Walking On Volume 4, Issue 11, November 2017 - Page 7

Back to Basics more heat than digestion in the small intestine (where grain is mostly digested). So increase your horse’s fiber content first to keep him warm. If he loses weight and still needs more calories, consider adding a bit of alfalfa or grain. Up to a cup of corn oil per day will also help keep weight on your horse. Then there is your horse’s water intake, which is espe- cially important during the winter. Horses tend to drink less in cold weather, since cold water makes them feel colder. If your horse doesn’t drink enough water to keep his digestion functioning, especially during cold dry weather, he could end up with impaction colic. There are several ways to increase your horse’s fluid intake during the winter. I like feeding bran mashes made with warm water. Horses love bran mashes and the high water content is great for their digestion. The warm water in the mash also helps your horse feel warmer. You can also offer beet pulp shreds soaked with hot water. Since it can take 30 minutes or more to soak beet pulp, you may need to top up the bucket with hot water before serving it, otherwise it will be cold. Horse Health Care in Winter: Blankets and Clipping material. A well-fitting blanket does not “pull” across the shoulders, chest, or withers. Most newer blankets are pleated at the shoulder and designed to avoid this tight- ness over the withers and chest. It’s important to choose a blanket that fits because an ill-fitting blanket, worn all winter, can create chiropractic issues that you will have to solve in the spring. I also suggest you invest in one of the new blankets made of lightweight materials, as opposed to using old- er-style canvas blankets. The lightweight material in new blankets allows your horse’s hair to stay fluffy, which keeps him warmer. Older-style blankets tend to flatten your horse’s coat, which will make him feel chilly. Finally, if at all possible, avoid body clipping your horse. If you must clip your horse’s coat, stick with a hunter clip, which at least leaves your horse with some of his winter coat while still allowing him to work hard without sweating too much.Cerny offers these five tips to ensure your senior horse is winter ready. Madalyn Ward, DVM, is a recognized author and veterinarian in the field of holistic horsekeeping. For free tips on horse health, horse personality types, laminitis, and horse nutrition, plus one-stop shopping on holistic horse products, visit [http://www.BuyHolisticHorse.com] and her blog at http:// blog.horseharmony.com. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Madalyn_Ward,_DVM/7227 If you blanket your horse during the winter, choose a blanket that both fits and is made of a lightweight The Walking On B ulletin B oard! Advertise your farm or business. 30 words - text only - $40 for one year • 30 words with photo or logo - $75 for one year. (phone, email & website do not count toward 30 word limit) Don’t miss out on this affordable advertising opportunity. Email walking_on@aol.com to place your ad today! Attire / Tack Awards Events 7