Cold temperatures affect our horses in profound ways during the winter season. Exposure to cold temperatures causes increased stiffness in both muscle and connective tissue, including tendons and ligaments. These effects are magnified in older horses.
Horses are mammals and as such, they are warm-blooded just like humans. When the air around them is colder than their body temperature, heat transfers from them to the environment, causing the horse to get colder. Horses are grazing animals that fare best if there is a small amount of food constantly being processed by the digestive system. One of the most natural ways to help a horse keep warm in the winter is to allow him consistent access to good quality hay. Within minutes of eating a meal, the horse’s digestive processes start to generate body heat. Proper feeding regimens and blanketing are extremely important during the winter months.
Muscles are weaker in the cold because energy generation becomes less efficient, allowing more energy to escape into the cells as heat. Keeping your horse mobile, supplemented and as flexible as possible are the keys to keeping sound. A healthy horse with an unclipped coat, shelter from the wind and rain, and a few management changes will have no problem getting through the winter months.
Here are some tips to keep your horse comfortable during winter:
- Feed a joint supplement
- Maintain flexibility
- Groom with a rubber massager
- Encourage natural movement
- Try to maintain regular exercise schedule
- Keep them hydrated
- Allow "grazing" with good quality hay
Here at Benefab® by Sore No More®, we offer a Therapeutic Quarter Sheet
, which is perfect for those cold months for you and your horse. The Body Wrap helps harmonize bodily functions safely and naturally stimulating recovery time, promoting blood circulation. It has a versatile design that can be used as a quarter sheet, overcoat while riding, or a fashionable shawl. Visit our website store to learn more or get yours today!