Only a few sleeps left until the big day and whilst you may be rushing to partake in a little last minute shopping, present wrapping and fridge filling, have you thought about your plan for your horse over the festive period?
Quite often during the most wonderful time of the year, horses can find themselves spending a little more time than usual in their stable so it is a good idea to have a plan in place and some boredom busters ready to ensure they keep the festive spirit!
Obviously we do not want to make any sudden changes to the diet, however below are some fab tips to ensure that your horse’s Christmas runs smoothly:
- Why not organise a quick yard meeting to see if the workload could be halved? Maybe someone wants to get everything sorted in the morning and would just be coming to bring their horse in during the afternoon, whereas another may just want to turn out in the morning and spend more time in the afternoon. This could be an opportunity to spread a little Christmas cheer and make the day a little less hectic by helping each other out.
- If you are bringing your horse is earlier than usual make sure that you increase the amount of hay or haylage available in their stable-remember if they come in at 3pm and you do not return until 8am the following morning they need enough to last this 17 hour stretch. Double netting can be a good idea to slow down consumption and hanging nets around the stable to provide added interest and keep them moving is also useful.
- In addition to extra forage providing boredom busters in the stable can also brighten up your horse’s day. A suede or turnip hung from the ceiling can provide plenty of amusement as they try to grasp it- beware though if you hang it too close to a wall the crafty amongst your equines will quickly figure how to pin it and gobble them up!
- A ball filled High Fibre Nuts can also provide some exercise as they chase it around the stable.
- Make sure to check your water troughs and buckets, especially if we have a white Christmas. Horses do not tend to like drinking icy cold water, so providing some lukewarm throughout the day can encourage them to drink up and remain hydrated.
- Finally it only seems fair that your horses get to partake in the Christmas fun so why not make up a Christmas cake just for them. Try taking a few cups of your current hard feed, some grated turnip, swede, carrot and apple, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a glug of molasses. Mix together and serve! For a really tasty mix our Winter Health Mash works perfectly!
From all at Dodson & Horrell we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!