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Polar Vortex Horse Care

Winter Horse CareAs the coldest air in 20 years surges into major population centers in the United States, many are raising eyebrows over its rare cause: the positioning of the polar vortex. Accuweather.com tells us that a polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern hemisphere, which sits over the polar region during the winter season.

Our equines are at risk during these temperature drops, just as we are. To keep your horse, not only safe, during a cold snap, but healthy as well, ask yourself these questions.

Got water?
One of the most important items to consider is how you will keep your horse’s water from freezing. No matter what season, horses need abundant, fresh water. In winter a horse generally consumes about 5-10 gallons of water per day, and more if exercised. Check several times daily to make sure your horse’s water source is not frozen. If you’re in an area where it dips below freezing often, there are many types of heating units to prevent this.

Use a blanket?
To keep your horse warm, blanketing is often necessary, especially for some horses that are outside year-round. If you keep a blanket on your horse all winter, it’s important to remove the blanket at least once weekly so that you can check for anything that may be hidden by the consistent wear of the blanket.

What is the best way to check changes in body condition? A good grooming session. Original Man ‘n Tail Shampoo moisturizes and protects coats during these winter months when the air is very dry. Always follow up with Original Mane ‘n Tail Conditioner to prevent mane and tail breakage, which is common in the colder weather. This gives you the opportunity to check for any new lumps, bumps or skin conditions. If you don’t ride much in the winter, grooming gets in that missing human-to-horse bonding time. Keeping a strong bond with your horse throughout the year has so many benefits!

If your horse has a long hair coat, you should comb through the hair to check for any scratches, abrasions or other irritations. For long mane and tails, the solution for hard to comb hair is Mane ‘n Tail Detangler. It helps eliminate tangles and knots. It’s also easy to use, which you many thank us for when using during cold temperatures!

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