Preparing your horse for cold weather

Preparing your horse for cold weather

As the Met Office forecasts frosty conditions and possible snow in the coming days, the RSPCA is urging people to ensure their animals are safe and warm.

Horses and livestock require extra time and care in the colder winter months, so ensure they have adequate shelter to escape adverse weather and be prepared to provide extra feed and good quality long fibre, as grass is often sparse. It is also important to check water troughs and buckets are clear of ice.

If shelter is not sufficient, owners should use waterproof rugs to give their horses added protection from the cold and wet weather. If it is particularly wet and muddy, it is important to regularly check hooves, for problems such as abscesses and loose shoes, and legs, for any signs of mud fever. Owners should ensure horses have access to a dry resting area, out of the mud.

When riding in the winter, beware of getting your horse sweated up as they can easily catch a chill. Always wear reflective clothing when riding on the roads. Make arrangements with a reliable and experience person to take care of your horse or livestock in case of an emergency, such as being cut off by bad weather. 

Photo supplied by the RSPCA