This Week in Horse Health News Presented by Absorbine

Keeping adequate ventilation in stalls is important during cold weather. Photo by Colleen Peachey. Keeping adequate ventilation in stalls is important during cold weather. Photo by Colleen Peachey.

When the days are cold and blustery, I try to rush in and out of the house as quickly as possible to keep any chilly air from making its way inside. No one likes a draft in a toasty warm house…or at least, I certainly don’t. While the stalls in my barn are not comfortable enough for me to want to hang out in during winter months, they are cozy enough for my horses.

I always have to try to stop myself from applying “human logic” when caring for horses in the cold weather. I do blanket my horses with turnout rugs that are appropriate for the temperature range in my area, and I do make sure that my humble shed row barn is in good condition, from the sides up to the roof.

It’s tempting to want to seal the barn up by closing the back windows and half doors to try to keep the horses sheltered…especially on extra windy days. But they are already sheltered against the wind wearing their turnout rugs. What they really need is ventilation and air circulation so that their respiratory health doesn’t suffer from dust or ammonia fumes.

There is a balance that I try to find, and that is trying to keep my barn not too drafty but with enough circulation to make for a healthy environment for my horses. Head over to Equus Magazine online to check out their article on not making your barn too cozy during the cold weather to learn more about this topic.

And then check out some of the other highlights from This Week in Horse Health News Presented by Absorbine:

Winter Workouts: For those of us who reside in the northern part of the country during winter, working horses in cold temperatures is a part of life. Considerations for how the cold temperatures will affect your horses must be made and workouts planned accordingly. Check out this article for tips on winter riding, ranging from warm-ups, planning workouts for maintenance or to prep for a show, and cool downs. [The Horse]

Establishing a Daily Routine for Your Horse: As a creature of habit with a million (and one) things to do each day, I see the value in having a routine. I personally look at any horse related activities as a welcome break from the rest of my daily schedule. There is a benefit to having consistency in your schedule when tending to your horse’s basic needs. [EquiMed]

Do Muzzles Help Slow Pelleted Feed Intake?: I never really gave much thought about horses gulping down their grain until I saw my young gelding experience an episode of choke a couple of years ago. Can grazing muzzles really help slow down a horse’s pelleted feed intake? Researchers recently put this question to the test…learn more about their findings here. [The Horse]

7 Point Mid Winter Feeding Checkup: Now that we’ve made it about halfway through the cold season, it might be a good time to consider if your horse’s winter diet is meeting his or her needs. The same diet that worked well earlier in the season might require some tweaking, depending on factors such as your horse’s weight, activity level and the temperatures. Check out some points you may want to consider here. [Equus Magazine]