Surviving winter with Collective Equestrian

Surviving winter with Collective Equestrian

Photo © Charles Teton Photography


Elizabeth Allen BHSI, of Collective Equestrian, shares with you some of her winter management tips:


Winter Rugs 

A lot of people put too many rugs on, other people don’t quite have enough rugs on. 

You must rug appropriately for your horse. Also take into account the different sizes and shapes of horses and ponies. For bigger horses it is important to use rugs designed for them so that they don’t have any pressure points at the wither and that they are not tight around the shoulders especially if they are being turned out or going on the walker in them. 

For fine horses such as thoroughbreds, you don’t want the rug to slide back and become to tight around the shoulders, or cause pressure behind the withers. 

Make sure that they fit comfortably, but also that you can fit rugs underneath or on top. In the winter layers can be easier and more economical to manage.


Putting on a rug correctly 

It’s important to remember when you are putting on rugs, that you don’t fling the rug over the horse. Fold the back of the rug onto the front before placing it over.  When the rug is on, make sure the straps are done up appropriately. You should be able to fit a fist in between the horse and the surcingle buckle underneath. Ensure the leg straps are tight enough to secure the rug and it’s not going to slip, but not too loose that they are going to cause injury to themselves when they are rolling by getting caught.



Winter Ailments: thrush 

In the winter when horses are stabled more, thrush can be a more common occurrence as the horses are standing in for longer periods of time. If you have a dirty horse who is more prone to thrush it is important that you keep skipping them out regularly. It is also important that you pick the horses feet out, not only when they leave the stable but also in both the morning and evening when you skip them out, to try to let the air get in as much as possible. 

To treat thrush scrub the hoof out with Hibiscrub or syringe surgical spirit or diluted hydrogen peroxide into the hoof area, once dry you can then spray a protecting barrier spray in the hoof.