It’s no secret that Canberra winters are COLD! Here are some of our top tips to keep your horse warm and healthy during the cooler months.
Ensure your horse has access to shelter (stable, trees and other forms of wind breaks)
Encourage adequate water intake – at least 20 litres per day for a 500kg horse. Ensure fresh drinking water is always available and that ice in troughs is broken each morning. Adding hot water or molasses to the water source may encourage drinking.
Feed at least 1-1.5% bodyweight/day of fibre such as hay and forage. The digestion of fibre in the caecum & large intestine generates large amounts of heat, keeping your horse warmer in cold weather.
Although not all horses require rugs, some older horses and those in light body condition struggle to maintain their weight over winter. If using rugs, ensure they are well-fitting and removed & checked daily to prevent injuries and skin conditions.
Allow an extra 5-10 minutes of active walk & stretching at the start of each ride to help to prevent injury to cold muscles and joints.