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Cold Weather Care for Your Horse

With winter arriving horse owners are facing different challenges in caring for their horses.  From feeding to water and shelter to exercise, our horses require special care to keep them healthy and maintain the level of conditioning we've worked to achieve throughout the year.  A recent article from  Dr. Young, a Equine Nutritionist from Purina Mills, shared some great tips to help us keep our horses healthy and happy this winter.


Many horse owners believe that when the weather is cold, horses need to be fed rations containing more corn, 
because they think of corn as a heating feed. However, corn and other cereal grains do not cause the horse to 
become warmer, they simply provide more energy (calories) to the horse. Hay, which contains more fiber than 
grain, provides more of a warming effect internally, as more heat is released during the digestion of fiber than of 
starch from grain. Therefore, horses are more able to maintain body heat if adequate hay is provided in the diet. 
Further, good quality hay is important during cool weather and winter months when pasture grasses are short or are 
not growing. Horses need at least 1% of their body weight per day in roughages to maintain a healthy GI tract, but 
2% or even more may be appropriate during cold weather, especially when the horse lives outdoors. 
Although grain does not provide as much of an internal warming effect as hay, it is often necessary to supplement a 
horse's winter ration with additional grain to boost calorie supplies. Cold temperatures increase the amount of 
calories a horse needs to maintain body weight, as well as support activity or production. Because a horse may 
digest feed less efficiently as the temperature drops below the horse's comfort zone, additional feed may be 
required to maintain body weight and condition. It is important to maintain the horse in a body condition score of 5-6 
(moderate to moderately fleshy) because a layer of fat under the skin provides insulation against the cold. Further, 
horses in moderately fleshy condition require less dietary energy for maintenance in cold weather than thin horses. 
In general, feeding an additional 1/4 lb of grain per 100 lb body weight to nonworking horses will provide adequate 
calories during cold, windy and wet weather. Working horses may require up to an additional 1/2 lb per 100 lb body 
weight, depending on workload, to maintain body weight during cold weather. Feeds such as Purina Ultium, 
Strategy, Race Ready or Omolene 200 may be especially helpful in these situations, since the added fat provides 
more calories than grain alone. 
Senior horses, which are unable to chew hay completely due to poor teeth and suffer from less efficient digestion 
and absorption of nutrients in the GI tract, need a feed specifically designed for them such as Equine Senior 
especially during winter months. Equine Senior contains enough roughage and added fat to ensure that the older 
horse can meet its fiber and calorie requirements without depending on long-stemmed hay or grass. 


Water should always be readily available t
Saturday, December 21, 2013/Author: Kristin O'Leary/Number of views (87572)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Horse

Introducing Earthborn Holistic Pet Food!

We are excited to now carry Earthborn Holistic Pet Food!

Earthborn dog and cat food are a great addition to our natural and holistic pet food offerings.  These grain-free, gluten free diets are a great, healthy alternative and perfect for pets with allergies to grains.  This is 4.5 star rated food from and approved by Whole Dog Journal!

  • Family owned since 1926
  • Owns their own manufacturing facilities in the USA - Earthborn Holistic is made in Evansville, IN.
  • Made with US ingredients (Lamb and Flax Seed are from New Zealand)
  • No recalls
  • No by-products
  • Fruits and vegetables for natural sources of vitamins and minerals
  • Probiotics for good digestion
  • Very palatable 
  • Environmental awareness programs - Save your UPCs to participate in the UPCs For Trees Program!  Earthborn will plant trees for UPCs sent to them.
  • Uses soy inks, recycled materials

Saturday, December 21, 2013/Author: Kristin O'Leary/Number of views (3798)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Uncategorized

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