It is definitely cold outside and as equestrians we all dread this time of year, so we have been chatting to Synovium’s riders to find out their top equine winter tips.
As we head into January we know it is going to be wet, cold, icey which poses many challenges to all horse owners. These top 10 winter tips will help you through the worst winter months, and we look on that each day the nights are now getting lighter and soon spring will be here.
Rebecca Vale - Winter Tip 1
Like many people I struggle over winter, working full time and dark nights is not at all helpful! One great way to make the most of the limited time I have in an evening is to swap riding a couple of times a week for long lining instead. I can be much quicker whilst still providing Fergal with an efficient work out, even adding poles in to help with his core stability.
My must have winter product from Synovium is their Linseed Oil. Not only does it help support a healthy coat and digestive system, but it is a great way of getting extra calories into the diet without adding any fizz! This is a must with a horse like Fergal who can easily drop weight in the winter months.
Lisa Smith - Winter Tip 2
My top tip in winter to help with riding in the cold is to buy those throw away heat pads as they are great to put down the top of your boots helping keep your toes warm and also down the back of your gloves to keep your hands warm.
Also make sure you fill a large tub with water so that if your water drinkers freeze or your taps freeze you can access water for your horses.
Also add warm water to your horses water buckets to encourage them to drink more in the cold weather.
Pre-fill hay nets for the week ahead to save time in the week and weigh your forage to create less waste and so you can monitor what your horse is eating.
Synovium top winter product would be the Synovium Mudcare. Keeping mud fever at bay and keeping your horses legs in good condition it’s a great product to have in especially if your horses are still getting turnout.
Lilli Fiddes - Winter Tip 3
My must have is the Mudcare. It is my go to product for all cuts and scratches all year round and in the winter, I use it on the smallest irritation before it amounts to anything and literally wouldn’t be without it. It is literally miracle cream.
I also make sure I towel dry my ponies legs every night before bed and I am convinced that’s how I manage to keep them mud fever free, along with the Synovium Mudcare of course!
Charlie Jones - Winter Tip 4
On cold winter days I always like to keep a fleece rug on my horses during warm up. It helps to keep them supple and warm for longer. It is a great way of introducing the young horses to rugs and getting them used to the routine of rugs that are taken off at the last minute at shows.
I have TWO must-have winter products.
- Synovium Agility. It gives the muscles and ligaments and tendons everything they need to stay healthy with less chance of strain or injury.
- Syovium Myocare E. It is great in winter when the horses may come out a little stiff and not as supple as it helps to support muscle development and prevents muscle damage.
Gemma Dennis - Winter Tip 5
My winter tip is preventing mane loss. There is nothing more frustrating than your horse losing half its mane in winter, especially if you are a perfectionist like me!
I have found by only using necks on turnout rugs, not in the stable and spraying coconut oil on their manes it really helps by strengthening it and there is minimal loss.
My must have winter Synovium product has to be Synovium Mudcare, last winter my youngster really struggled with mud fever, so this year the first sign of any, I have used Mudcare straight away and it’s cleared it up before it’s become a problem. It’s also great for putting on wounds too!
Chloe Vell - Winter Tip 6
I like to turn all my horses out in the wintertime so on days when it’s wet and muddy, I use Synovium Mudcare which forms a protective layer by keeping the skin flexible and moisture proof so I am always reassured that none of my horses will suffer in the winter weather.
I think it’s very important to keep your horses routine varied with lots of hacking and pole work as well as schooling to ensure all their muscles are kept warm and supple in the winter months.
Warming up and cooling off for longer in the colder weather is essential to promote muscle suppleness and Synovium Myocare-E helps aid this too.
The Eilbergs - Winter Tip 7
One of our Top Tips would be to be prepared for winter and have a supply of rock salt to hand to use over icy and slippery walkways, fresh horses and slippery surfaces are not a good mix.
Mud fever is always a bit of a problem on our Warwickshire clay soil so we keep some tubs of Synovium Mudcare in the vet cupboard which left bandaged on overnight can work its magic on those pesky scabs.
Sophie Quinton - Winter Tip 8
My winter tip would be to feed a nice watery mash so that you know your horse is getting plenty of fluids in during the winter and on really cold days make it a warm mash if possible, to warm them up!
My winter must have would be the Arnica hydrogel as it aids the recovery of muscles, so I think it’s great to use after exercise when they are then standing in the stable to reduce any stiffness that may occur.
Rosie Jones - Winter Tip 9
When your horses are having their short winter break, keep on top of their coat, keep grooming them and picking their feet out to avoid any unnecessary injuries. Keep their legs as clean as possible to avoid mud fever.
My must have Synovium product would definitely be Synovium Gastrosafe, this is because it keeps their gut happy and healthy even after being stood and not as active in the stable. when I come to ride I am happy that my horses won’t have an upset stomach and are happy!
David Coombs (ND Sport Horses) -
Winter Tip 10
Winter tip. Our horses all have sugar beet in both their morning and evening feeds and once a week they have a nice warm bran mash.
We have 2 top winter products.
Prefit who we have Freddie on when he is competing. Freddie really struggles with his stamina and we really feel that Prefit completely changes him, he is so much fresher in himself. It provides him with the essential vitamins and minerals he can lack in the winter.
Gastrosafe, we have advocator and a couple of our younger showjumpers on it that struggle with a sensitive stomach. It really seems to settle them, and they seem so much happier especially in the winter months.
Jade Ellery - Winter Extra Tip
One of my winter tips for caring for my horses would be that I like to make sure that my horses are always warm enough, not over rugged but making sure they are all comfortable during the day and then making sure they have the right rugs on for night time.
I want them to feel ready to go when I ride, not cold and stiff. I do like to make sure that before riding they have a massage blanket on so their whole body is feeling nice and warm/supple before riding as well as after riding so that their muscles have a chance to relax and recover properly.
A winter must have product for me would have to be the Myocare-E, even though I use it all year round I believe that it is extra beneficial during these colder months to help prevent muscle stiffness and aid in the muscle recovery.