|Posted on October 16, 2011 at 9:00 AM|
Maintain a regular deworming program is essential to the health of your horse. Check out Mckee-Pownell Equine Services great info on deworming protocols. http://www.mpequine.com/education/health-care-faq/deworming You will need to do a deworming in November, which one will depend on your protocol.
Hooves continue to grow throughout the winter and need to be trimmed regularly, 6-8 week intervals usually work well. Although some horses with issues may need to be done more regularly. Horses standing in any kind of wet conditions will need to be regularly monitored for thrush.
Check with your veterinarian regarding fall vaccinations, especially if your horse will be going off the farm and will be exposed to other equine.
A horse's natural coat is meant to keep him warm, letting it grow in thick and natural is his best defense against cold weather. A horse that has been recently clipped and must be exposed to the cold my need the additonal warmth of a blanket. As well aged horses or ill horses may need additional blanketing. Blanketed horses exposed to the elements need a waterproof, breathable blanket as a wet blanket is the worst thing for them, likely worse than wet hair. Blanketed horses should have their blankets removed daily so you can monitor their coat and body condition.
Even a full natural coat will lose it's insulating loft if it gets wet, and wind can strip a horse' of it's heat as fast as moisture. Shelter must be available at all times;shelter that protects from rain, snow and wind.
Dentistry in equines is of vital importance from even a young age. Horse with dental issues cannot adequately use calories or nutrition. A fall consultation with your vet along with fall vaccinations and deworming will have your horse ready for the winter months.
Horses must have access to fresh, clean water year round to aid in healthy digestion. Having snow to eat does not count as access to water. Ensure that your horse has access to water at all times and it is not frozen over.
As the temperatures drop your horse's need for calories increase. Digesting food is their internal source for heat. If your horses are pastured you may consider supplemental vitamins and minerals in the winter months as the access to grass decreases.
Taking care of your horses takes a bit of extra time and thought in the winter months but they will appreciate your efforts.