5 Easy Things to do to Avoid Colic this Winter... (really anytime!)

5 Easy Things to do to Avoid Colic this Winter... (really anytime!)

My girl, Calli, came to me with a predisposition toward showing signs of colic when the barometric pressure changed.  With any storm coming, she was giving the usual signs of a curled lip and looking at her sides.  This was in the early days of my learning about horses and how best to care for them.  It was a crash course!

I’ve learned so much over the years and we no longer deal with those bouts of stomach upset. It’s been pretty smooth sailing for all my horses simply by keeping these 5 habits as part of their healthy, holistic lifestyle...

  • First and foremost, allow your horses the freedom of movement!  The more they can move and forage for their food, whether it’s on the ground or in hay bags, the better their digestive system functions.  A track system is ideal, but if you’re not there yet at least spread the hay out in their space to encourage them to move to new areas.
  • Make sure your horses are drinking plenty of water.   In the cold temperatures adding a heat source to keep the water drinkable is necessary.  Even making the water more enticing by adding a favorite oil flavor like lemon or Citrus Fresh would help them to drink but would also support their immune system function.
  • Free choice granulated salt or adding it directly to their food is necessary for many body functions but will also encourage drinking more water.  The average horse needs at least 1 oz of salt per day in the winter.  It is responsible for such things as intestinal movement and fluid balance, absorbing nutrients and muscle and nerve function.
  • Get rid of the processed grains!  They are often loaded with sugars and ingredients that are hard on the gut.  Go to forage-based feeds and whole foods like flax, chia and hemp to add to your horse’s nutrition regimen.  Adding water is a benefit year-round but adding a bit more, and making it warm, for the extra cold weather is a good thing.  If you have a hard keeper, of course splitting meals into more and smaller proportions is the safer thing to do for them.
  • Adding the essential oil blend of Digize, from Young Living, has been the saving grace for us.  I use it daily in their feed, year-round.  I believe this is a big part of why Calli no longer has stomach discomfort.   The blend of oils serves to help the gut to achieve a homeostasis or balance.  We are never without it!

Wishing you a safe and healthy winter with your horses. And if you’re looking for more holistic care information to help you care for your horses, join us in our community in the fb group The Hearts of Horses, Empowering Through Holistic Care.

All the best,