3 Winter Horse Care Tips

If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you know how to care for a horse, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from reviewing some winter horse care tips. As autumn fades away, soon the emerald alpine meadows will surrender themselves to an elegant blanket of snow, and Red Horse Mountain Ranch will be closed for the season. Like our visitors, we have to consider several winter horse care activities throughout the cold months. By taking a few straightforward precautions, weathering your horse will ensure the comfort and happiness of your beloved steed. To keep you excited for the upcoming season and help brush up on your winter horse care routine, we put together three useful tips for equine winter management. 

The Importance of Winter Horse Management

Located just outside of Harrison, ID, on 560 acres, our dude ranch resort is no stranger to Old Man Winter. During the warmer seasons, Red Horse Mountain Ranch is a bustling, equine-focused resort full of guided adventures and first-rate hospitality. Arguably the most enjoyable thing about summer for equine enthusiasts is that when we’re working with horses on long, sunny days, winter seems pretty far away. But, soon enough, daylight fades quicker, the cold moves in, and winter always seems to arrive early. So even though our temporary residents leave for the year, our permanent residents still need proper care. Without further ado, here are three winter horse care tips to remember.

Salt and Water

Eating a lot of hay can cause impaction if your horse needs more water. Checking the animal’s water supply twice a day and making sure there is no ice build-up is an excellent place to start. Horses prefer warmer water in the winter, and their consumption usually increases if there is no ice in the reservoir. Furthermore, by providing free access to a mineral salt block, your winter horse is likely to drink more water. 

Winter Riding

If your horse works or likes going on rides in the winter, be sure to allocate additional time before and after maintenance. Bits should be warm before insertion by placing it in a heated area, holding it in your hand, or inside a warm jacket. Horses that sweat during their ride need to thoroughly dry before retiring for the day, so if your equine companion has a thick coat, you’ll want to spend as much time as necessary to assure they are dry. Also, be sure to fluff your friend’s hair before turning out to help with natural insulation.

Dealing with Ice

Ice chunks can build upon a horse’s hooves, making it walk awkwardly, and is terrible for its muscles, ligaments, and tendons. You should remove these invasive build-ups as they appear or at least twice daily. Be extra attentive when managing the horse’s feet and look out for any lacerations. Frozen sections in and around your barn significantly increase the chance for an injury, so sprinkling them with sand, breaking up the ice, or fencing the area off can go a long way in preventing an accident.

Dude Ranch Resort in Harrison, ID

Winter horse care isn’t something that all equine enthusiasts have to deal with, so we hope you learned something if you live in a warmer climate. After all, you just never know when you may have to pack up and head north! In the meantime, we invite you to browse our website for more information regarding our programs, specials, lodging, and activities. After learning more about Red Horse Mountain Ranch, feel free to reach out online or call 888-689-9680 to make a reservation.