Are you ready for the “Beast from the East”? Tips for horse owners on how to prepare for snow

Lauren Cushe on 26 February 2018

grey-mare-in-snow-(1).jpgAs weather warnings and a forecast of between 6cm and 20cm of snow are issued here are some simple tips to ensure both yourself and your horse are prepared for adverse weather conditions:

  • Break and remove ice from water troughs regularly throughout the day.
  • Ensure you have containers of water put by in case of freezing pipes.
  • Stock up on necessary items (for both yourself and your horse) such as extra feed.
  • If you live a distance away from your horse organise for someone to check and feed your horse who lives close by in case you cannot reach the yard.
  • Your horse may need to be rugged if they are elderly, clipped or thin skinned.
  • Try not to over rug your horse as this can lead to complications due to over-heating.
  • If your horse is outside ensure there is adequate shelter to protect from the weather conditions.
  • Always have a spare rug on stand-by in-case you need to swap if the current rug gets very wet.
  • If snow is preventing grazing it is vital to ensure your horse has access to a constant supply of forage such as hay or haylage. The digestion of fibre can also help to keep your horse warm.
  • If your horse is outside check that there is no compacted snow in their hooves.
  • The application of grease/pertroleum jelly to the sole of the hoof can prevent snow building up.
  • If your horse is having restricted turn-out/exercise consider talking to your equine nutritionist regarding your horses feeding regime.
  • Stock up on salt to de-ice your yard, ensure a scraper is on stand-by to clear snow from paths.
These tips are general guidelines only – each horse has different requirements. If you have any nutritional queries please contact a member of our Nutritional Team