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Keep Your Horse Hydrated To Prevent Colic: Horse Winter Feeding Tips

Horse Winter Feeding Tips

Your horse means the world to you, protect her health by keeping her hydrated this winter!

In cold weather horses don’t drink as much as they should putting them at risk to colic.

Watch this quick video for ideas & tips to lead your horse to water and coax them to drink up!

Horse Winter Feeding Notes

The key to success is water, water & more water! You have to keep your horse hydrated. Try one or more of these Strategies:

Mix your regular feed with warm to hot water (hot water cools down very quickly when it it cold outside) and make a warm mash to feed.
You can also add to it:
✴ beet pulp shreds
✴ electrolytes or salt
✴ or an extra special treat add chopped carrots and apples
(but not necessary, your goal is to increase water intake)
Feed this at the consistency of soup on really cold days.

Some horses don’t like the mushy consistency at first but usually end up loving it!

Feed a bran mash. Which consists of Wheat Bran and warm water.
Note: Some horseman/women believe this is not a good thing to do because it a large change in the horse’s diet, please decide what is best for you.

Add a cup of sweet feed or molasses to a bucket of warm water.
The extra sweetness is a great encouragement to get your horse to drink up!

Some horses will drink more when the water is warm and not freezing cold.
This can of course be a challenge.
Heated water buckets seem to help
* please use all electrical safety precautions as with anything you plug into the barn

For horses in stalls without access to power we carry warm water a couple times a day to encourage them to drink.

Increase access to grass hay to help keep body temperature up.
(Stay away from free access to coastal hay! This can cause severe colic.)
Provide round bales of grass hay to horses living outside
You can also soak your hay or hay cubes to get more water into your horses system.
If you decide to feed any pelleted or cubed hay or beet pulp make sure to let it soak the recommended amount of time of the bag to prevent choking.

These are some things we are doing here in Georgia this winter but please please check with your vet for the best cold weather feeding practices in your area!

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