Exercise, Air & Light: Fit Through the Winter in an Open Stable
Unfortunately, it can be hard to offer horses good living conditions in the winter. Their stalls tend to be constricting, and it is hard to keep bedding fresh, the stable well ventilated, and dust and mould down. These issues can lead to acute respiratory diseases.
Thankfully horses don't need much to stay healthy:
As little dust in the barn as possible
Impeccable, mould-free hay and straw
Good quality bedding
Are you ready to open stable?
The open stable is the best option for keeping horses over the winter, as long as the conditions are hygienic and the horses are looked after. They should also not be shorn. hygienically well looked after and the horses are not shorn. There are, however, things to think about- if your horse is outdoors in a drafty pasture with poor bedding and cold, wet, cold soil. Animals can get sick when the temperature drops below zero and they are cold and wet, but they can also get sick when the stable is too warm, too dirty and too stuffy.
Being able to run free outdoors leads to a happier and more balanced horse.
Space to sleep
Horses like to lie down to sleep. This is the only way they can truly rest. This means you need to make sure that there is enough space for all the animals in your pasture to sleep comfortably. Horses like to split up their living quarters- they do not like to sleep in the same area that they eat.
Since horses are herd animals, they should never be kept alone. When new animals join their herd they become restless and tense. Make sure to introduce new companions gently to ensure a stress-free living climate.
When horses live outdoors in the winter, they form a natural layer of tallow on their skin that protects them against the cold and damp. This protects against cold and wet. However, this tallow layer must be taken into account when riding. Since their coats are also very dense in winter, they sweat more easily and need to be well cared for after a ride. Failing to do so can lead to immediate consequences for their health.