Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘All Horse Systems Go’

ColdWeather

It’s cold outside (don’t try to deny it!)…even Florida is in a deep freeze, relatively speaking. This means that not only do we need to bundle up, but our horses—especially those who live outside or with free-choice shelter—need added warmth, as well.

51V8Gm0RiaL._AC_US436_QL65_According to veterinarian Dr. Nancy Loving in her book ALL HORSE SYSTEMS GO (available in Kindle and epub formats), the horse’s nutritional needs increase about 5 to 10 percent for every degree below freezing. For every 10-degree-Fahrenheit drop below the critical temperature (the temperature below which a horse begins to burn calories to keep himself warm), a horse may require up to 20 percent more feed. The less flesh a horse has on his frame, the less insulation he has to fend off cold temperatures.

“Consider how it feels to go out in the cold weather wearing no more than a thin jacket,” says Dr. Loving. “Your body works harder to stay warm than it does when wearing an insulating down coat.”

Here are her three main tips for feeding during cold weather:

1 Offer roughage for warmth.

Offer good quality grass hay free-choice, which through fermentation by the microflora in the large intestine will generate heat from within, much like an internal combustion chamber. During cold, wet snaps, it is best to feed more hay to help a horse stay warm rather than to load him with extra grain. Over time, grain is helpful to put weight and fat on a horse’s frame but does little for an immediate need for warmth. An exclusive diet of hay may not be enough to support additional climatic demands. Roughage is filling, so a horse may only consume a limited amount. Estimation of how much hay a horse consumes each day must also account for wind losses and any loss from trampling of hay into the ground or spreading it around so it’s rendered unpalatable.

2 Provide ice-free water.

A major concern during wintertime is to ensure that a horse has plenty of fresh, clean, and ice-free water available at all times. A horse that stops drinking is more likely to suffer from impaction colic, or may decrease his feed consumption. If a dominant herd member won’t allow others access to the trough for extended periods, then add another water tank to ensure equal opportunity.

A horse consumes 5 to 10 gallons of water per day in cold weather, and more when exercised. A warm bran mash may increase water consumption. If necessary, use stock-tank heaters to prevent ice formation, but beware of electrocution possibilities from floating heaters. Those heaters with heating elements that are totally immersed are safest. Check to make sure a heater is not shorting out in the water and thereby discouraging drinking. (If you see a horse standing near the tank, seemingly interested in drinking but not doing so, there may be an electrical short that is shocking him when he touches the water.) Protect electrical cords by running them through PVC pipe so a horse doesn’t accidentally chew on the cord.

3 Assess body condition.

A furry winter coat can mistakenly hide a gaunt frame. Run your fingers across a horse’s thorax periodically to make sure he is holding flesh on his body. Ideally, the last two ribs should be barely felt when fingers are run lightly across the rib cage. If greater caloric intake is needed to maintain or increase body condition, supplement grass hay with alfalfa hay, beet pulp mash, and/or fat, and/or grain.

Coldweather2

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small company based on a farm in rural Vermont. 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

WestStates2013

Western States Horse Expo is billed as the largest and most comprehensive equestrian exposition in North America—and it’s right around the corner! West Coast horse lovers and equestrians should be sure to make it to the Cal Expo in Sacramento, California, June 7 thru June 9, 2013. There they’ll find an extraordinary lineup of riding and training talent, and equine experts from every area of horse management and discipline.

TSB is proud to have three bestselling authors featured at the 2013 Western States Horse Expo:

Sandy Collier is author of REINING ESSENTIALS (HorseandRiderBooks.com).

Sandy Collier is author of REINING ESSENTIALS.

SANDY COLLIER is an internationally recognized reined cow horse judge and clinician, an NRCHA & AQHA World Champion, and she is ranked among the year’s top five reined cow horse all-ages, all-divisions riders, as well as in the top 10 for NRCHA earnings. Sandy was the first and only woman horse trainer to win the prestigious NRCHA (National Reined Cow Horse Association) World Champion Snaffle Bit Futurity. In 2011, she was inducted into The Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Sandy’s book REINING ESSENTIALS is a Western training book like no other, filled with essential lessons for everyday performance, whether in the show pen or working out on the range. Sandy is presenting in the Ram Trucks Freedom Arena all three days—check the Western States Expo website for times.

Dr. Nancy Loving is author of ALL HORSE SYSTEMS GO.

Dr. Nancy Loving is author of ALL HORSE SYSTEMS GO.

NANCY LOVING, DVM is a 1985 Colorado State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine graduate and equine athletics expert. Her book ALL HORSE SYSTEMS GO addresses the singularly challenging needs of keeping the working horse in working order. With chapters devoted to cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, digestive, and reproductive health, as well to the hooves, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments, muscles, and skin, Dr. Loving provides a thorough understanding of the intricacies of the equine body, applying her scientific knowledge to the practical needs of every pleasure, sport, and performance horse owner—whether you simply hack with friends or compete at the highest level. Nancy is presenting in the Horse Expo University all three days—check the Western States Expo website for times.

Dr. Renee Tucker is author of WHERE DOES MY HORSE HURT?

Dr. Renee Tucker is author of WHERE DOES MY HORSE HURT?

RENEE TUCKER, DVM is an equine veterinarian certified in chiropractic and acupuncture. She has 18 years’ experience in her fields and says her aim is to empower horse owners with veterinary and chiropractic know-how, so they can help their horse themselves. Dr. Tucker’s bestselling book WHERE DOES MY HORSE HURT? introduces 27 simple body checkups you can do on your horse to help determine when and where your horse hurts, and who to call (vet, farrier, masseuse, saddle fitter, chiropractor?) to help him feel better. Dr. Tucker will be answering questions and signing books in the Book Corral all three days at Western States Horse Expo.

All these titles are available to order from the TSB online bookstore:

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: