WINTER MANAGEMENT TIPS: PART 2
Continuing from part 1 winter management tips, we explore tips on clipping, nutrition, mud fever & hoof care and keeping yourself warm and dry.
If your horse is clipped, ensure it is an appropriate clip for the amount of work the horse is in.Adjust Your Horses Nutrition As Required
For example, if the horse has a full winter season of competition or hunting scheduled; a full clip would be highly suitable. Likewise, if you are only hacking your horse out once a week with no additional work, a bib clip or no clip may be more suitable.
If your horse is prone to dropping weight in the winter, consult your feed specialist or vet for nutritional advice and keep a close eye on the visual condition of your horse between rug swaps. Ensure that your horse has enough forage, whether in the stable or field.
For easy feed making, we offer a durable scoop made to easily plough through your feed, to scoop up and distribute with no spillage.https://www.premierequine.co.uk/horse-feed-scoop-c2x25410429
Mud Fever Prevention & Hoof Care
Mud fever can be difficult to manage and unpleasant for your horse, so the best course of action is prevention.
-Turnout mud fever boots are a great way to protect legs from dust and dirt coming into contact with the skin, keeping legs dry with less chance of mud fever developing. When bringing in from the field, remove turnout boots and let any mud on the unprotected areas dry before brushing off. Place the turnout boots on a suitable area and wash off with a hose and place somewhere to dry naturally i.e. a washing line.
It can be handy to have two sets of turnout boots, so that one can be used while the other set is drying.
-If turnout boots are not worn, pig oil and sulphur are popular choices to apply to the leg before turn out, to prevent the mud from sticking to the leg.
-If turnout boots are not worn, allow any mud on the legs to dry before removing with a brush. Hosing off with cold water may cause the skin to crack, while hosing off with warm water may open the pores to bacteria. If you do wash legs off, make sure they are fully dried off.
-If mud fever has already occurred, try to keep the affected area dry and clean. There are also many mud fever lotions and scrubs suitable for preventing and treating mud fever.
-Ensure you pick your horse’s feet out regularly, and before exercise to remove dirt and stones. Picking feet out regularly will prevent thrush from being stables for longer periods of time and being out in wetter conditions.
For a cost-effective mud fever prevention check out our Turnout/ Mud Fever Boots here:https://www.premierequine.co.uk/horse-turnout-mud-fever-boots-c2x23925805
Tips For Keeping Humans Warm & Dry
We focus a lot on keeping our horses comfortable and warm and often dash out of the house underprepared ourselves, coming home freezing and wet.
-Layer up- As with a rugging system, you can add or remove layers as you increase or decrease your level of activity or changes in weather.
-Wear suitable thermal socks. There is nothing worse than dismounting your horse to find that your toes have numbed during your ride, or taking 20 minutes to de-frost your feet in the shower when you return home.
-Invest in some waterproof riding/ yard gloves. Cracked hands are not comfortable and can leave you open to infection.
-Invest/ wear a reliable and waterproof set of yard boots or wellies when in the field/ completing yard tasks. Wet feet are not only uncomfortable but can cause skin maceration which can damage the skin.
Have a browse of our waterproof riding gloves here:https://www.premierequine.co.uk/equestrian-clothing-accessories-c102x3071764the Hambleden Horse Riding Gloves even have touch-screen capabilities.
Winter is not the easiest time of year for horse owners, but with strategic management it is certainly more manageable.