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.
I’ll be honest here; I have never once wished I was on a livery yard....but being a sole-owner, DIY-er can be a dark and lonely experience in the depths of winter.
It doesn’t matter what day it is, what the weather is doing or whether you’re sick with the flu, there’s no one else who’s going to see to your horses. If you forgot to order hay - the horses go hungry. If the tap is frozen - you’re filling water containers up at home and if the fence falls down, you’re the one picking it up and repairing it. There is no one to laugh with you when your horse covers you head to toe in wet mud, just the unpleasant sensation of water soaking into your jeans and realising you forgot to pack a change of clothes for the office…
So, what does my day look like as a full-time feed-line advisor for Simple System Horse Feeds, full time DIY-er caring for three horses with two dogs, a Master’s degree and a partner on the go?
6am - alarm goes off, kettle goes on and the dogs go out for a run in the garden. Breakfast for them, a coffee for me and the partner is packed off to work by 6.30am.
By 6.45am it’s time to bike down to the horses who thankfully are only a mile away. Breakfast and a rug change for them then it is mucking out, poo-picking, and sorting out hays, feeds and waters.
At 8am it’s either a 45-minute drive to the office or a pedal back home for a second coffee and catching up on the morning news.
By 9am, I sit down to start work and from there, it can be a wide variety of phone and email-based feeding advice coupled with general order taking and any other bits and pieces to support the wider workings of the company.
1pm is lunch hour although rather than eat I tend to I can catch up on housework. Working from home can also provide a useful extra hour to do any horsey jobs - farrier, hay delivery, fence repairs etc!
At 2pm it’s back to work helping out some more owners in need and in any quieter periods I do some reading or watch a lecture for my Master’s degree.
5pm, when the lid closes on the laptop and the phone is set to DND, its straight down to the horses to get them in. I try to get all the yard jobs done in the morning so that the evenings can be used for grooming or handling my unbroken youngster - or riding my others when the light allows!
6/7pm and it’s home to cook dinner. Usually followed by a dog walk and a crime of comedy series on TV.
10pm its back down the horses for a final check, skip out and feed then home to my own bed … before doing it all again tomorrow!
Our Feed Line team are available to offer free feeding and management support. Please feel welcome to be in touch 01728 604 008 or by completing our online form.
Written by Ellen Lincoln of Simple System Horse Feeds as part of BETA's Winter of Welfare & Wellbeing Campaign.