer temperatures will still feel and be affected by the difference. To maintain your horse’s performance and health throughout the winter, consider the following.
What to Consider When Caring for a Horse in Winter
Horses always need access to fresh, drinkable water. It’s best to keep troughs at a temperature between 45°F and 65°F to encourage your horse to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
Food and Nutrition
Some horses require dietary changes during the winter months as a result of changes to their activity level, their need to keep warm, and the scarcity of plants for foraging. Talk with an equine nutrition specialist to determine the best way to supplement your horse’s diet through the winter.
Make sure your horse’s stable is not damp, musty, dusty, or moldy. Stables should be kept clean, well-ventilated, and heated to a comfortable temperature.
Horses should maintain their exercise and turnout routines throughout the winter to ensure they remain in good shape to prevent injury and health problems.
A farrier should look at your horse’s hooves to keep them trimmed, balanced, and healthy. If the hooves appear dry or cracked as a result of experiencing too many wet-dry cycles, the farrier might recommend special dressings or even shoeing your horse.
In cooler temperatures, horses’ coats generally grow out to help keep them warm. Clipped horses or those with health problems affecting their coats might benefit from wearing a blanket. Colder temperatures, however, can also leave your horses more susceptible to dampness and the coat and skin problems that come with it. Keep a close eye on your horse’s coat – especially when blanketed – and talk with a veterinarian if you notice any concerning changes during the winter.
Winter Checkups With Our Equine Veterinarians in Tucson
If you have any concerns about your winter horse care regimen, we encourage you to speak with an equine specialist at Adobe Veterinary Center in Tucson. We provide comprehensive equine veterinary care and can help you evaluate your horse’s nutrition, turnout routine, shelter, hooves, coat, and more to ensure your horse has everything it needs for a successful, healthy, and high-performing season. To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact our veterinary center in Tucson today.