With two quarterhorses and a third that’s half QH/half Saddlebred, winter is always interesting. Kate and Foxy, my quarterhorses, get really hairy in the late fall and fatten up nicely. Foxy’s been dubbed The Wooley Mammoth. River, my QH/Saddlebred cross, not so much. And by spring they’ve all lost weight, even on grain.
The best article I could find on maintaining their health through the coldest of seasons is from Horse & Rider Magazine.
“When winter winds howl and snow arrives, the last thing you want to think about is leaving your fireplace to trudge through knee-deep drifts to pound ice out of frozen water buckets. What’s more, if you’re dealing with frozen ground and don’t know how to keep your older horse eating and drinking enough to stay healthy all winter, you’ve got to be thinking that there must be an easier way.”
I agree! Here’s one article: 15 Savvy Winter Tips from Horse&Rider | EquiSearch.
Another one with some quick tips, like what body condition to aim for, is:
Winter Management Considerations
This year, instead of just grazing and grain (they’re on 8 acres of forage), I’m asking the people I board with to toss them those huge 2 tonne bales of hay as well.