While the weather doesn’t reach arctic temperatures in Ocala, Florida, we still have to consider the winter season when caring for our horses. We like the relatively mild temperatures in central Florida, but the seasons are still changing, and the horses might have a few different needs this season. As winter sets in wherever you are, it’s crucial to adjust your horse care routine to ensure the well-being of your equine companions. Here are some essential winter horse care tips.


Horses generate heat through digestion, and hay is an excellent source of roughage that aids in this process. Increase the amount of good-quality hay during colder months to help keep your horse warm. Ensure your horse has access to unfrozen water at all times. Consider using heated water buckets or a tank heater to prevent water from freezing. This is especially true in areas where colder temperatures are more common in the winter.


Continue regular grooming to remove dirt, debris, and loose hair from your horse’s coat. A clean coat allows their natural insulation to work more effectively. Inspect your horse’s skin for dryness, irritation, or conditions like rain rot. Consider using a moisturizing shampoo or coat conditioner to prevent skin issues.


Provide your horses access to a three-sided shelter or barn to protect them from harsh winds and precipitation. This helps them stay dry and warm. Keep the bedding in their shelter clean, dry, and ample. This provides additional insulation and comfort.

Hoof Care

Winter conditions can be harsh on hooves, like our hands and nails. Check your horse’s feet regularly for signs of cracks, thrush, or other issues. Regular trimming and, if necessary, shoeing will help maintain hoof health. Keep a close eye on and consult with your farrier or vet if you see anything unusual.


If possible, allow regular turnout to encourage movement and exercise. This helps maintain their overall health and prevents stiffness. If turnout is limited due to extreme weather conditions in your neck of the woods, consider providing supervised exercise to keep your horse active.


While studies have shown that horses adjust during colder temperatures, many owners choose to blanket in the winter. It’s okay to use blankets but avoid over-blanketing. A waterproof, breathable blanket can protect against rain and snow in your area while allowing your horse’s natural coat to provide insulation.

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