Memphians are familiar with the weather turning from warm and balmy to bone-chilling cold in a matter of days! I don't know about you, but it takes me awhile to get acclimated to colder weather. And about the time I start to get used to it, the weather warms back up! Freezing weather temperatures are just around the corner. Now is the time to prepare your horse.
Here are some cold weather tips for you and your horse:
Feed more good, quality, hay to help add some extra "Fuel" for your horse during cold weather. Horses’ bodies work hard during cold weather burning up more energy to keep warm. Extra food in the form of hay helps tremendously!
To keep water troughs from freezing, place a plastic ball or football in the trough. Of course, your ponies will want to play with the new toy!
Place a mineral or salt block in your horses feed tub. Not only will this slow down fast eaters, but it will provide extra salt encouraging thirst so that your horse will continue to drink enough water when cold. Many get picky in cold weather and don't like to drink frigid water.... Yikes, who can blame them, I hate BRAINFREEZE!
Keep aware of the ground conditions when riding. Freezing conditions can make the ground REALLY hard on your horse’s toes!
Warm yourself and your horse up slowly, and do lots of stretching. It's easy to pull and strain muscles in cold weather. When we're colder, we tense up. Make sure to take your time and warm up and down those muscles. So that the next morning both you and your horses aren't sore!