Can a horse's coat be wet in cold temperatures?
 
 

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Can a horse's coat be wet in cold temperatures?

This is a discussion on Can a horse's coat be wet in cold temperatures? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Should i take my horses wet blanket off
  • Will my horse be cold if shes wet

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    12-05-2011, 07:00 PM
  #1
Foal
Can a horse's coat be wet in cold temperatures?

Since this is our first year (especially winter) having our horses, I keep running into situations that make me question. Here's one:
We are currently in a winter cold spell with snow and wind and temperatures between 0 and -10. The horses have full access to a covered shelter but when I went to check on them today, I realized my naive husband had left one of our older horse's wet blanket on her all day. So, when I went take the wet blanket off and brush out the hair, I realized that they all have wet coats with ice all over them. Thinking I knew what I was doing, I went ahead and brushed the ice off of them - trying to get them to dry their coats before the sun set tonight with record setting lows.
Now, after doing some quick reading, I think I was really mistaken for brushing out their coats. Now, they are all wet and I am trying to figure out what to do, if anything, before the sun sets.
I know...rookie mistake...but any help would be appreciated.
Thanks!
     
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    12-05-2011, 07:27 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
You do have to be careful about a horse getting wet in frigid temps. I brought a damp horse back from a fox hunt in Colorado. The trailer was warm, but when she got out and into the cold barn, she started shivering....badly!!

Horses can get hypothermia. I was lucky to have infra red heater available to dry/warm her. If you ride hard in the winter, you need to clip the horse (at least a trace clip) to prevent the horse from getting really wet. If you clip and the horse is outside, you need to provide a waterproof blanket.
     
    12-05-2011, 07:44 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Towels and start drying them unless you have coolers and if the sun is going down soon, I'd towel dry in addition to the coolers.
     
    12-05-2011, 09:06 PM
  #4
Weanling
Don't let your horses coats get wet in cold temperatures!!!!! Are your blankets even waterproof? Do they have rips in them? It sounds like you have some blanket updating to do... DRY DRY DRY your horses off!!! Towel dry, use a blow drier... (if your horse isn't spookish) But if your horse was wearing a blanket and he/she still got wet, you need a new one. Make sure it fits and it's WATERPROOF.
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    12-05-2011, 09:11 PM
  #5
Trained
If your horses has a coating of ice on him that means his body heat is not escaping and he is insulated!!!! Don't brush them, that pushes the moisture to the skin and makes them cold! If they are shivering, then they are cold.

Only brush and dry them off if you have a dry waterproof blanket to put on them.
     
    12-06-2011, 12:13 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77    
If your horses has a coating of ice on him that means his body heat is not escaping and he is insulated!!!! Don't brush them, that pushes the moisture to the skin and makes them cold! If they are shivering, then they are cold.

Only brush and dry them off if you have a dry waterproof blanket to put on them.

This is good to know. OUr horse live out 24/7 without blankets. Our temps are not as cold as many places but we do get a lot of rain/sleet and wind. Sometimes snow and night time temps of 28F is common in winter.
So, one question.

If horse is dry, but fur is clumped together from previous rain or having rolled in mud and the fur has that dried clumping, from where water ran in rivelets down them, is it better to just leave that (water will flow off those hardened rivelets) OR comb it out so it "fluffs" up more (but may be less likely to shed rain)?

We don't have blankets and it's not really possible to towel DRY. Only rough up the hair and make it dry quicker.
     
    12-06-2011, 12:32 AM
  #7
Yearling
We keep waterproof sheets that are breathable-let moisture escape from the horse but keep the rain out when it's really miserable outside. Extra hay is invaluable too because horses generate heat while digesting hay. When it's really cold here, everybody gets extra flakes :)
     
    12-06-2011, 12:47 AM
  #8
Super Moderator
That's how we deal with the cold; more hay.
     
    12-06-2011, 12:55 AM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by danastark    
We keep waterproof sheets that are breathable-let moisture escape from the horse but keep the rain out when it's really miserable outside. Extra hay is invaluable too because horses generate heat while digesting hay. When it's really cold here, everybody gets extra flakes :)
When has it ever gotten REALLY cold in Riverside, California?
SorrelHorse and Poseidon like this.
     
    12-06-2011, 02:03 AM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
this is good to know. OUr horse live out 24/7 without blankets. Our temps are not as cold as many places but we do get a lot of rain/sleet and wind. Sometimes snow and night time temps of 28F is common in winter.
So, one question.

If horse is dry, but fur is clumped together from previous rain or having rolled in mud and the fur has that dried clumping, from where water ran in rivelets down them, is it better to just leave that (water will flow off those hardened rivelets) OR comb it out so it "fluffs" up more (but may be less likely to shed rain)?

We don't have blankets and it's not really possible to towel DRY. Only rough up the hair and make it dry quicker.
If the horse is dry you can brush it or fluff it. When horses are dry but it is cold the hair naturally stands on end and looks fluffed to keep them warm. If they are wet, leave them alone. You can tell when a horse is miserable, he will be humped up and shivering. That's when you may have to do something, feed them extra or dry and blanket them.
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