Tag Archives: horse care

Tips and more information for horse care from Klene Pipe Structures, creator of the Hay Saver Hay Feeder for horses and cattle.

Wrangler Run In Horse Shelters

Preparing Your Horse for Warm Weather

The temperatures are rising, the sun’s out, and we don’t have to worry about the snow anymore. Spring and summer are on their way! Without proper preparation, warmer weather can lead to dehydration, lethargy, and added stress for your horse. As the weather continues to get nicer, here are some tips and reminders for getting your horse re-acclimated to the warmer temperatures. 

  1. Take it Slow – Your horse just spent several months taking it easy as we waited out the cold winter. The worst thing you can do is jump right back into the saddle (literally) and expect to train as usual. Slowly incorporate more riding time throughout the next few weeks. The heat can be especially fatiguing even without physical activity involved. It is important to monitor your horse to ensure they acclimate to the physical activity and the heat well before increasing riding time. 
  1. Prepare for Bugs – Everyone likes being outside when the weather is nice, including bugs. Besides being annoying, insects can carry diseases and irritate your horses. Make sure to treat outdoor horse shelters and portable shade structures for insects to keep them away. 
  1. Provide Shade – If your horses are outside most of the day, provide some form of shade for them to escape the hot sun. Run-in shelters and portable shade structures are great ways to offer shade for your horses away from the barn. Run-in shelters are also great at keeping your horses dry during spring showers and summer rain.    
  1. Electrolytes and Cold Water – Make sure you are changing their water frequently as it can warm easily in the sun. Not only do horses not like warm water, but it can also pose health concerns if left for too long. Make sure you provide them with cool drinking water that is easily accessible. Drinking water isn’t enough to maintain healthy horses when the temperatures are hot. Make sure to provide a source of electrolytes, too, like a salt block for added minerals.   

Even if you follow all these tips, make sure to closely monitor your horses in hot weather as heat stroke can sneak up on them. If you are concerned that your horse could be suffering from heat-related issues, bring your horse into a cooler environment and contact your vet. 

Horse standing under a run in shelter in the winter

Protecting Your Horse from the Elements 

Whether it is the dead of winter or peak summer, protecting your horse from harsh weather is important for their overall health and well-being. Here are some preventative measures you can take to keep your horse healthy when the weather isn’t great, along with things to look out for during the winter and summer months:

  • Horse Shelter Kits: Give your horse protection from the elements with a horse shelter kit. In the summer, it provides much-needed shade from the hot sun, and in the winter, it protects them from hail, snow, and rain. Whether you choose a portable shade or a run-in shelter, you can ensure that your horse is protected from unruly weather. 

  • Horse Hoods, Turnout Blankets, and Coats: When the temperatures drop and it starts to snow, consider putting on extra layers for your horse. Although they have a natural coat that thickens in the month leading up to winter, they may still need extra layers to stay warm and dry. 

  • Sun Cream for Horses: Horses with lighter pink or white skin on their nose and face are more prone to sun damage in the summertime. Along with a shade structure, like a horse shelter kit, sun cream can help protect your horse’s skin from sunburn. 

  • Fly Protectants in the Warmer Months: When the weather gets warmer and the sun comes out, so do the flies. Although flies might seem like a mere annoyance, they can transmit disease to your horse, cause welts and skin irritation, and even cause damage to your horse’s hooves from aggressive stomping. Using a mix of fly repellent, like citronella, and leg bands can help keep flies away from your horses. 

  • Keep Your Horse Hydrated: Dehydration is a big problem in the summer, but did you know that the winter can be just as dangerous to keep your horse hydrated? Horses get a lot of their hydration from grazing on moist pastures in the fall and spring, but that moisture is gone in the summer and winter.
    • Summer- Just like humans, horses sweat when they overheat which, on its own, can lead to dehydration. But water can grow algae when it is hot outside, making it taste different, which means your horse may not drink it. To avoid this, make sure you are cleaning their trough regularly and checking it for debris. Also, make sure that the water is cool to encourage your horse to drink from it. 
    • Winter- Keeping your horse hydrated in the winter poses its own challenges. Water troughs are prone to freezing and horses don’t enjoy ice-cold water, especially when it is already cold outside. Make sure automatic pumps aren’t frozen so water can circulate. Adding a few apples can also help keep water from freezing thanks to the bobbing motion. Adding salt or electrolytes to their food can also encourage them to drink more water, but consult your veterinarian before doing so regularly. 

Knowing how to spot signs of distress, dehydration, or discomfort when the weather changes is vital for maintaining your horse’s health. Having the right tools at your disposal helps you avoid the consequences of bad weather and sets you up for success come summer or winter. Along with the tips above, adding a horse shelter kit is a great way to protect your horse from bad weather. 

horses in the winter

Preparing Your Horse for Winter Weather

As the temperature begins to drop, it’s time to start preparing your horse for the cold and snowy season ahead. Just as we humans bundle up and make adjustments for the colder months, our equine friends require some special care to ensure their comfort and well-being during the winter season. Here are some essential tips to help you get your horse ready for the colder months.

Horse Shelter and Bedding:

One of the most critical aspects of winter preparation is ensuring that your horse has adequate shelter. Whether it’s a well-insulated barn or a three-sided run-in shelter, your horse should have a place to escape the wind, rain, and snow. Provide plenty of clean, dry bedding, such as straw or shavings, to keep your horse warm and dry. 

Horse Blanketing:

Horses are generally well-equipped to handle cold weather, but some may benefit from a winter horse blanket. The need for blanketing varies depending on the horse’s age, health, and coat thickness. Generally, very young and very old horses should be blanketed. Healthy adult horses typically are fine with their winter coat that comes in when the days get shorter

Keeping Your Horse Hydrated:

In winter, it’s crucial to ensure your horse has access to fresh, unfrozen water. Invest in heated water buckets or trough heaters to prevent the water from freezing. Horses can become dehydrated in cold weather, so monitor their water consumption closely. Salt intake is important year-round, but especially in the wintertime. Salt intake during the cold months helps promote water consumption to keep your horse hydrated. 

Proper Nutrition for Your Horse:

Horses require extra calories to maintain their body temperature in the cold. Consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to adjust your horse’s diet for the winter months. High-quality hay provides both essential nutrients and generates heat during digestion, helping to keep your horse warm. To decrease food waste, try a hay saver hay feeder

Exercise for Your Horse:

Keep your horse active during the winter. Riding or turnout time in a safe, dry paddock is essential to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Stagnation in a stall can lead to stiffness and boredom.

With adequate preparation, your horse will transition into winter easily. Use these tips to keep your horse healthy this winter. 

portable shades for horses

The Benefits of Portable Shades for Horses

Portable shades for horses offer several benefits, both for the well-being of the horses and the convenience of horse owners and caretakers. Here are some of the key benefits:

Sun Protection: One of the most notable benefits is that portable shades provide essential protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Horses, like humans, can suffer from sunburn, which can be painful and lead to skin issues. Prolonged sun exposure can also increase the risk of skin cancer in horses.

Temperature Regulation: Portable shades help horses stay cooler during hot weather. Excessive heat can lead to heat stress and dehydration in horses, and providing shade can mitigate these risks.

Stress Reduction: Horses can become stressed when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Providing shade allows horses to seek refuge from the sun and heat reducing their stress levels.

Health and Comfort: Shade can help prevent heat-related health issues like heatstroke or exhaustion. It also keeps the ground in the shaded area cooler and more comfortable for the horse to stand or lie down on.

Versatility and Mobility: Portable shades are easily moved and can be set up in different areas of a pasture as needed. This flexibility allows horse owners to rotate grazing areas and prevents overgrazing in one spot.

Convenient Management: Portable shades can be set up and taken down relatively easily, making them a convenient option for horse owners who may not want to invest in permanent structures. They can also be used at horse shows, events, or temporary stables.

Happy and Healthy Horses: Ultimately, the well-being of the horses is the most significant benefit. Providing them with shade ensures they are more comfortable, happier, and healthier.

Klene Pipe’s portable horse shades provide the protection your horse needs from the sun and heat to stay happy and healthy. See one of our customers talk about her experience with our portable shade:

round hay bale

Square Hay Bales vs. Round Hay Bales

The choice between square hay bales and round hay bales for feeding your horses depends on a variety of factors, including your specific needs and preferences. Here are some considerations for both types:

Square Hay Bales:

Handling and Storage: Square hay bales are typically smaller and more manageable in size and weight compared to round bales. They are easier to handle, stack, and transport manually, making them a good option for smaller operations or when mechanized equipment is not available.

Portion Control: Square bales allow for better portion control, especially if you need to limit hay intake for individual horses. It is easier to measure and distribute specific amounts of hay with square bales.

Reduced Hay Waste: Square bales often result in less hay waste compared to round bales. The rectangular shape and uniform size make it easier to control access and reduce trampling and spoilage.

Versatility: Square hay bales can be fed in a variety of hay feeders, including square bale feeders, racks, or simply placed on the ground. They also work well in certain feeding systems, such as stanchions or feeding stations.

Round Hay Bales:

Cost Efficiency: Round hay bales are generally more cost-effective, especially when feeding larger numbers of horses. They require less labor and time during the baling process, and mechanized equipment, such as round balers and bale wrappers, can be used to improve efficiency.

Weather Resistance: Round hay bales have better natural shedding capabilities due to their shape, which can help shed rainwater and reduce spoilage. This can be beneficial if you have limited storage options or live in areas with frequent rainfall.

Feeding Efficiency: Round hay bales can be rolled or unrolled in feeding areas, providing a continuous source of hay for animals. This reduces the need for frequent refilling and can be advantageous in situations where animals have constant access to hay.

Durability: Round hay bales are typically more durable and can withstand outdoor storage for longer periods if they are protected from direct ground contact and moisture.

When deciding between square and round hay bales, it’s important to consider your available equipment, storage space, feeding system, livestock size, and local climate. You may also want to consult with local farmers or agricultural experts for advice based on your specific circumstances. Klene Pipe’s Hay Saver Horse Hay Feeders can accommodate both square and round hay bales.

Keep your horses healthy and well-fed throughout the winter. Give us a call today to learn more about our quality hay feeders for horses!