Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cold Snap

It's currently in the 20's and 30's here which is quite cold for us. In light of Emi's impaction colic during our last cold snap I'm being quite careful this second time around. Emi is currently well blanketed with a blanket liner and a medium weight blanket. I am hauling warm water from the house or heating their water with a bucket heater, even though it hasn't had any ice in it. This morning I also offered them one bucket of water flavored with some apple juice. This was in addition to their normal water, since I wasn't sure if they'd like it. When I took it outside Emi came over to check it out but she knew it had been doctored. She sniffed and sniffed at it but wouldn't ever try it. When I returned home this evening almost the whole bucket was gone! Then while I was carrying buckets to put in their big tub Emi drank around 3 gallons of warm water. That made me happy!

Other things I've done...1) I added a himalayan salt lick to their pen. It's on a rope and is hung on their gate. I know for sure that Emi uses it. They've always had a bigger salt block that's on the floor but I thought hanging something might make it more of a game and it puts it in their path all the time. 2) I also added some soaked timothy hay cubes to her meal time. I wasn't sure how well they would break down when soaked but they work great and are another way to get some extra moisture in to her. She gets way less grain than Roz so it gives her something to keep her busy while he eats.

In reality, I think there is just a little bit of luck that goes in to everything working like it's supposed to. I know that there are a lot of horses that live out, with out a blanket, soaked feed, or salt licks hanging nearby that do fine doing cold weather.  I think most of the things I'm doing fall under "can't hurt, might help" but at least they make me feel like I'm doing something to prevent further problems.  Does anyone have any great cold weather tips?

11 comments:

  1. It's been 2 days and I'm so done with the cold. I don't know how Northerners do it.

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  2. I think all of the things you're doing is great! I might have to try the apple juice. I tried gatorade and kool aid and molasses and he wouldn't drink any of those. I thought Emi's colic had more to do with a virus than with the cold weather? Or did she pick up the virus afterward?

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    1. No, it was an impaction (most likely from her not drinking enough during cold weather). She got the flu while in the hospital and that was her problem afterwards.

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    2. Oh okay. I must have mixed it all up in my head. Sorry! I think the measures you are taking are great. Smart too!

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    3. No worries. It was confusing, especially since the flu was initially thought to be colitis.

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    4. Yes I'm VERY happy it wasn't colitis!!

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  3. You seem very on top of the ball! The only thing I'd consider adding to the mix is extra hay. Hindgut digestion helps produce more body heat. On cold snaps (and for us that's single digits or below) every horse gets an extra flake of hay at night check. Putting it in hay nets so they are constantly working on it can also be a good way to keep a consistent level of digestion going for heat purposes.

    If the cold snap lasts longer, keep an eye on weight. It's normal for horses to need more calories in cold weather. I'm constantly checking Tristan to make sure he's carrying enough fat over his ribs to burn if he needs to - I like him to go into winter with a bit more than he needs.

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    1. I didn't mention that but they already get free choice hay in hay nets. :)

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  4. yea, i think you're so right about it ultimately being a little bit of luck... but sounds like you've taken some really solid preemptive measures!! fingers crossed that Emi stays healthy and happy and *hydrated*!!

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    1. She's going great and seems to really like her warm water that I've been taking out.

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