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Keeping Your Horse Warm & Clean During Winter

Horses can be vulnerable to a lot of the elements through Winter and we don't mean just through the cold, conditions at this time of year can help parasites and microbes thrive. To keep your horse proteceted against these threats and comfortable we might perform some of these simple steps. Visit https://www.wormers.co.uk

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Keeping Your Horse Warm & Clean During Winter

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  1. Keeping Your Horse Warm & Clean During Winter www.wormers.co.uk

  2. In winter, for example, paddocks rapidly become extremely waterlogged and muddy, causing a horse’s legs to become caked in filth. This can lead to a condition known as Winter is a time of year where your horse will be most vulnerable to the elements. Not only will cold weather inflict discomfort on your horse, it’ll also provide the conditions necessary for harmful parasites and microbes to thrive, thus heightening your horses’ chance of contracting a painful disease. ‘mud fever’, where the area surrounding the ankle and hoof can become infected, which leads to swelling, scabs and eventually lameness. The bacteria responsible will grow tiny tentacles which penetrate the surrounding skin, causing the symptoms to grow even worse. To keep your horse protected against these threats, and as comfortable as possible, we might perform a few simple steps. The Importance of Your Horse’s Coat British winters, being relatively mild, will provide a great deal of moisture for these bacteria to take advantage of. To keep the horse’s feet protected, it’s vital that they’re kept as clean and dry as possible. A horse’s coat plays a crucial role in getting them through winter. It not only performs an insulating role, but helps to keep the animal’s skin protected against excessive moisture building up. In the build-up to winter, you might find that your horse’s coat begins to thicken. This is a good thing – but it’s not something that’s experienced by all horses to the same degree. If you think your horse might benefit from some additional warmth, then a blanket might be advisable. As well as bacteria, which take advantage of the damp conditions, we should also be aware of allergens that can make their home in the stable. Since, during winter, horses will be especially reliant on their stables, it’s vital that we spend time keeping this environment as clean and horse-friendly as possible. Respiratory diseases can result from airborne allergens found in dust and cobwebs – so be sure that they’re thoroughly removed from the stable interior. You’ll also want to ensure that the stable is as warm and well-ventilated as possible – be sure that air within the stable can circulate, but also take care that cold draughts aren’t afforded a chance to develop. Be sure that you don’t leave your horse blanketed for excessive periods of time, however, as you’ll want to give your horse’s skin the opportunity to breathe, and prevent a build-up of warmth and moisture, which will provide harmful microbes with a chance to breed, damaging the skin and hair to the detriment of your horse’s ability to contain its own body heat. It’s worth bearing in mind that horses keep warm in the wild by moving around. If they’re confined to a stable for long periods of time, then they won’t have the opportunity to do so. Stabling should therefore be employed only in cases where the alternative is worse. Older, arthritic horses might not be able to warm themselves to the same degree, and so might benefit from stabling. The Importance of Your Horse’s Environment Of course, ensuring that your horse lives in the best possible conditions will go a long way to preventing harmful microbes from taking root. www.wormers.co.uk

  3. Younger horses might not suffer from such problems, and so might benefit from being kept out of the stable – unless the conditions are particularly snowy. Feeding During Winter Horses will require special feeding measures during winter. Since there will be barely any nutritional content left in the grass, they’ll need to rely on alternative sources of sustenance. This supplementation might consist of hay or hard feed. Horses have adapted to shed a little bit of weight during winter, so it’s not always necessary to make up the deficit by cramming your horse’s diet with calorie-rich foodstuffs like nuts and other mixes. When the spring comes back around, they’ll quickly recover those lost pounds. Of course, if your horse is older and less naturally energetic, or they’re exercising a great deal during the season, we might need to take a different approach. For older horses whose teeth are in poor condition, you might consider a high-fibre cube soaked into mash – these are easier to chew than forage, but their nutritional content is broadly similar. When feeding your horse hay, you’ll need to bear in mind the possibility of allergen- containing dust settling onto the hay when it’s not being eaten. Opt where possible for vacuum-packed hay, which is sure to be kept preserved throughout transit. Beeston Animal Health Ltd., Whitchurch Road, Beeston Castle, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 9NJ www.wormers.co.uk

  4. www.wormers.co.uk

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