tips to help prevent colic with weather changes? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-14-2011, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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tips to help prevent colic with weather changes?

The temperature has gone from 10's to 40's to 20's to 70's to 30's to 60's now its snowing and supposed to be 70 but Thursday.
Is there anything I can do to help ward off colic?
He stays inside when its snowing like it is now. He has a blanket but I let him get a decent winter coat and we started blanketing when it got to 20 and below. So his blanket is off and has been for a while now. He's starting to shed and now its snowing. He still has a nice winter coat so I'm not worried about warmth plus his barn is sealed shut in weather like this.
He gets 2 flakes am and 3 flakes pm of hay
And a total of 1 and 1/4 lb of gro n win. And 2 coffee cups of beet pulp split into am and pm feedings.
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-14-2011, 07:41 PM
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Make sure he has access to water 24/7. Why does he need to stay in a stall when its snowing? Unless it is icy or he has NO access to a shelter then there is no reason that he can't be turned out. The more exercise he gets the better. Also if you can spread his feedings out more like 3-4 times per day it is much better for digestion. Horses are naturally grazers and eat constantly not just twice a day.

Last edited by Micky; 03-14-2011 at 07:43 PM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 08:46 AM
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What Micky said.

Especially if the horse is rugged(but healthy ones cope well without too), cold shouldn't matter & exercise is very important. Also so is little & often feeding. Perhaps if you can't feed out more often, you can instead use a small holed hay net or other form of 'slow feeder'. Also I appreciate the Gro n Win is a small quantity, but this is also best fed over a number of feeds, or at least divided into 2. If your horse is colic prone despite the above, I'd scope/treat for ulcers.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 10:21 AM
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Since he is likely to stay inside during this funky weather season, make sure he is getting enough activity to keep him going. Digestion works much better when he is moving.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 11:21 AM
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When the temperature drops you can give him luke-warm water. Alot of times they won't want to drink when it's really cold outside. Is he prone to colic?

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post #6 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 04:23 PM
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ulcer supps will help coat the gut. i use it on my more sensitive horses spring and fall with great results.

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post #7 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 05:40 PM
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Well, turnout for one will help a whole lot. As well as keeping the barn cool (between 30-40 degrees) if he absolutely must be in. He should be getting hay in little amounts as much as possible - if he is a hard keeper then free choice will be better. And he should have access to drinking water at all times.

Horses are most comfortable around 35 ish degrees. Being out in 0 degree weather and snow isn't going to kill him, especially blanketed. People regularily turn out horses all winter with no blanket in areas where it gets down to -40 plus windchill. Horses can handle cold weather.

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post #8 of 15 Old 03-16-2011, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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I've completely neglected this post I'm sorry.
They don't get turned out when it snows because no there isn't shelter in the paddock, also with the wetness the paddocks turn muddy which is no big deal but when the ground freezes it bruises soles and he had been getting bad bruises so I keep him inside when the ground is frozen.
I can't alter his feedings because I'm either at school or work and make it out in either the evening or morning. He's fed 2X daily his feet split between both times. I've added an evening handwalking to his routine.
He is not prone to colic from what I'm aware of, I just bought him in September and haven't had any health problems other than him never having his teeth floated -_- he's 10, I was pretty annoyed.
He has a heated waterbucket in his stall and the paddock has a de-icer.
There just have been 2 horses that have colic'd...but they are a stallion who stays in his stall and a young TB who gets turnout but no riding..so excersize seems to be the real determining factor. Thank you!
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-16-2011, 05:50 AM
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Hi,
He has shelter - you said he's rugged. Of course other shelter would be preferable, but he's still better out than in, health-wise. If you must keep him in & don't have time for more yourself, can you get someone else to take him out another time or few per day? A little evening walk is better than nothing, but not adequate to keep him healthy. Also for his mental wellbeing, is he at least stalled with access to other horses?

As for his feet, if his feet are unhealthy & prone to bruising, using something like Vettec SoleGuard is one treatment. Unfortunately lack of exercise also means lack of hoof health, so I wouldn't expect much improvement ATM.

Re feeding, you can put his hay ration into a small holed or doubled hay net and this will keep him from gorging it quickly, keep him going for much longer.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-16-2011, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Hi,
He has shelter - you said he's rugged. Of course other shelter would be preferable, but he's still better out than in, health-wise. If you must keep him in & don't have time for more yourself, can you get someone else to take him out another time or few per day? A little evening walk is better than nothing, but not adequate to keep him healthy. Also for his mental wellbeing, is he at least stalled with access to other horses?

As for his feet, if his feet are unhealthy & prone to bruising, using something like Vettec SoleGuard is one treatment. Unfortunately lack of exercise also means lack of hoof health, so I wouldn't expect much improvement ATM.

Re feeding, you can put his hay ration into a small holed or doubled hay net and this will keep him from gorging it quickly, keep him going for much longer.
Agreed.

Horses belong outside. Keeping them stalled for long periods of time stresses them mentally, physically and emotionally. Hooves deteriorate, gastric problems develop, osteoarthritis begins and horses become prone to ligament and tendon injuries, not to mention the various vices and temparment issues that can begin to arise..

Pack his hooves, or but them in easyboots, chuck a blanket on him and let him out during the day, no matter the weather.

My mid/upper level dressage horse is turned out with other horses in a large area where he can run and play all day long. No matter the weather he is out. The snow is up to his belly in some places and it dips down to -40 some days.

In most parts of North America, there is no excuse for keeping a horse stalled.

Good luck!

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