As the weather changes from fall to winter, our horses experience changes as well. These changes are mainly seen in their feeding rations and lifestyle. Impaction colic becomes a greater risk for your horse during these winter months. Impaction colic is an accumulation of dried feed and other materials that obstructs the horse’s colon. The risk of this is higher in the winter months due to a reduced water intake, increased feed rations, and less movement. Here are three ways to help you prevent impaction colic in the winter:
Access to fresh water – In the winter, horses are less likely to drink as much water as they would in the summer months. Along with that, water buckets will freeze if the temperature is low enough. Horses need to drink as much water as possible during this time in order to keep hydrated and keep their systems “moving”. This will help prevent feed build up in your horse’s body.
- Decrease grain rations – Many people think that horses need more grain in the winter to keep them warm. This is not the case. Grain and other feeds do not keep a horse warm. Hay and high quality forage has the carbohydrates that keep a horse warm.
- Exercise – Many horses are not exercised in the winter due to cold or bad weather. Turnout time also tends to decrease and movement is typically restricted when horses are stalled. Inactivity slows down the movement of food along the digestive track. When the weather is tolerable, make an effort to get your horse out to exercise him.
Impaction colic is a very common issue in the winter that tends to be looked over. Take proper measure in order to Prevent Impaction Colic in the Winter.
With these simple steps and our equestrian health accessories
you can keep your horse happy and healthy!