Christmas is a busy time for everyone and it can be difficult prioritising all the things that need to be done. If you are the proud owner of a horse, you will know that the seasons festivities can have an effect on your horse. Therefore, it is wise to plan ahead when considering how to care for your horse at Christmas. So, how do you care for your horse at Christmas? In this article, I will discuss some of the most important ways you can care for your horse during the Christmas season.
Stock up on Supplies
Christmas can be a very cold time of year, often bringing snow with it. As a result, it is important you stock up on all feed, straw and bedding supplies you need to effectively care for your horse in the event you are snowed-in and unable to purchase new supplies.
If you do not usually get snow over Christmas, it is still wise to stock up on those much-needed supplies because many suppliers and merchants will be closed for a few days during the holidays. So, be sure to order your supplies ahead of time to ensure they arrive without any problems.
Maintain a Regular Routine
It is common for your horse’s routine to change of the Christmas period as you become busier and your attention is demanded in various places at once. An unpredictable routine can cause your horse to become distressed and unsettled. Therefore, as part of effectively caring for your horse at Christmas, it is important that you maintain a regular routine for your horse, so your horse knows when he will be fed, exercised and brought in for the night. If you can’t maintain a regular routine on your own, due to other commitments, it is best to hire in help.
Protect Your Horse from Fireworks
These days, Christmas and New Years are another great excuse to set off fireworks and celebrate the season. Fireworks are no longer just set off during firework night, they are now used for large celebrations all around the UK. As a result, a significant aspect of caring for your horse during the Christmas season is preparing them for fireworks. To find out more about preparing your horse for fireworks, read our article here for more information.
Horses can easily become bored, so it is important you keep them entertained on days when it is too icy outside to take them riding. Horses enjoy keeping their minds busy. One of our most popular ideas is to place apples in buckets of water that the horses have to retrieve. This is a great source of entertainment for horses and is effective at keeping your horse mentally stimulated. An added bonus is that it encourages your horse to drink.
Keep Up the Exercise Regime
The Christmas season can make pastures hazardous for horses as the build-up of snow and ice means your horse is often confined to his stall. Therefore, during the Christmas season, your horse’s need for exercise will increase. Be sure that you let your horse out daily to stretch his legs, no matter the weather. If your pastures are safe, try to let your horse enjoy maximum turnout time. Fresh air and exercise is exceedingly beneficial for your horse, particularly during the Christmas season when the weather is colder, and activities are limited.
Plan for When You are Away
If you are planning to be away over Christmas, it is important you make plans to ensure your horse is well cared for in your absence. Having regular company is important for horses and ensures they are looked after, fed, watered and regularly exercised. Be sure to plan ahead and book your horse care well in advance of your holidays as many people are booked up early and the later you leave it, the more difficult it can become to find someone who is reputable and trustworthy.
Spend Time with Your Horse
Time seems to run out quickly in the leadup to Christmas and it can make getting things done difficult. However, it is important to ensure you spend plenty of time with your horse at Christmas to make sure he feels cared for. Spending time with your horse by grooming or riding him, increases your bond with one another. Horses are naturally herd animals and, therefore, they enjoy the company of others. Spend as much time with your horse at Christmas as you can.
Do You Have Any Advice?
I hope you have found this article useful. When it comes to Christmas, your horse’s needs must not be overlooked. Plan ahead so that you know your horse is having a great Christmas too, whether you’re at home or away.
Do you have any suggestions for horse care at Christmas time? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear your suggestions.