Rug­ging up

NZ Horse & Pony - - Our Month -

Although mother na­ture has pro­vided horses with their own win­ter coats to pro­tect them even in sub-zero tem­pea­tures, ap­pro­pri­ate use of rugs is an im­por­tant part of tak­ing care of an older horse dur­ing the win­ter, es­pe­cially if he is suf­fer­ing from arthri­tis, as the cold weather makes it hard to move around to gen­er­ate heat.

Even a per­fectly healthy older horse is go­ing to have a harder time stay­ing warm when it is wet and/or windy, and par­tic­u­larly if they are clipped.

A cold horse not only will lose weight, but he will also be­come stressed and weak as his body strug­gles to main­tain its tem­per­a­ture. This can lead to a com­pro­mised im­mune sys­tem, less able to fight off ill­ness and in­fec­tion.

But don’t just shove a heavy­weight rug on your horse the mo­ment the tem­per­a­ture drops and leave it there un­til spring. Es­pe­cially in the north of the coun­try – but even in the deep south – sunny af­ter­noon tem­per­a­tures can get up around 20 de­grees. Swel­ter­ing and sweat­ing un­der a heavy cover is just as un­com­fort­able for your horse as be­ing too cold, and it’s just

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.