As the mercury plummets, some horses begin to struggle to stay warm. For each horse, it’s a bit different, but are some helpful tips on how to help your horse stay warm in the winter.
Some horses begin to struggle to keep warm below certain critical temperatures. Here are some general guidelines to help your horse stay warm in the winter:
Critical temperature is 41°F (5°C)
Horse With a Thick Winter Coat
Critical temperature is 18°F (-8°C)
When horses are housed outside, exposure to wind can dramatically lower the ambient temperature. Be sure to take wind chill into consideration when looking at daily temps. The hair coat’s ability to retain heat is reduced when it is windy.
The easiest and most effective way to keep your horse warm when the temperatures drop is to feed additional forage.
A sedentary mature horse will need 2% more high-quality forage for every degree the temperature falls below the lower critical temperature.
Begin feeding additional hay 24 hours before cold temperatures are expected.
Small or older horses will be less tolerant of cold temperatures.
Horses that are properly blanketed will stay warmer at lower temperatures.
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