Colic Weather - Is Your Horse At Risk?

by Michelle Drum October 01, 2020 2 min read

Colic Weather - Is Your Horse At Risk?

 

It seems to be a similar story each year here in The Carolinas... Summer weather tends to linger longer than we would probably like and then in a blink of an eye the temperature drops 50 degrees overnight!

While we enjoy this refreshing change, we need to take a minute to keep an eye on our equine friends, these types of changes can cause a higher risk of colic, keeping our good friends at Tryon Equine Hospital very busy. 

There are a few important changes to your horse's behavior to be mindful of. For instance with a sudden temperature drop your horse may have a lessened interest in drinking. Dehydration is commonly observed when we have drastic changes in weather and can be an early sign of colic. 

Horses are herbivores and grazers by nature, they are meant to be constantly grazing to keep their gut moving at all times. When horses stop drinking they become dehydrated and the lack of fluid in the gut slows the digestion process, eventually leading to impaction colic which can lead to surgery or even death if not treated promptly. 

Here are some ideas to entice your picky drinker and increase his fluid intake!

"Soup For Dinner"

In this weather I often give my horses 'soup for dinner' for a meal or two. 
I flood their meal with warm water until it's a soupy texture, they may make a mess but I know they are hydrated. 

 

Soak Your Horse's Hay

Another idea is to serve soaked hay if your horses are either stalled or turned out where hay is usually thrown. 
The soaked hay is a great way to sneak them some water. Soaked hay cubes is are another great option too.

"Bobbing For Hay Cubes"

One of my horses is a very fickle drinker in general, especially if we go to a competition venue. I have found that letting him "bob for hay cubes" is something that keeps him entertained as well as hydrated.

I always make sure to give him one bucket with floating cubes & another that's just plain water (be sure to break the cubes apart so they are small enough to float and grab at but not choke on).

 

Electrolytes

Offering free choice salt or electrolytes can also stimulate your horse to drink more. I've had some luck with adding a small bottle of Gatorade / Powerade to a 5 gallon bucket of water. The sugary flavor can entice many picky drinkers to try a sip. 

 

 

Signs Of Colic To Look Out For

If you happen to see any of the following signs of colic it is always a good idea to call your vet for a quick check up. 

Better to be safe than sorry!

signs a horse is colicing
  • Restlessness and pawing at the ground

  • Stall walking / pacing

  • Sweating and increased breathing rate

  • Irritated kicking to the stomach

  • Flank watching

  • Stretching as if to urinate

  • Rolling or attempting to roll

  • Elevated pulse rate


    Stay safe & enjoy this wonderful Fall weather!


    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.


    Also in Barn Blog

    5 Reasons Why Equestrians Love Sun Shirts!
    5 Reasons Why Equestrians Love Sun Shirts!

    by Lizzie Lengling March 01, 2021 3 min read

    Happy March everyone! We are officially less than a month away from the start of spring! Soon we will be emerging from the depths of our indoors, tossing off our puffy jackets, and pulling out our favorite sun shirts.
    10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know You Needed For Show Season
    10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know You Needed For Show Season

    by Lizzie Lengling February 26, 2021 4 min read

    Horse show season is fast approaching so it’s time to start thinking about everything you’re going to need for the year. We all have our standard packing lists that include the normal gear we all have to bring, but there are a lot of small things that you may never have thought of before. 
    rider saddling horse
    How To Correctly Saddle a Horse

    by Michelle Drum February 23, 2021 4 min read

    Being able to correctly saddle your horse will ensure a safe and comfortable ride for you and proper care for your horse. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process of how to saddle a horse the right way.

    Want Access to Riding Emails You'll Love?