Is your horse ready for fall and winter?


SO MUCH TO DO! Just kidding. A few critical things, and a few non-critical things, but mostly it’s about getting ready for weather before it happens. Just get it done before it’s sub-zero!


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vet giving sub q shot

Vaccines. Are. No. Big. Deal.


The totally important things for fall and winter:



  • Fall vaccines. Even if you don’t show and your horse never leaves the property – there are many horse diseases that are transmitted by other methods – and keeping your horse’s immunity up year-round is his best defense against illness. I always have my vet take care of these – reactions can be dangerous!


  • While the veterinarian is there – fecal egg count and possible targeted deworming. You MAY be able to wait to deworm until after a hard freeze – depends on where you live. For example, bots are super common, but if you treat for them before a freeze, you may need to treat again later. Details about fecal egg counts and fun poop stuff can be found here!


horse having his teeth floated by the vet

The dentist comes to you! And they won’t give you a hard time about not flossing.


  • Also, do a chompers-check – make sure your horse can chew comfortably, this will only help him digest his noms and pack in the calories for cold weather. For in-depth and hard-hitting reporting about chompers, this article will fascinate you.


  • For metabolically challenged horses – you may want to run a blood panel to monitor his levels. This will give you valuable information as to how to manage winter grazing, which can create problems as cold temps cause sugar spikes in pastures. Learn more about NSC values and pastures here. The risk of laminitis is HIGH in fall, sometimes higher than in spring. More on that here.


  • For hard keepers, start stashing on the calories – but make any feeding changes slowly over a two-week period or so. There are many reasons why horses are hard keepers, try and find the cause and you can do more to help. Ideas here.


horse weight tape

Math time. A horse weight tape is handy to monitor trends.



Some possible horse stuff to check off the list:


  • Deeply clean and thoroughly condition your horse’s tack. Even though we *always* clean our tack after every ride, during the winter it seems we don’t always dig deep.


  • One last deep cleaning of your horse’s mane and tail! Use that nice warm fall air and really shampoo and condition his tail.


snow shoe insert on horseshoe

Make any shoeing adjustments! These pads help prevent snowballs.


  • Go from shod to barefoot or barefoot to shod – if this is something that you do. Many show horses have shoes pulled and time off in the winter. But, frozen ground is unforgiving and irregularities in the earth show up as frozen daggers – not so awesome for bare feet. You may also need some snow pads! For some guidance on pulling shoes, this article has tips for you.



two horses in winter blankets looking over a fence




power grip clippers on fetlocks

Goodbye fuzzy hair! If it makes your horse more comfortable.



Don’t forget to make sure your own winter boots are in working order and your mittens and hat are ready.


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Shapley's No.1 Light Oil
$19.82 ($0.62 / Fl Oz)

For shine, conditioning, detangling, and stain protection.

06/12/2024 04:38 am GMT
05/01/2024 12:28 am GMT
Tech Equestrian Rain Sheet with Neck Cover | 1200Denier

Keep your horse dry during bad weather, this rain sheet is also great for windy days.

05/07/2024 04:37 pm GMT



Thank you!