FB Pixel

Keeping warm in winter

24 November 2021

Horses grow a very effective winter coat which can be adjusted according to the temperature � little muscles can puff the coat up or smooth it down for more or less insulation. Horses also have an internal boiler to help keep them warm and this is the fermentation vat of the caecum and the large colon. Here, a vast army of microbes breaks down fibre from forage, producing fuel for the horse, B group vitamins, heat and a certain amount of gas. So-called �heating� feeds which are the starchy grains in many horse feeds such as nuts, cereals and mixes, may ca�hot� behaviour but do little to keep horses warm. The heat from these feeds is only generated when they are used for energy in the muscles. Exercise will release the heat, but then the calories from that food are all used up as well. Fermentation of fibre in the hind gut releases food and heat � which is why horses should be fed forage, the best source of fibre! In winter, the main source of forage is hay. If your horse cannot manage to eat enough hay, due to being old or having poor dentition, replace the hay weight for weight with HayCare which is Timothy grass, harvested at the hay stage and pelleted. Add water to make an easy to eat hay replacer that is just like hay and totally free from all cereals, their by-products, pulses such as soya, molasses, binders and preservatives. And it�s naturally very low in sugar and starch. Horses that stion.asp">online form

Featured News

Can horses cope with sudden cold weather?

Horses can survive and even thrive in what we consider to be very inhospitable conditions, but they do need plenty of feed to fuel them and keep them warm.

Mud, not so glorious, mud...

Horse ownership and mud - they seem to go together in the winter don't they?

Frost and the increased risk of laminitis

Many of us have seen hard frosts this morning and snow may even be on the cards for some parts of the country later this week. This has the potential to increase the risk of laminitis.