In the Shadow of Horse

In the Shadow of Horse
In the Shadow of Horse

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Keeping your horses warm in the winter...

Horses evolved in the Northern Hemisphere's northern latitudes and are well adapted to cold provided they live in a herd, have 24/7 appropriate forage and fresh water (although it is reported horses can live on certain snows, don't try this at home), and move a lot through the day. Place your feeders so the horses have to move about to eat, and never let the forage disappear completely, please. Movement is the nature of the horse. Heavy horses require more movement rather than less hay. Keep your ponies moving to keep them warm and healthy. Digestion is dependent on locomotion. Mobile horses require miles of walking each and every day to maintain optimal health. Humans often fail their horses by depriving them of the abundant locomotion they require each day to stay healthy. Every system of the horse is dependent on abundant daily locomotion.
In summary, to keep warm in cold weather horses require appropriate and constant forage 24/7, friends, and abundant movement. Shelter is always nice, provided the air remains fresh and pure and never is dusty or full of particulates. Sheltering is often responsible for the development of heaves, so find a balance for your horses, my friends.
Whenever you see horses standing around in the same place all day, expect trouble, veterinary bills, as well as hoof, digestive, training, respiratory, and metabolic trouble. Stalled or corralled horses need to get and and move miles everyday, so saddle up, kids, and get your horses moving. To move is to thrive if you are a horse.
winter welfare courtesy of Equine Guelph
And the colder weather link.
Dr Gustafson is an equine veterinarian, veterinary behaviorist, and novelist. Applied veterinary behavior enhances optimum health, performance, soundness, contentment, and longevity in animal athletes and animal friends alike. DrSid provides equine behavior consultations to help re-create the needs and preferences of stalled and stabled horses in training and competition.

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