Autumn Horse Care Guide

The wind down from summer can be bittersweet - it's more comfortable for us and our horses, but we know the challenge of winter is creeping closer by the day. There's plenty to get done in autumn to prepare for the cold weather, and the days soon get shorter to give us even more of a challenge. Caring for our horses starts to take that bit longer again with the routine changing and them coming back into their stables.

Autumn Care Checklist

Use Autumn to fully prepare yourself for winter, making the difficult months ahead slightly easier.

  • Health checks:
    Check your worming routine
    Weigh and condition score your horse
    As fields get wetter, check the feet and legs for signs of issues e.g. mud fever, crumbling feet or abscesses

  • Evaluate nutrition:
    The grass will have a final flush of growth through autumn - be cautious if your horse is prone to weight gain, laminitis, EMS or similar conditions
    If your horse has been in harder work through the summer and is now winding down, adjust your feed accordingly

  • Think about seasonal conditions:
    Seasonal irritations (such as sweet itch) can still be present through to around November when frosts start and midges begin to die off
    Be careful to prevent mud fever at this time of year

  • Skin and coat care:
    Horses will start to grow their winter coat, so you'll want to consider clipping if you intend to keep your horse in work

  • Field management:
    It will soon start to get muddy - consider where your horse will be turned out, using better-draining ground
    Your horse's grass intake will still need monitoring
    Check for poisonous plants. Remember to look out for acorns and sycamore seeds at this time of year, fencing off any areas if necessary.

  • Routine changes:
    Gradually change the routine if your horse is starting to come into the stable for longer periods - this will help to prevent colic and stress

  • Prepare your kit:
    Dig out your winter rugs for the stable and field ready to go (light weights, medium weights and heavy weights)
    For horses prone to mud fever, turnout boots can be useful to keep legs clean and dry
    Although you should be wearing hi vis all year round, it's especially important during this time of year with duller days and less daylight hours