Posted: 8th October 2020 | Back to news feed
Whether you dread or love winter, it certainly poses its own set of challenges when owning a horse or pony. We’ve put together a few top tips to keep winter as stress free as possible when looking after your horses’ legs.
Horse leg care in winter is mainly two-fold – including care in the stable and in the field, however care when riding can bring about its own set of challenges too.
Care in the Stable
We all know standing in a stable is not natural for horses. As a result, you might find your horse gets fluid filled legs, or maybe even walks out a bit stiff in the morning. In the depths of winter with the temperatures plummeting, horses may be stood in more too – increasing the likelihood of these effects.
Using a chap or bandage, such as the Equi-Chaps Stable Chaps, to encase the lower leg and offer gentle compression that should help encourage circulation, while also providing warmth for joints, particularly useful if your horse suffers from arthritis. For horses who need a bit more help, magnetic therapy has proven popular amongst owners and using a product such as the Equilibrium Therapy Hind & Hock Chaps even allows you to target as far up as the hock joint.
A big, deep bed with rubber matting can also help maintain warmth and reduce any strain on the horses’ legs. Putting hay in different places in the stable, as well as different heights, will help stimulate a bit more movement throughout the time they are stabled.
Care in the Field
Ideally, we’d all like to have mud free, well-draining fields that never get boggy at the gate. In reality, this is not something that we are all blessed with. We might not have the option of constant field rotation either, so what can you do to help shield your horses’ legs from the elements without sacrificing on turnout time?
Of course, you need to be mindful of the field and how much it can take. Turning horses out in ones and twos may reduce the incitement to riot, as will making sure that horses are warm, well-rugged and with adequate shelter from bad weather. Although feeding hay or haylage in the field can be wasteful, it is worth thinking about if your horse starts creating near feed time. Keeping your horse settled and happy will not only save damage to the field, but it will help your horses legs if they aren’t racing in the mud doing sliding stops and turns.
For the horses with sensitive skin, providing a barrier to the wet can help prevent conditions such as Mud Fever. Keeping legs clean and dry is the aim of the game, and a closely fitting boot such as the Equi-Chaps Close Contact Chaps will help keep the mud at bay, while remaining breathable and comfortable for the horse to wear. For horses who suffer with the cold and stiffness, Equi-Chaps Hardy Chaps help create a barrier, and a bit of warmth for their joints. Or if you have a field hooligan, they offer tough protection.
All in all, the most important thing is to keep checking your horses’ legs daily to notice any signs of change. You know what is normal for your horse and if they need a bit of help, there are plenty of ways, means and products to give them a hand during the colder, wetter months.
For more information on our products please visit www.equilibriumproducts.com