Ready or not, the days are getting shorter. Is your horse getting fuzzy yet? Fall can be a challenging season for our horses. The fluctuating temperatures, the lack of green grass, less exercise and less time for us to be with our horses makes Fall a common time for colic and laminitis. Here are a few tips to keep your horses healthy as we head into the change of seasons:
As the days cool, horses often decrease their water consumption. Pair this with dry forage and pastures, and impaction colics are likely. Encourage your horse to drink by providing salt as either a block, or loose salt added to his feed. Adding electrolytes can also encourage horses to drink more.
Fall, especially after the first frosts, is the perfect time to deworm your horse. Use a broad-spectrum dewormer that removes bots, such as ivermectin.
- Dental Health
We want our horses to get the most out of their feed. Ensuring that their teeth are up to the job can mean the difference between thriving or surviving. This is especially important for older horses.
- Nutritional Needs
Review your horse’s nutrition and make gradual adjustments as the weather changes. If your horse will spend the winter outdoors, providing quality forage is the best way to keep your horse warm. Munching on an extra 2 to 4 pounds of hay will increase his body temperature more than adding grain or pelleted supplements, though for older horses with poor teeth a designated complete feed might be the most appropriate solution. When quality forage is hard to find, consider a hay extender such as Purina Impact Hay Stretcher, or pelleted forage-based feed such as Elk Grove Milling Stable Mix.
- Prepare for Bad Weather
Check shelters, stalls and loafing areas for drafts, drainage and unsafe conditions. If your horse was standing in mud last winter, now is the time to make improvements such as adding gravel or stall mats. For your own convenience and everyone’s safety, check barn lights, paths and driveways so your winter excursions to the barn don’t overwhelm your boots!
If your horse was on regular exercise all summer, don’t just stop now. Frequent exercise will keep your horse limber and improves digestion.
Want to learn more? Here are a few articles and blog posts with more details.
5 Fall Feeding Tips, from Horse & Rider, and Purina Animal Nutrition
Fall Feeding Tips for Horses, from The Horse
Six Tips To Keep Your Horse Healthy During Fall and Winter Weather, from EquiMed
Fall is back to school time, and the Rainbow clothing department is full of new styles for students from Kindergarten to Grad school! We all know that the mornings will soon be cool enough to make a sweatshirt very welcome, while the afternoons are still tee-shirt and shorts weather! Be ready for whatever September brings and don’t forget to check out the summer clearance racks (for those tee and shorts days.)
There are still a couple Fairs coming up! The Lake County Fair takes place over the Labor Day weekend, and the Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show in Booneville will be held September 23 through 25th. The 4H and FFA Horse show and the Open Horse show at the Mendocino County Fair will be held Friday, September 23, with CCRPA Rodeo on Sunday afternoon, September 25. Of course Rainbow will be at the Junior Livestock Auctions, supporting our local youth showmen & women! See you there!
Trivia! Enter to win a $15.00 Rainbow Coupon. All correct answers go into a random drawing.
The August winner is Yvonne Coyne, with the correct answer that 4H and FFA offers youth exhibitors to learn more than just showing their animals! Congratulations!
This month’s question is, In the Fall, horses often decrease their water consumption, which puts them at risk of …