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January - and my horses are now in overnight because we can't get hay up to our main field as the track is now a mudfest. So, they're in their smaller winter paddock right by the stables (handy!) and are seeming to enjoy the comfort of a warm bed overnight with plenty of local hay.
We're now in what's considered the ‘depths’ of winter. Even though as I type we're in a mild spell, just two days ago I was layered up and scraping ice off the car. We’re now experiencing (occasional) freezing temperatures, so keeping our horses hydrated is essential. When the temperature drops, horses drink less, and in areas where water sources can freeze over, dehydration and impaction colic become very real concerns.
Winter detoxification is all about supporting the function of the kidneys and bladder, for which hydration and sodium in the equine diet is important. Horses drink substantially more water in winter when it’s lukewarm, so if you can, adding warm water to buckets before a feed will encourage horses to drink deeply. Soaking feed and hay with warm water will also aid hydration.
As a result we've got Sea Salt on offer this month for kidney support and to help keep our horses wanting to drink, and our KidneyCARE herbal blend if you think your horse may benefit from a kidney tonic.
Staying with herbs, supporting respiration is beneficial as well, especially when stabled, so we have our BreathePlus blend on offer.
Finally, to complete the detoxification picture, we've got Alltech's MycosorbA+ in the January mix to help combat fungal moulds, typical of this time of year.
PS - a quick heads-up for those of us with horses who experience spring pollen allergies and sweet-itch; remember to start feeding the herbal support 4-6 weeks before the symptoms usually present, to get the immune system prepared - see Herbal Nutrition/Coat & Skin and Herbal Nutrition/Pollens.