How cold is too cold? Here is some helpful information from our friends at Kentucky Performance Products that will help you keep your horses warm and toasty in the colder seasons.
Horses begin to struggle to keep warm below certain critical temperatures. For a clipped horse, the critical temperature is 41°F (5°C). For a horse with a thick winter coat, the critical temperature is 18°F (-8°C).
When horses are housed outside, exposure to wind can dramatically lower the ambient temperature so be sure to take wind chill into consideration when looking at daily temps.
The easiest and most effective way to keep your horse warm when the temperatures drop is to feed additional forage. An easy guideline to follow is that a sedentary mature horse will need 2% more high-quality forage for every degree the temperature falls below the lower critical temperature. Small or older horses will be less tolerant of cold temperatures. Horses that are properly blanketed will stay warmer at lower temperatures.
Begin feeding additional hay 24 hours before cold temperatures are expected.
About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC:
Challenge: Maintaining condition during competition and training
- Maintains optimal condition.
- Supports muscle over the topline.
- Won’t cause excitability; low in starch and sugar.
Energy is traditionally supplied by cereal grains such as oats, corn, and barley. These feedstuffs deliver energy as carbohydrates or starch. But what if you want to supply more energy to your horse without increasing the feed intake? Feeding a fat supplement is an excellent way to achieve this.
Fat is considered a source of “calm” energy and is thought to modify behavior in some horses, making them more tractable. This, in turn, allows horses to focus their energy on work rather than nervousness.
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