Autumn can be a wonderful time for riders. You get to enjoy the foliage, and do your chores and riding without boiling or freezing. However, like any other season, fall presents its own set of hazards. Fluctuating temperatures, schedule changes, and changes in foliage can all be harmful to your hooved buddy. Read on for some fall care tips from a local vet.
You may want to start putting down a bit more bedding, to give your horse a warm, soft bed. Senior horses will definitely appreciate some extra padding at night! This is also time to purchase your hay for winter. Before you make your orders, check sheds and storage areas for leaks, mold, wetness, rodents, and/or drafts.
You might need to tweak Silver’s menu as the weather cools. If you ride your horse more in fall than you do in summer, your equine pal may need extra calories to fuel those workouts. Horses that spend a lot of time outside may also need more calories. However, if you ride him less, and/or if Silver is inside more than outside, you may need to reduce his portion sizes.
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that the grass will soon become sparser and of lower quality. Make sure that your horse is getting a nourishing feed. You may also want to increase his hay servings. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Fall is traditionally a peak time for flu viruses. Equine flu shots can protect both Silver and his stablemates. Fall’s shorter grass also means a higher risk of parasites. Keep up with parasite control! Dental care is also a must. Get Silver’s teeth examined, and have them floated if needed. You’ll also want to schedule a farrier appointment before things get slippery. Sheath cleaning should also be on the agenda for the boys. Don’t forget about the barn cats, either!
Fall’s rainy weather can cause sugar to spike in pasture grass. Silver may love the sweet taste, but sugar puts him at risk of laminitis. Keep an eye out for warning signs! Some of these include laying down more than usual, rings around the hoof, and bulges in the hoof sole. You may need to limit your horse’s pasture time or put a grazing muzzle on him. Just make sure he’s still getting enough turnout and exercise.
Fall can be absolutely perfect riding weather. The cool temperatures and crisp autumn days won’t last long! Take Silver out on a trail ride with some buddies. Your equine companion may appreciate some apples as a seasonal treat.
Do you have questions about your horse’s health or care? Contact us today!