Feeding in Winter


I am a complete novice and I am wondering if my Big Baby is getting enough food in the winter. he gets 2 scoops of concentrate in the evening and 1 scoop in the morning. he has grass available in the paddock and gets erograttis or whatever mixed with teff when he comes into the stable. his weight remains constant. I supplement him with probiotics which I bring to the stable evey afternoon. I also give him Omega 3 & 6. Is this enough for him in the winter. I am concerned.


The best way to judge whether your horse is getting the right sort of feed is really to just look at him! Does his coat shine and is it a healthy looking coat? Does he have lots of energy and sparkle? Is his weight constant and non-fluctuating? Are you feeding the best quality roughage and other food that you can?
The answers to these questions will tell you plenty about how your feeding regime is affecting your horse. During winter, the quality of roughage can get a little poorer, but if your horse maintains his weight, he is fine. If he does lose a little weight, you can supplement with extra calories - firstly, and most importantly, feed more roughage. You can also feed a small slice of lucerne in the evenings or supplement with extra oil or sugar beet. Those types of things will increase the caloires in his daily ration without resorting to increasing his concetrate feed. Remember to make any changes very slowly over time, to give his digestive system time to adapt! In winter, horses will also burn extra calories staying warm if they are exposed to the elements - especially of they are wet. Horses can handle cold rather well, but wet, windy cold is something that will drop condition and probably have him unhappy too. Make sure there are no cold draughts blowing throught the stable at night, use a warm rug at night and turn him out with a day sheet when the weather gets chilly and windy. This will help keep him warm and he will burn less calories. If the weather is 25 out and the sun is shining, please, don't keep the rug on! He will overheat and sweat and lose condition anyway!
I hope this helps you - it sounds like your horse should be fine! He sounds like he is getting everything he should. Make sure he has access to a salt lick, and if you want, provide him with a vitamin and mineral lick too. That way he has access to it if his body tells him he needs it.
Thanks for a great question!

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