During cold weather horses are at a higher risk for this terrifying complication: cold weather colic. Horses need to drink adequate amounts of water (minimum 4 gallons) each day to prevent impaction. Impaction can occur from a variety of reasons, typically the combination of insufficient water intake, dry food and lack of exercise.
Water Intake and Exercise
Frozen pipes, frozen water buckets and frozen ponds all contribute to the possibility of insufficient water intake. We also all have heard that horses stay warmer by increased food intake, typically good quality hay, which is dry and bulky in the gut. Plus trying to keep our horses warm, they end up in, what we think is the perfect situation: a nice cozy confining stall. However, exercise is necessary to keep horses warm in cold weather, even if it’s just walking around a pen. If our four-legged friends had a choice we would probably find them weathering the storm under the protection of a grove of trees, standing with their backs to the wind and with only their own personal fuzzy coats keeping them warm. Mother Nature just seems to know best.
So our horses should have a better change to avoid colic during cold weather with these couple of easy tips
• adequate water (warm water when possible)
• good quality hay
• add water to regular feed to make a mash
• access to loose salt (just add some to their feed)