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Horse & Hound have done some really interesting articles recently interviewing top riders from different disciplines and talking about how their top horse will be fed throughout the winter. This is really interesting to read and it’s eye opening how many of these horses have 3+ feeds a day.
However, this got me thinking that as brilliant as this insight is on how to help keep horses in fantastic condition over winter, a lot of this information isn’t relevant to the typical horse owner. And there are a few reasons for this, the first is that the typical horse is in nowhere near the same amount of work as these horses, so don’t have the same dietary needs. Secondly, most owners don’t have the option to be at the stables 4 times a day to give their horses multiple feeds.
So I thought it would be a good idea to do a similar style post for Scottie, a good doer in light work over winter to give a different perspective on how to keep a horse in good condition over winter.
Scottie’s Winter Routine:
Throughout winter Scottie is kept in fairly light work. Usually exercised 2-4 times a week including lunging, 40 mins schooling and hacking.
He is out from about 7am until 5.30pm every day and in at night. At our current yard we only have one field for use all year round. So when the weather is bad he may have a day or two in a week or do a few half days turnout if we can fit this in around work.
Scottie’s Winter Feed:
Scottie has a fairly simple diet. He doesn’t have ad lib hay as we just keeps eating no matter how much you give him. So he has between 12-18 pounds of hay a night. If it’s yummy hay he has it double netted to help it last the entire night. When we start to run out of grass he also has hay put out in the field in the mornings with him. This is usually a couple of sections from a small bale of hay.
He also has two feeds a day, in the morning before he goes out and in the evening before I leave. He currently has a heaped stubs scoop of Dengie Hi-fi Lite and 3 cups of Baileys performance balancer split between the two feeds. This keeps his weight in really well and keeps him in great condition.