The most wonderful time of year is nearly upon us – Christmas! We want to make sure your horse enjoys it as much as you so we have compiled some Christmas care tips for horse owners.
Winter Weather Watch
The festive season kindly falls in winter so keep an eye on the weather and react accordingly. Regularly check the freshness of your horse’s water supply outside and in the stable. Check for frozen pipes in stables and make sure you break and remove any ice in outdoor water troughs.
During the colder months, your horse will need more roughage both for nutritional purposes as well as to keep warm. It is a good idea to feed more forage in winter but be aware that with increased forage intake, horses tend to drink more water. As a result, it is even more important that your horse has access to clean, fresh water.
The Big Christmas Day
We know it is Christmas morning but your horse has his routine and is a creature of habit, so a late breakfast isn’t the best way to start the day. The same can be applied for dinnertime; we appreciate that can be hard with festive traditions however a hungry and upset horse is not going to be a happy horse.
As all horse owners know, exercise is very important and Christmas Day is no exception. It is important to make sure your horse gets out of his stable to stretch his legs; whether it is a quiet hack, time in the field or some stretching on the horse walker. The choice of exercise is yours and can be woven into the plan for the big Christmas day.
Share the Christmas spirit by giving your horse some tasty treats. Obviously avoid chocolate and sugary sweets that your horse would not be accustomed to as they will upset the digestive system and could cause unwanted health issues. Your local tack shop or equestrian store will have various horse friendly treats available or give him/her tasty carrots or apples – in moderation of course!
Holiday Season Routine
The Christmas season brings a change in routine for many people; some have more time at home due to office closure while others may not owing to heading away or family commitments. Therefore, once you know what your holiday season will look like, adjust your horse’s routine to reflect this and gradually induce changes to avoid any upsets. If you are going to be away more, adjust your horse’s feed and exercise regime accordingly. The same can be said if you are going to be at home more – be mindful if your horse’s fitness levels, gradually build up the exercise regime when you have more time on your hands so your horse has time to acclimatise to the new schedule.
Finally, enjoy making memories this Christmas with your horse; it is the most wonderful time of the year after all!