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would you take extra precautions?

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  • would you take extra precautions?

    My air-fern Perch/TB cross lives outside and will continue to be outside this winter (not terribly bad Southern winters). He gets about 3 lbs. of TC lite, Probios and an electrolyte on a once-a-day feeding schedule (tha'ts not something I can change given his board). He has 24-hour access to a round bale. He's managed to actually lose some weight since I got him on the reduced lite feed.

    Would you take any extra precautions for winter, given that he's likely to drink less of the water outside since it's cold, and he'll be eating a lot of hay? I worry about the chance of impaction colic, but don't know what else I should be doing. Thanks!
    Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors

  • #2
    He'll be fine. If they're used to living outside, they usually drink just fine and are ok. If he has shown a propensity, tho, to not drink enough, I'd just add regular salt to a soupy dinner and be sure precautions are taken to not have frozen-over water (i.e., stock tank heater of some type, insulated tub with hot water added overnight, etc.).
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      This will be his first winter living outside - not sure how he'll do with drinking. he is also currently fed on the ground by the BO, so I also worry about sandy soil getting ingested, and the combo of that with the abundance of hay. Then again, he's only eating once a day and not much at that.
      Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors

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      • #4
        I had always heard that horses actually prefer drinking cold water as opposed to the warm water they'd get in troughs that had been in the sun during the summer. As long as you made sure to break and remove any ice build up, I don't think you'll have to worry too much, especially if he's going to be outside and able to move around instead of being pent up in a stall all winter.

        He's probably less likely to scarf the hay if he has continual access to it all day long. He'll nibble and graze on it instead of sucking it down as soon as it hits the ground which in turn would help his intestinal health.

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        • #5
          If you're really concerned you could ask to soak his grain, get an extra gallon or 2 of water into him. Also, my QH will drink 2-3 gallons of water at night when I bring him in, as long as the water is hot. So if your barn has hot water you could offer him a bucket to see if he shows any interest.

          Overall though, I really wouldn't worry, feeding hay just tends to make them drink more, I don't think he would drink any less.
          come what may

          Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

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          • #6
            I wouldn't worry. Lots of horses in my area are on 24/7 turnout and our winter nights can get pretty chilly. The horses do fine. Just make sure their water source is clean and not frozen, and your guy should be fine. This will be my horse's 8th winter on 24/7 turnout, and she's 24 now. Still fat, still sassy, still kicking.

            I noticed you said he eats off the ground and you have sandy soils. Do you feed psyllium? That would be my bigger concern with your horse regarding colic.
            *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

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            • #7
              Originally posted by VaqueroToro View Post
              I had always heard that horses actually prefer drinking cold water as opposed to the warm water they'd get in troughs that had been in the sun during the summer.
              Except for maybe my weird horse who actually prefers warm water, be it in the trough or hot out of the hose. If all he has available is cold water he'll drink that just fine but even if he's recently had a large drink of cold water he'll go for the warm if I offer it, winter or summer. His teeth and mouth are fine. He's just odd.
              "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

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              • #8
                I always noticed that our horses drank more water once we turn the heater on in the trough. I think when it is cold out, they like the warmer water vs. cold.

                This is not compared to summer, when they drink the most, but compare a day at almost freezing w/ unheated tank to day when it is below freezing w. heat.

                maybe they were weird.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by shiningwizard255 View Post
                  I wouldn't worry. Lots of horses in my area are on 24/7 turnout and our winter nights can get pretty chilly. The horses do fine. Just make sure their water source is clean and not frozen, and your guy should be fine. This will be my horse's 8th winter on 24/7 turnout, and she's 24 now. Still fat, still sassy, still kicking.

                  I noticed you said he eats off the ground and you have sandy soils. Do you feed psyllium? That would be my bigger concern with your horse regarding colic.

                  No, I don't currently, but am wondering if I should. I've been thinking about getting the Smartpak SandClear stuff for the week-long once-a-month treatments. Is there a better alternative?

                  I feel like my BO is going to get annoyed with me, as I think my horse is currently getting the most supplements of all the horses!
                  Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors

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                  • #10
                    Paying day-to-day attention will do the job.

                    Do the poop-in-a glove test to see if any sand precipitates out. So, 3-4 horse balls in a glove with some water. Hang it up to dissolve and then look for sand collected in the fingers.

                    Take off his blanket from time to time to get a look-see of his whole body, looking for too much weight loss.

                    Pinch the skin on his neck and make sure you don't get any tenting that signifies dehydration.

                    Chances are that he'll do great turned out as God intended.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

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