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  • Kate Hillen


Updated: Dec 8, 2023

With our unforgiving Wyoming winters, we are beyond fortunate to now have a winter home for our horses just 45 minutes north of their summer pasture. This distance provides a home at a lower elevation. And lower elevation tends to mean less snow (usually).

As we bring our equine friends to their new home for the winter, this comes with many changes, especially to their diet. During the summer, the horses are able to graze on hundreds of acres with access to the woods for shade, seven different salt block locations, and four water sources where they can gather round and enjoy a drink. Their winter home provides all these same things - food, shelter, nutrients, and water - just in a different way. Each horse has its own stall with a run-in shelter to provide a dry place out of the snow, wind and rain. Each stall has its own automatic waterer that is heated to prevent the water from freezing, which is pretty ideal for Wyoming, especially since water is even more crucial to horses during winter months. Each stall also features a feeder to keep hay in one place, which helps us reduce waste, as well as a large salt block.

When it comes to creating feeding programs, we evaluate each horse and tailor a program to their specific needs. The main aspects we pay attention to are their age, weight, metabolic rate, body condition score, coat health, and their winter activity level. Let's use Billy as an example. Our sweet 14 year-old Flea-bitten grey gelding, will get two flakes of alfalfa each day - breakfast and dinner - along with a few pounds of equine senior grain, plus three ounces of loose salt split into two feedings as well, morning and night. Whereas our 29 year-old brown mare, Dolly, will have two feedings with an alfalfa flake each. But she'll get a few more pounds of grain than Billy receives, as this is easier for her body to digest and turn into fat, fiber and energy. It's just another way we do our best to personally care for each one of our Sanctuary horses.

Fun fact: Horses consume anywhere from 0.5%-2% of their body weight in forage, grass, and hay each day! Grain is used to supplement during the winter, since grass and forage are taken out of the equation, and loose salt encourages water consumption and helps to replenish mineral levels. Along with a nutritious diet, we also provide yummy homemade treats our horses love! We will share the recipe below so YOUR horse friends can enjoy a yummy snack.


Sweet Treat


  • One cup rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup water

  • A pinch of molasses

  • A pinch of creamy peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup of your horse's grain

  • 1 carrot


  1. Put the rolled oats in a bowl and add water.

  2. Add a pinch of molasses and creamy peanut butter.

  3. Add your horse's favorite grain and stir. If it is not sticking, add more molasses.

  4. Cut up the carrot. Roll the carrot pieces in the mixture to make little balls( not too small though).

  5. Put the carrot balls in the refrigerator to harden before serving.

  6. Watch your friend enjoy it!

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