Giving your horse the opportunity to get shade and shelter from the elements helps to keep them healthy and happy. Wind, sun, and issues with weather can leave horses vulnerable to getting sick or hurt. That’s why the use of a shelter for your horse is so important.
Equine Wellness Magazine has outlined a number of items that should be considered when deciding on purchasing a horse shelter including where to place it on your property. When determining where to place a horse shelter, they discuss the importance of looking at weather patterns as well as the landscape for best protection. In addition, they write that having a sturdy and portable structure is ideal for best protection. You can read the full article here.
Be sure you are taking the proper precautions to keep your horses safe during the upcoming summer months by giving them the opportunity to get out of the elements. Shelters for horses are a must-have for protecting their well-being.
Given the constantly changing weather, it is important for horse owners to find a means of shelter that will protect their horses from rain, wind and snow, and provide them with a place to find ample shade.
Run-in shelters are an effective and convenient solution to provide the shelter you’re looking for, giving your horse a place to stay year-round, no matter the weather conditions.
Run-in shelters are visually appealing barns and sheds, which are built to be weatherproof and long-lasting. However, positioning of these sheds can oftentimes be a task on its own. You have to keep in mind winter winds, summer sun, drainage, general environment, and of course, convenience.
You’ll want to make sure your shed is facing away from prevailing winds to prevent ice, sleet and snow from blowing inside. This also is standard positioning for warm, summer months. Facing the shed away from the sun will not only shade your horses, but also help with flies and other bugs.
When it comes to rain and melting snow, especially if your shed is on the side of a natural slope, be sure to find a way to direct water away from the shed to avoid flooding and other messes.
Winter is here and it’s important to that you have enough
hay in your barn until the pastures are growing again in Spring. This may seem
like a tedious task, but taking these factors into consideration can make your
Take these factors into consideration:
Number of animals is often something that is
overlooked because it’s so basic. With more animals, more hay is needed. Be
sure to factor in animals you’ll be selling, purchasing or new animals that
will be born during the colder months to plan accordingly.
Weight of animals is another basic factor, but important. If your animals are larger they will need more hay to sustain themselves through the colder months.
Length of season is one of the most important factors
to consider when calculating the amount of hay you’ll need. This can vary
depending on where you are located and the climate of the area. In the southern
half of the United States, animals can forage much later in the fall and
earlier in the spring. Animals in the northern part of the country are much
more dependent on hay to sustain themselves through the cold, winter months. In
Indiana, a majority of hay is needed from October through March. It’s best to
limit foraging due to pasture damage which can keep animals from reaching peak
Temperatures will also impact the amount of hay
consumed by animals. In extreme temperatures, high caloric intake is necessary
for survival. If the climate of your area reaches below zero for longer periods
of time, your animals hay intake may be on the higher side.
Keeping all these factors in mind will ensure that your
season is successful and your animals well taken care of.
If you are still using an old hay feeder, you are likely wasting hay, time and money. Traditional hay feeders are not equipped to effectively contain hay and therefore hay ends up being blown or moved around outside the feeder. This causes hay to be lost and needed time for clean up or the hay.
The hay saver hay feeder is specifically designed to cover the hay in the feeder while still allowing horses and cattle to feed. The folding grills hold the hay down to protect blowing from the wind and prevent it from being tossed by the livestock. Hay therefore remains in the feeder as opposed to around the feeder. The hay saver hay feeder is over 93% efficient at containing hay.
The fold down grills also prevent horses and cattle from burying their heads into the bale eliminating any breathing problems caused from inhaling hay dust or eye irritation. Better health for your horses and cattle also equates to less money on care and veterinary bills.
In addition, many traditional hay feeders are made of materials that tend to break down or rust out. Hay saver hay feeders are built from high quality durable materials that are designed to withstand the elements with an average life span of 20 or more years.
To keep your horse in optimal health, there are some guidelines that should be followed for feeding. Whether it’s the type of food or when they are fed, changes in a horse’s food regimen can mean the difference between a happy horse and one that is ill tempered.
Feed Horses on a Regular Schedule
As with many animals, horses do best when a regular schedule is followed. They feel most comfortable when they can rely on when they will get their next meal. Whether you are feeding your horses in the field with a hay feeder or in their stall, horses will thrive by sticking to a regular routine.
If Feeding Grain, Consider Smaller Amounts
While hay should be the primary food source, if you are supplementing your horse’s diet with grain, try not to feed them too much at one time. When fed grain in smaller amounts, horses do better digesting the feed.
Don’t Make Any Sudden Change in Your Horses Feeding Routine
Whether it’s changing the time of day or the type of food you are feeding your horse, a sudden change can cause unnecessary stress. If you do need to change something, do it gradually so that the horse can adjust. Therefore, if you are changing the feeding time, do so in small time increments until you get to the final adjusted time.
Be Mindful of When Your Horse is Fed
It’s best not to feed your horse just before or after exercise. Exercising on a full stomach can make exercise harder for horses and can also slow down digestion. Therefore if you are planning on riding your horse, be aware of their feed schedule and work around that.