Published 10-28-2010 2:36 PM | Fernanda Camargo
Winter is almost around the corner... This Fall has been exceptionally good for horseback riding. It has been dry and warm. The drought has not been so good for pasture maintenance, however.
So if you haven't done so, it is time you buy and store hay for the winter. We recommend that horse owners buy hay during the summer, when the prices of hay are lower than now. But not everybody has enough storage room for hay for such a long period of time. So before your horses runs completely out of forage to eat, buy enough hay to last you at least until April or May.
When caring for horses in the winter, it is important for you to know that horses tend to drink less water when it is cold. One way to "force" the horse to drink water is to mix warm water with the concentrate feed, making his meal into a mash. He will be consuming more water that way. Some horses don't like to eat mash, but most of them get used to the idea, and a few days later are eagerly waiting for their wet meal.
However, if the horse refuses to eat the mash, make sure that you throw away the left over, and not try to offer it again and again. Mix new mash every time you are going to offer it to the horse. When concentrates get mixed with water, there is a chance it will ferment over time, and then the horse will definitely refuse to eat it. So start out with smaller amounts of concentrate until your horse gets used to the change. You can feed mash year round, and not just during winter. This will keep the horses used to the wet meal, and will save you time and effort during the winter.
Always have water available to your horses year round. This will decrease your chances of having horses colic in your farm.