Wintertime can often present an increase in management challenges for horse-owners as a result of cold, wet weather, muddy fields and sometimes snowy conditions. Often in these circumstances our horses can experience a reduced exercise regime and in some cases reduced turnout and increased stabling. This often causes frustrations to develop for our equine friends, which in some cases can lead to problems such as stable vices, digestive upsets, reduced health and performance and a depressive temperament. So when the conditions for keeping our horses and ponies are more challenging what can we do as equine owners to help while away the last of the winter months and keep our horses and ponies happy and healthy in the stable?
Keeping our horses mentally occupied during a period of increased stabling is vitally important. Where possible it is important to try and maintain our horse riding regime as much as possible over the winter period to keep them fit, healthy and happy. Completing stretching exercises can also help support a supple, healthy horse.
If you’re short of time or daylight, why not try lungeing your horse if you do not have time to ride? Lunge work is physically challenging for our equines and great for strength, fitness and conditioning, so you really only need 15 -20 minutes for a session!
When you are not riding, just spending time with our equines in the stable is important as they may be lacking in socialisation. Regular grooming sessions can increase your bond with your equine friend, alongside putting a lovely shine on their coat!
Why not try your hand at massaging your horse or employ a professional to give your equine a little bit of TLC? Massage increases blood circulation so is ideal to stimulate the body and reduce the risk of injury.
A Bit of Fun!
Sometimes when our horses are bored or lonely in the stable they can become destructive; box walking or chewing the interior of their box. Keep them occupied with a little bit of fun and invest in some stable toys such as balls, treats or a nutritious Horslyx to fill their time alongside plenty of ad lib forage.
To help prevent your horse from becoming destructive in the stable why not invest in the Horslyx of your choice and place it in a handy 5kg holder? The5kg Holder provides an ideal way of keeping your Horslyx clean and away from stable debris, as well as preventing it from being kicked or trodden on. You can use it with or without the detachable restrictor grill which can help to prevent greedy horses or ponies from over consuming.
When our horses are stabled for longer durations the hygiene of our horse’s environment becomes even more crucial. Twice per day muck outs are essential to remove dirty bedding, which can saturate the hooves. Soaking your hay, or feeding haylage can provide a beneficial way to control dust, along with using a dust extracted, absorbent equine bedding.
So we know winter can be a drag, but why not utilise our handy tips to keep your horse happy and healthy this season?