As winter approaches, it’s important to consider how your horse’s needs will change in the colder months, and what you can do to support them in order to keep them happy and healthy all season long.

Anpario, manufacturer of natural equine feed supplements, explains ways you can support your horse or pony’s diet this winter to help them maintain condition, keep joints healthy and ensure their stable and yard are safe living environments.

Provide quality nutrition

Due to the low nutritional content of grass in the winter, you will likely have to adjust your horse’s diet, and it is also widely recommended to give your horse a vitamin and mineral supplement or a feed balancer.

Transitioning your horse or pony to new forages, feeds or supplements should be done over a few days, if not a week. This helps the gut bacteria adjust as well as maintaining your horse’s wellbeing during these changes in routine.

When choosing a supplement, it’s important to make sure it contains high quality active ingredients.

Orego-Stim Equine

Orego-Stim Equine is Anpario’s 100% natural oregano essential oil. A unique production process protects its active properties to ensure a high quality, consistent product every time.

Herbal (or “phytogenic”) supplements are proven to improve the bioavailability of essential nutrients in the diet, which is particularly beneficial in winter when nutritional content of feed/forage is low and getting the most out of it is vital.

Phytogenics naturally contain numerous active compounds that support metabolic and physiological functions.

Key benefits:

  • A characteristic herby aroma which can improve the palatability of feeds and encourage your horse to settle on their winter diet.
  • Maintains gut motility and dropping consistency.
  • Supports nutrient absorption, helping to obtain the most from feed, through proper feed breakdown, nutrient use and absorption, supporting their top line condition.
  • Powerful antioxidant properties provide natural, long-term calming support beneficial for helping manage stress levels through the change of season.

Keeping joints healthy

It’s important to keep your horses joints active and supported over winter as their activity level transitions.

Cold weather combined with prolonged standing in stables can make joints stiffer, and keeping your horse moving is essential, so continue riding and turn them out as much as possible.

Good hoof management reduces joint strain and so does weight management — extra weight on the joints should always be avoided.

Supplements can also be beneficial for extra joint care.

Optomega Liquid

Optomega Liquid by Anpario is a leading omega-3 fatty acid supplement containing 100% high quality fish oil. It is an excellent source of energy for all horses and ponies.

Key benefits:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are known to support joint mobility through maintenance of joint health.
  • Helps to maintain skin and coat health, ideal for the energy intensive coat change at year end.
  • Due to winter diets containing less fresh forage and more hard feeds, omega-6 consumption is increased.
  • When metabolised, excess omega-6 can induce inflammatory processes, negatively affecting health, fertility and condition.
  • Adding a source of omega-3 to the feed can help to mitigate the negative impact of omega 6:3 imbalance.
  • Optomega Liquid supports natural defences and maintaining immunity.

Hydrated, happy horses

It’s critical to maximise the amount your horse is drinking throughout the year to prevent dehydration and colic. During the summer, lush pastures contribute massively to your horse’s water requirement, as they contain 60-80% moisture.

However, dried winter feedstuffs such as hay and grain have a moisture level of less than 15%.

If your horse isn’t drinking enough in the colder weather, they may start to eat less and be prone to impaction colic, and less feed means less energy to help them tolerate the cold.

Check troughs daily to ensure the water is clean and hasn’t frozen.

Stable management

While we want our horses’ staying hydrated, we need our stables to remain dry. Now the nights are longer and wet weather is more regular, your horse is likely to spend more time in his stable, and damp conditions can lead to mould and fungi growth.

Now is the ideal time for a deep clean, and using a disinfectant such as Credence is the perfect easy-to-use solution.

Credence — kills moulds and spores

Credence is an effervescent tablet which is ideal for all surfaces around the yard.

Verified to be effective against a wide range of known viruses, bacteria and fungi, it will help kill moulds and spores in the environment alongside other pathogens which could cause general health, gut and respiratory issues.

However, relying solely on disinfectants is not always sufficient in ensuring a bacteria free environment.

Clean & Dry — removes excess moisture

Anpario also offers another solution to remove unwelcome excess moisture from your stable. Their natural, drying sanitising powder Clean & Dry is formulated with a blend of natural minerals and essential oils with enhanced absorption to help provide a dry bed in the stable, yard or horsebox.

It can absorb twice its weight in liquid, ensuring removal of excess moisture in the environment, which could lead to unwanted bacterial growth.

Moisture absorption can also help reduce ammonia levels in the environment, which aids respiratory health and supports better air quality.

To find out more about Anpario’s products, click here.

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