What’s happening at the stables
In giving all our equine animals a happy home, we are ready to transform their quality of life and to give them the chance they need for a happy and fulfilling life at Bleakholt. In return of course, we get plenty of loving back and they never cease to amuse us in the process!
One highly important factor to give consideration to is grass growth. As the days begin to warm up and soil temperatures rise, fresh rich grass shoots will emerge. Horses who suffer from Laminitis, those with Equine Metabolic syndrome and any good-doers (like our Elliot) should be closely monitored when going out to graze. Grazing may need to be restricted. The use of electric fencing, grazing masks or only allowing a few hours of grazing each day are often found to be effective methods. Horse owners should consider carefully which method would best suit their individual horse and situation.
As the days become warmer you may need to swap your heavyweight turnout and indoor rugs for lighter ones, but remember that spring can still have a lot of unpredictable weather and chilly nights! Any rugs no longer being used should be washed, repaired and re-proofed as necessary, ready for use next autumn/winter.
Winter can be a very difficult time for equines and their owners, the nights get dark fast and the weather can create any number of additional problems. That’s why all horse owners should be prepared for the months ahead by ensuring that they are winter ready.
The cold weather may mean that your equine needs to wear a rug whilst out in the field, in the stable or both. You should make sure that you have sufficient rugs to allow one to be being worn whilst the other is being cleaned, dried or repaired. Similarly you should ensure that you have rugs of different thicknesses to allow you horse to be comfortable whatever the temperature. A horse wearing a rug needs to be checked thoroughly a number of times per day to ensure that the rug is in a good, safe condition and that it is not leaking etc. Extra care needs to be taken to ensure that the horse is thoroughly checked underneath their rug too as weight loss or injuries may not be noticed when the rug is worn.
The cold wintery weather will mean that your horse is more likely to require additional forage whilst in the field. Owners need to consider what forage they will provide, the safest way to provide it and that they have a good supply or stock of that forage so that they won’t run out if bad weather prevents a delivery.
Shelters should be checked to ensure they are in a good state of repair and adequate for the horses who use them, water troughs should be checked a number of times daily for ice or leaks, putting a ball in the trough may prevent ice forming too thickly.
Bad weather may not only prevent deliveries from reaching your yard but it may also prevent horse owners themselves from reaching the yard. Owners should make an emergency plan with a suitable person (often another owner) so that in the event of an accident or bad weather situation their horse will be taken care of until the owner can resume the care themselves.