Days are getting shorter and temperatures lower... The winter season is upon us. This also means that your horse will be spending more time in its stable. About time you make your stable set for winter!
Make the transition from pasture to stable gradually
As your horse makes the transition from pasture to stable, the ration also changes. It is therefore recommended to make this transition gradually. Give your horse extra hay or silage in the final weeks it is out on the pasture, so it gets used to the dry roughage. If your horse got little to no concentrates in the summer, start feeding smaller portions and slowly build.
Make sure your horse doesn't get bored
When your horse is out on the pasture, it can eat or run whenever they feel like it; this is a whole lot less easy in the stable. This occasionally causes stable vices. Get your horse sufficient exercise, give it small quantities of roughage multiple times a day or give roughage in a slow feeder.
There are also balls they can play with to combat boredom.
Make sure your horse is given a free reign for a few hours a day
A horse exercises up to 20 hours a day on a pasture, but when the horse is in the stable, it is very much less able to. Still, make sure your horse can exercise a few hours a day, this also promotes digestion and prevents swollen legs. Leave the horse out on the pasture, in the paddock or horse walker a few hours, and give it sufficient attention. Go riding (or driving), lunge, clean or spend time with your horse.
Give your stable a winter-cleaning!
Give your stable a thorough cleanup before your horse spends the winter in it. Clear out the stable completely and give it a once-over with a high pressure cleaner. Check for places where your horse could potentially hurt itself.
Some more interesting tips for the stable:
- Use straw instead of shavings as bedding;
- Ensure that the stable is large enough;
- Light your stable sufficiently
- Provide your horse with enough fresh air, but it cannot be too draughty;
- Give your horse the company of another horse, or even of another animal.