Horses Need Water In The Winter Too
Hey people in our great white frozen North. Horses need water in the winter. Just letting them eat snow works if they are out on good pasture, just grazing. Because they are getting snow with every single bite of feed they paw for. But then again, only mature, healthy horses should be expected to winter by pawing through snow for feed on land that has NOT been grazed down all year, leaving very little for winter. Young horses, old horses, mares in foal need to be fed hay. In this old girls opinion, (did I just admit to no longer being a spring chicken?) they all deserve to be fed in the winter. But, lets talk about doing the right thing and feeding them hay. But still expecting them to get enough water by eating snow. They now must actually eat dry hay, then turn around and eat mouthfuls of snow to stay alive and healthy. Many, many mouthfuls of snow to get the required amount of water. Go get a bucket of snow, bring it in the house and let it melt. Not much actual water in the bottom of the bucket is there. Now do you see what I mean? Yes, most of them survive, but they do not do as well in any respects as the horses supplied with water, with a heater in the tank to keep it from freezing. Young horses do not grow as much and may never reach their full potential in height, bred mares foal smaller, weaker foals in the spring with these foals having less chance of a clean bill of health and less of a survival rate. Older horses, past their prime, often come through the winter but as bags of bone. It takes them all year, just to recover, then bang, here comes winter again and eating snow to survive.