Winter Horse Care Checklist

Without a doubt, winter is the hardest season for equestrian care. It’s cold outside, the wind howls, and there aren’t many days fit for riding in the greater Asheville, NC area. Here are a few tips to help you get through the winter and keep your horse healthy so come springtime you and your equine companion will be ready to ride anywhere in the Southeast.

Food and Water.


As part of their thermoregulatory processes, horses warm their bodies through digestion. The breakdown of hay through a long digestive tract creates tremendous heat, so it’s important to keep plenty available. Consider providing alfalfa hay available for your horse to munch on at his leisure.

Frozen water buckets can be a real issue. Unless your horse has access to a creek (which usually doesn’t freeze), you might need a heated water system, or to carry water to the barn twice daily. Horses have colic and impaction issues in winter, mostly due to inadequate water supplies and improper grain-to-hay ratios.

General Health.

Horses don’t generally need a blanket unless they have previously diagnosed health issues requiring such measures, or have been trimmed/sheared for winter work. Furthermore, horses do better outdoors where they can seek less windy coves or run into shelter as desired. A run-in type prefabricated horse shed is a good idea.

If you do choose to cover your horse with a blanket, be sure you’ve got a proper fit, and all the buckles work right without rubbing, pinching or cutting your horse’s skin.

A lot of people remove horse shoes for winter, or switch to winter shoes for better traction. The iron shoes of summer have issues with ice build-up.


Although it’s cold, your horse still needs a little exercise, or come spring he’ll be too out of shape to perform well during the first warming spell. He’ll become a barn potato if you aren’t careful. A few minutes a couple times a week, even if just lunging him, will keep your beast in good shape. Because it’s cold, be sure he’s completely cool and dry after a workout, before you turn him loose or put the blanket back on him.

Carolina Storage Solutions of the Asheville, NC area loves horses and being able to help horse lovers across the Southeast by delivering horse barns to prepared sites. Call us today for more information!