winter ready cowgirl magazine

Winter and freezing temperatures are unavoidable in many parts! Most horse owners must deal with snow on the ground and icy conditions. If you want your horse to be comfortable this coming season, then make sure to check off a few boxes and get properly prepared.

Winter Ready Checklist

  • Rate your horse’s body condition. You’ll want to monitor it throughout winter to ensure they aren’t losing too much weight.
  • Adjust your horse’s food intake. Some may need less concentrates, especially if they aren’t in work, while others may need extra calories to stay warm.
  • Your horse will need shelter from bad weather. It can be a stall, run-in shed, or group of trees.
  • Check the fit of blankets. If you plan on using them, make sure to have at least two. When the one gets soaked, you’ll want to change it out.
  • In extreme cold, have extra hay on hand!
  • Ensure your horse is drinking enough water. Too little and they’re at risk for impaction colic.
  • Salt blocks should be added to their stall or field.
  • Your horse should still receive plenty of turnout and exercise. It may require extra caution, but constant confinement can cause stocking up in their legs.
  • Have a plan in place to avoid icy paths. Sand and salt can add traction!
  • Though your horse’s hooves will grow slower, they still need regular farrier care every 6 to 12 weeks.
  • Add snow pads to shod horses or remove their shoes.
  • Some like to put vaseline on the bottom of their horse’s hooves to prevent snowballs.

Always be ready for the unexpected! Winter doesn’t have to be miserable. It does have its beautiful moments. If you’re properly prepared, it can be an enjoyable season.