Taking care of your horses during the winter months can be challenging. You have to monitor their weight, ensure that they stay hydrated, provide them with shelter, be mindful of the cold, and more. It may be easy to assume that keeping your horses hydrated during the winter months is easy, as they can just eat snow or have frozen water that’s dethawed a bit.
However, it’s important to ensure that your horses have access to fresh, clean, temperate water all year round – winter included. Here’s what you need to know about why frozen water is bad for horses, what you can do to keep your horse’s water from freezing, and whether or not horses can even safely withstand freezing temperatures.
Why Frozen Water Is Bad For Horses
Frozen water for horses can be dangerous, as horses typically won’t drink ice-cold water and it can lead to impaction colic. Additionally, if your horse is exercising and drinking large amounts of frozen water, it is an even greater risk, as it could cause the horse to become dehydrated due to the cold temperature.
It is best to provide horses with room temperature water, or if you must provide frozen, break it up into small pieces or chips and thaw it out before offering it to the horse.
How To Keep Your Horse’s Water From Freezing In The Winter
Given that frozen water can cause so many problems, you want to do what you can in order to keep your horse’s water from freezing in the winter. If you don’t have an automatic horse drinker, this could be challenging. However, for the sake of your horse’s health and safety, it’s vital that you ensure they have easy access to fresh, clean water whenever they need.
How To Prevent Horse Water Buckets From Freezing
If you use water buckets, there are a few things you can do to prevent the frozen water that is bad for horses.
- Put them in an enclosure, which slows the water’s cooling rate.
- Place the buckets close to each other, which increases the area temperature.
- Use heated buckets or insulate your buckets.
- Use a submerged heater. Be careful that this does not emit electricity which could shock your horse.
- Partially bury or cover the bucket.
- Remove all the ice that forms, as this will cause the water to take longer to refreeze.
- Place the bucket in a rubber tire, which works as insulation.
How To Keep Your Horse’s Water From Freezing Without Electricity
If you’re trying to avoid electricity in your mission to prevent frozen water, a non-electric automatic horse waterer is just the ticket. With an automatic horse waterer from Bar Bar A, you don’t need to worry about refilling buckets, breaking ice, or trying to keep the water from freezing.
Bar Bar A’s automatic horse waterers connect right to your water line. This means that you don’t have to worry about frozen water, because when your horse wants to drink, the water comes up, and when they’re done, it goes back down. This allows you to rest assured that your horse has fresh, temperate water whenever they need it all winter long.
Can Horses Withstand Freezing Temperatures?
In the winter months, you need to make adjustments to your horse’s care. This can include winterizing your barn, taking measures to keep their water from freezing, and more. With all these precautions and all the dangers winter brings, it’s only natural to worry about whether or not horses can even withstand freezing temperatures.
Horses are resilient creatures. Their bodies can adapt to temperatures in a variety of ways. They can put on some extra body fat and grow a thick, winter coat to stay warm. Their bodies also adjust to cold weather by prioritizing blood flow to their vital organs while allowing their lower legs and hooves to take the brunt of the cold, as these parts of their body are better able to withstand it.
How To Help Your Horse Withstand Freezing Temperatures
Just because horses can adapt to cold weather doesn’t mean they don’t need some help to stay healthy.
- Blanketing. If you keep your horse’s coat clipped short, you’ll want to blanket them and ensure that you do so appropriately. A blanket that is too light can result in a cold horse while one that is too heavy could cause your horse to sweat and catch a chill.
- Feeding more. Since winter weight loss is a common issue, you should feed your horse more during the winter so that they can better stay warm.
- Provide shelter. Just because horses like being outside doesn’t mean they like being stuck out in a blizzard. Ensure that they have a shelter they can find refuge in.
- Take care of their hooves. If you shoe your horse, your farrier may suggest switching to shoes with studs on them for better traction. Regardless of whether you keep your horse barefoot or not, stay on top of their hoof care.
- Exercise safely. Exercise helps with blood flow and keeping your horse in shape. It’s important to take all the necessary precautions when exercising in the winter, though.
- Keep them hydrated. A hydrated horse is a healthier, happier horse. A non-electric automatic horse drinker is the best way to avoid frozen water and keep your horse hydrated.
Avoid Frozen Water And Keep Your Horses Hydrated
Bar Bar A provides non-electric automatic horse drinkers that make keeping your horses hydrated easy. Since our waterers connect right to your water line, there’s no need to worry about frozen water or ice keeping your horse from drinking. To learn more about our horse drinkers, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!