Help Your Horse Weather Winter

Remember these 3 simple things to help your horse maintain his weight and health this winter.

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Help Your Horse Weather Winter
When determining how much hay you need to feed in winter, remember to factor in wastage, especially when offering large round bales without a feeder. | Photo: iStock

Remember these three simple things to help your horse maintain his weight and health this season.

Hay. Grain. Concentrate, sweet, and other prepared feeds. Bran. Oils. Vitamins and minerals. Supplements. Keeping up with the array of rations you can feed your horse can make your head spin. Indeed, nutrition is a complicated subject.

But our sources say that by monitoring just three things, you can keep most horses in top condition throughout the cold winter months. Those three simple things? Feed type, water, and body condition score.

The feed your horse consumes supplies the calories he needs to maintain good body condition. Adequate water intake encourages feed consumption and ­digestion and helps prevent dehydration and impaction colic. And your horse’s body condition score (which you can learn more about at provides a measure of whether he’s getting enough nutrients to stay warm and nourished through the winter

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Written by:

Diane Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin, then married her education with her lifelong passion for horses by working in editorial positions at Appaloosa Journal for 12 years. She has also served on the American Horse Publications’ board of directors. She now freelances in writing, editing, and proofreading. She lives in Middleton, Idaho, and spends her spare time gardening, reading, serving in her church, and spending time with her daughters, their families, and a myriad of her own and other people’s pets.

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