With winter coming on soon there are certain considerations to be made when wintering your horse buddies. Adequate hay and shelter are but a couple of important necessities.
Fall Checklist for Preparing Your Horse Property for Winter
Even though we’re in the midst of the lazy, hazy dog days of summer, now is actually the time to be planning ahead for the winter months. Whether winter in your region means snow or just rain, winter in North America usually brings some type of hassle for horse owners. Tackle the hassle by making your horse property as chore-efficient as possible.
Here is a checklist of fall horse property chores to go through during the next few months in order to better prepare yourself and your horses for the upcoming winter months.
Buy your winter supply of hay. Be sure to look for green, leafy, fresh-smelling hay without mold, weeds, dust or discoloration. Most recent nutritional recommendations are that a horse should receive 2% of its body weight in hay (or forage) per day. For the “average” 1,000-pound horse with moderate exercise, that will be about 20 pounds of hay per day or about 600 pounds of hay per month. Since hay is usually sold in bulk by the ton (2,000 pounds), one ton of hay will last about three and 1/3 months per average-sized horse. So, do the math to determine how many tons of hay you’ll need for the winter. If you don’t have the room for storing that volume of hay, perhaps a horsey neighbor might. Two (or more) of you could go in on the purchase of the hay and reduce the cost for all. Another point to consider is that a couple of extra pounds of hay fed on extremely cold nights is the best heat source you can provide your horse. Body heat generated by eating and digesting the hay will help keep your horse warm.