Feeding a horse during a drought


Man the weather is dry here in South Central Texas. I have lived in the Hill Country all of my life and I can remember many periods of dry weather but nothing like this. The humidity has been in the single digits and the wind blows constantly. The temps cool down at night but rise to near 80 or above during the day. There is no dew and rarely any kind of fog which you might see in August but this is Feb. We should have 40 degrees with drizzle and cold north winds many of the days if the weather was typical.


The horses are fairing pretty well but I have noticed they are craving their alfalfa even more that usual. Lady, the donkey, actually left her feed to get a head start on the alfalfa before Tess joined in. I have even been giving some alfalfa to the chickens because their is nothing green anywhere. The horses are drinking well but still seem a bit on the dry side. They have increased their salt intake slightly and I am adding some electrolytes to the horses feed because the salty flavor can have a moistening effect. I don’t have any good sea salt right now. I don’t add electrolytes as a horse feed supplement all the time but these are extreme conditions. If I had some kelp in my horse supplement collection I would use a bit of it to give more of the salty flavor with a good balance of  minerals. I am off to the feed store this morning so perhaps can pick some up. I never mind adding a product like this to my horse feeding plan when conditions warrant it.


All the animals seem a bit subdued which is unusual in windy weather and I wonder if they are being challenged with the high cedar pollen counts or if they recognize the dryness is hard on their lungs so they don’t want to stress them. This would be a good time to give all horses a product like Bleeder’s Blend from Equilite.  As a matter of fact I think I do have some of it and I may add some to my own diet. I often share supplements with the horses which raises the eyebrows of non horsey guests who visit.


Just remember that feeding a horse in dry weather should include some moistening herbs and a bit of salty flavor because when there is drought like this even pasture horses that could normally browse for what their systems need don’t have that option. Madalyn

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