Winter Horse Care Resources

What to do when the weather turns bitter? Bring the horses in or leave them out? Blankets or no blankets? Hay or grain? Or both?

While bringing your horse into the house might seem like the simplest option, offers a wealth of information on winter horse care to help you handle the dropping temps.

Here are some highlights (click on the headline to read the full story):

Cold Weather Nutrition

Cold and inclement weather conditions present special challenges for the horse. Whether a horse is turned out or exercised regularly, you need to be focused on the nutritional requirements of your fuzzy, four-legged friend. Horses are naturally well-adapted to thrive in frigid weather if they have the basics of adequate calorie intake, palatable water, and protection from wind and severe precipitation.

Internal Combustion

Your horse is very adept at keeping himself warm; in fact, it's easier for him to warm up than cool down. He has more than one way to keep warm, but essentially, he is his own furnace. And with furnaces, if you put in the right fuel, heat is created. You can help kick-start that furnace in your horse by providing the proper fuel. For the horse, that fuel is food--and some foods are better for this purpose than others.

Blanketing Q&A

To blanket or not to blanket? And if you opt for the added cover-up, which blanket is best? Our five-point Q&A will help you make those decisions and more, so you can see your horse through this season in comfort and good health.

Winter Workouts

Winter workouts are valuable for maintaining fitness, preserving training, and promoting mental well-being. Winter exercise also provides an opportunity to fix problems in a horse's training and prepare both horse and rider for the upcoming competition or riding season.

Formidable Frostbite

The good news about frostbite in horses is that you'll rarely see it.

Occasionally, however, extreme cold or abnormal situations can lead to frostbite. In adult horses, usually the only sign of frostbite is loss of ear tips (which fall off about a week later). Foals born outside in cold weather are more adversely affected, since they are wet at birth and have very little body fat for insulation. If not found quickly and warmed up, foals will suffer from hypothermia as well as frostbite.

Safe Travel in Winter

Hauling horses in winter escalates the hazards for driver and animals. The challenges are to maintain your horse's health and arrive safely--and on schedule. The risks of winter require more preparation than the same journey in other seasons. Use common sense in balancing your need to meet a schedule with the hazards of transport.

Still looking for more information on winter horse care? Check out the full collection of articles.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More