How winter savvy are you? 9 ways to beat the snow and freezing temperatures

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It has been a relatively mild winter so far for most of us, but the end of January certainly hit hard, with snow, ice and below freezing temperatures affecting much of the UK.  

With more of the same forecast, we think it’s about time for some winter hacks to help you and your horse through the cold spell. As for us here at Your Horse magazine, we’re certainly looking forward to spring!  

  1. Sick of breaking ice on water buckets?
    Try putting a plastic bottle of salt water inside – the salt water won’t freeze and your horse will be able to push the bottle down to create a hole. A rubber duck works too, as long as your horse won’t be too scared of it to go for a drink!

  2. Keep his rug on
    Leave your horse in the same rug (if he is rugged), otherwise you’ll let all the body heat out. If he needs a thicker layer, put another rug on top. If you’re not sure if your horse needs a rug or not, why not try our quiz.

  3. Frozen water containers?
    If you use water containers as your water supply, store them in a warm place (under a couple of spare rugs can do the trick) or take them home with you at night to stop the lids freezing shut. If they do freeze try blowing on the seal to defrost the ice. 

  4. Look after his legs
    Circulation boots can be useful to help prevent swelling if your horse ends up being stabled for long periods of time. More tips on leg here here.

  5. Be prepared
    Keep a stash of woolly hats, gloves and spare socks at the yard – you never know when the forecast could catch you out.

  6. Keep him entertained
    Try being creative about where you put your horse’s feed and hay, whether he is in or out – it will help keep him warm in the field and entertained in the stable. Watch this video to find out more about buffet-style feeding.

  7. Make your muck heap handy
    Put your muck heap to use by spreading a thick layer over the ground that covers the water pipes. This should help keep them from freezing.

  8. Easy peasy shovelling
    Spraying cooking oil or mane and tail conditioner on your snow shovel will prevent snow from sticking to it when you’re trying to clear paths.

  9. Do you wanna build a snowman?
    Why not make one in your horse’s field and stick in a few carrots for him to munch on!

Want more winter hacks? Read the full article in issue 446, available here.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here 

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