Bad weather and horses - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Bad weather and horses

Do you leave your horses out in cold rain or do you put them in the barn?


We’re in southern Louisiana but the weather can get down into the low 20’s and 30’s with rain. This isn’t often but it does happen.



If you leave them out, do you put waterproof blankets on them?
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 02:06 PM
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My 4 horses are on a 20 acre pasture with 3 run-in stalls that they can come and go as the please.My 2 senior horses have blankets that go on them when the weather turns cold.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 02:14 PM
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My horses go out in day, in at night 365 days/yr.

To blanket or not to blanket is a judgement call based on age and health issues, IMHO

My horses are ages 17, 18, 25, and 26+.

If the temps are in the 30's or lower, it's cold/windy and no sun, they now go out in waterproof, lined blankets.

I have never blanketed horses in my life but, I started that routine in 2011.

The 17, 25, & 26+ all have arthritis, two of them have metabolic issues, the 17 yo's winter coat looks like most horses' summer coat and he's always been that way.

I feel they've reached a point in their lives, along with their health issues, that blankets are necessary for certain types of weather to prevent them from burning calories just to keep warm. Plus I've got enough vet bills as it is

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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I have one that is 3 and the other is 8 or 9. They are both in good health but I wake up at night worrying if they're cold. LOL

I've been told by horse people locally that it causes more health problems if you put blankets on them. They say once you put a blanket on them, you have to do it all winter, every winter.

The 8-9 year old Draft still goes in the pond when the weather is in the 30's at night and 40's during the day so it makes me wonder if they really are cold.
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 02:35 PM
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The weather here can get to -40F or C but the average winter temp is about 25F. The horses have a run in shed but prefer to take shelter under a thick stand of fir trees. I did blanket them one year, more for me to cut down on grooming time, they played a game of "let's rip each other's blankets & see the old lady buy more"! Even in the harshest of weather, they are healthy & happy au natural.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 03:54 PM
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We don't have a barn so we couldn't put them inside even if we wanted to. We have trees surrounding us except to the SW. They use the trees for shelter but we also put up a couple of windbreaks. We do have some blankets but never use them. We only used them one winter when we moved them from a stable that they went in at nights to where they were out 24/7. It was late in the year so they didn't get decent winter coats.

Our youngest is 8 months but he has a really thick coat. The rest range from 6 years to 17 years. All are healthy and do well except one. He is a hard keeper but is doing better this year.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

We don't have a barn yet either. My son lives on our property and built stalls for his horses. They were in the stalls last night when it rained and he left ours out. He built 2 stalls, one for each of his horses, 16x16'.

As soon as I finish building my pond, I'll finish our stalls. The posts are up but I'm afraid of height and can't get up there to frame the roof or put it on. DH is disabled so he can't do it either.

I guess I will just leave them out. Monday is supposed to be rain and 30°. Even the dogs have an 8x8x8 heated and air conditioned dog house.
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 04:39 PM
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They do survive outside in bad weather just make sure they have plenty of hay to eat. When we first moved into our current house all my horses had was a 100X50 corral no shelter. They survived but my mare wasnt happy when we got a real bad lighting storm. She went through the fence and got pretty cut up. Hubby built a shelter for them real quick after that. Mine stay out most of the time unless its real windy and wet then I bring them in. I have three horses ages 9 ,11 and 26 and I have a 3 stall barn right now only 2 stalls. My 9 year old decided he wasnt liking being tied and took down the front of one stall.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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At least we don't have wind.

They get 1/2 a flake of alfalfa twice a day. We can't put out round bales like we used to because one of my son's horses is allergic. We had to rush him to LSU Vet school at 1:00 in the morning after trying him on a round bale. (it was horse round bales, not cattle) We tried giving him Timothy hay by the flake 2 weeks ago and he started colicing again.

Sunday night, I might give mine extra alfalfa.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-05-2012, 07:35 PM
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We leave the horses outside and give them some extra food.

Sometimes we take them in a few hours earlier if the weather is really nasty. But they are usually out for about 14 hours.
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