As those who live in true winter geographies know, the cold weather can be brutal for any horse, let alone our aging companions. That is why it’s incredibly important to consider the special needs of your senior horse, as the temperatures drop.
- Blanketing – Depending on the extremeness of your temperatures, blanketing your senior horse can be an important consideration of winter care. Try to remember to spread out and look over your blankets before the weather turns bitter cold, to ensure they are in good condition.
- Body Condition Score (BCS) – It’s important to understand and evaluate your senior horse’s Body Condition Score before the winter months hit. But if you find yourself in the thick of winter with a senior horse that is rapidly losing weight, then speak to your veterinarian about the best options to add on pounds during the frigid months.
- Hydration is Key – The role water plays in the health of your horse is just as important during the cold of winter, as it is the heat of summer. Make sure there is adequate access to fresh water for your senior horse throughout the day. Not only can dehydration lead to impaction colic, but it can decrease feed intake, which is vital for your senior horse during the winter months.
- Stay Well-Supplied – Make sure you are prepared for the conditions, which includes sufficient amounts of feed and hay, medications, anti-ice materials, flashlights, light bulbs and other items you may need if a storm hits.
Winter isn’t an easy season to endure with senior horses, but with planning and preparedness, you and your aging friend will weather the storm.