Horse Care Five Common Winter Mistakes

While you bundle up in layers and love your toasty home in winter, horses do better in the cold. They don’t usually need blankets, and as long as they have access to shelter and adequate food and water, they will be healthy (and happier). This doesn’t mean you can throw the horse out to pasture and forget him until spring. Just don’t make these common mistakes.


1. Frozen water.

Horses have increased impaction colic in winter from dehydration. They can’t drink ice, after all, so provide plenty of (liquid) water.

2. Summer rations in winter.

Horses regulate body temperature via digestion of fiber (hay), and they also burn more calories to stay warm in winter. So when it’s cold, feed them more hay, especially.

3. Inside the barn all day, wearing blankets.

Horses are healthier if they are left outdoors in winter, as long as they have shelter from the elements. Keep the barn hallway open during the day, and put him in the stall only at night. It’s often colder inside the barn than outside, which is why a prefabricated run-in shelter is a good option for pasture-only horses.

Except for horses clipped for show, their fur is sufficient for winter. They don’t usually need blankets. Just brush the mud and dirt off him daily, especially the legs, and he should be fine.

4. No exercise.

We humans get out of shape every winter from lack of exercise. It’s the same for horses. Riding regularly, despite the cold, will help keep your horse in good shape. If this isn’t possible, at least turn him out into a large pasture daily. Come spring, he’ll be able to ride without overexertion.

5. Reduced grooming.

Even though you’re in a hurry to get through your barn chores and back home, take time to groom your horse daily. It’ll prevent hoof, leg and skin issues, and will give you a chance to check for weight loss, eye and ear problems, etc.

Quality equestrian care requires daily maintenance, rather than occasional trips to the barn. We hope these tips help prevent mistakes people often make concerning their horses during winter. Carolina Storage Solutions of Asheville and Hendersonville, NC loves being able to deliver modular horse barns to horse lovers all over the Southeast. Give us a call for more information!