…and for many so is the Winter routine!
It is that time of year again, when the leaves are beginning to fall from the trees, the temperature is dropping, and we are finding ourselves reaching for our winter jacket and stable rug.
It is at this time of year that many of us may be looking to change our horse onto their winter routine. This may mean if your horse has been lucky enough to live out over the summer months they are now coming in for the night.
When changing our horse’s routine there are some key factors that we must consider: –
Make it gradual
It would not be reasonable to expect your horse to go from living out 24/7 to then being stabled 24/7 unless advised by a vet for medical reasons. Instead consider starting with allowing your horse turn out through the day and bring them in at night. As we progress into winter you may then wish to limit the time spent in the field according to the Weather and field conditions.
Increase exercise accordingly
As your horse is spending more time stood in their box it may be necessary to increase their exercise to keep them moving! This is of great benefit for your horse both physically and mentally. If you have an older horse that suffers with stiffness in the joints, it may be nice to take them out for a nice Autumnal hack to keep them moving.
Do not over rug too soon
As the temperature drops and we begin to layer up it can be tempting to reach for the heavy weight stable rug or to just put an extra fleece underneath! Try to resist the temptation as cold as it may feel in October by the time December comes you will have run out of layers.
Change the diet gradually
When your horse is stabled you must provide forage in regular intervals to mimic grazing. If you are going to introduce hard feed to your horse it is essential that this is gradually built up.