How to entertain your horse in the winter
During this time of year, it seems the winter months will stretch on forever – and, you’re not the only one thinking that. Chances are, your horse is as well. In the colder months, it’s not uncommon for horses to be stalled for an extended period of time, during which they may get bored, turn irritable, and may even develop health issues.
In order for a horse to stay healthy, it’s important they move around throughout the day and eat quite frequently. When a horse is cooped up in a stall, it’s likely their digestive tract will slow down, thus increasing their chance for ulcers or colic. Luckily, there are many things you can do as a horse owner to prevent this while ensuring your horse is comfortable during this time.
Give your horse toys – Horses enjoy the occasional stall toy to keep them occupied. If they don’t have something to keep them entertained, it’s possible they’ll start chewing on the stall and hurt themselves in the process. Toys can be as simple as a homemade milk jug on a rope or a plastic ball. You can also purchase toys designed specifically for horses from a variety of retailers.
Go for a ride – Taking a short ride in the winter can be a great exercise for you and your horse and is completely safe, as long as you know what to watch out for. If the ground is covered in snow, make sure to take a familiar path so you know exactly what’s underneath the snow cover. But, be sure not to take your horse out if the ground is icy, as this is dangerous for both you and your horse.
Open up the horse stalls – When horses are kept inside for an extended time period, it’s important they’re able to see one another. Open up the horse barn doors and windows or put your horses in stalls next to one another so they’re able to see and touch noses with other horses.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have a healthy and happy horse during the cold winter months.