Horses and Climate Change
   

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Horses and Climate Change

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  • Horses in temperate climate
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  • 1 Post By caseymyhorserocks

 
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    11-12-2013, 01:30 PM
  #1
Yearling
Horses and Climate Change

How well do horses adapt to climate change? If you ship a horse from sunny California to snow in Colorado, how does that affect the horse? Do you have to keep them in a climate-controlled stall?

If your horse gets sweaty during a particulary productive lesson and it's cold outside, is it ok to just put the sweaty horse back in the pasture? Should you put a blanket on a sweaty horse?

If a horse has been primarily stall-boarded, is it ok to just switch to pasture boarding? Or do you have to slowly increase the amount of pasture/climate exposure?
     
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    11-12-2013, 02:00 PM
  #2
Foal
Im no where near a horse expert but they sweat just like we do. The best way for humans to get cold, and sick, in the winter is to work out, get sweaty and then stay in a cold environment. The sweat will stay on your body (or the horses) and make them very cold. Im sure they will get the chills just like we would. I would definitely recommend drying them off after a sweaty workout and putting a blanket on in the cold.

Im not sure about your other questions but I would assume some time to settle into the new conditions is what is needed. So when going from sunny Cali to cold Colorado perhaps allow an extra day or two before the show to let them settle in. Most animals don't deal well with sudden climate changes and need time to adjust (like putting a new fish in your aquarium).
     
    11-12-2013, 02:25 PM
  #3
Green Broke
No it's not okay to put a sweaty horse out to pasture nor is it okay to blanket them. Turnout blankets will trap the sweat under the blanket and you'll have a horse wrapped in a wet blanket. It would not feel good. The horse should be dried out (either out a cooler on and wait it out, towel dry or vacuum dry or whatever else) and then go back outside either blanketed or unblanketed.

For switching from stall to full field...it depends. Some horses don't handle the difference in food very well and get sickly, so need to be turned out a little at a time. Or even with a muzzle.
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    11-12-2013, 02:43 PM
  #4
Started
We had some horses go this fall from MA to TX for a week. They were blanketed before going then blanketed after coming back. At this point they are blanketed regularly anways, so if they went now we would probably throw on a liner to add a little warmth. You don't need a climate controlled stall unless you have something very drastic. Just reasonable maintenance. So from southern CA to CO in the winter I would blanket, and depending on the weather and the horse maybe keep them in a stall for a little bit. Just try to do what you can on both ends to match the climate. In the opposite clip them, keep them in front of a fan if need be. Some horses will need more care than others.

No, and no. Wet plus cold isn't good for anything. Make sure they are dry before exposing them to the elements. If they are actually wet or steamy I would put a cooler on, then maybe a blanket on top. Very hot I will let them cool down before putting a blanket on. Coolers are a saving grace this time of year. Just think what can you do to keep them comfortable, what would you want done in reverse? Think of black beauty where the well meaning boy almost kills him, tacky but a good example. It's more "health sense" then "horse sense"

This ties in to your first question. Depends on the horse and the climate. For a healthy reasonably hardy horse go for it. Expect them to be more sensitive to bugs or bad weather and maybe keep them in during those times. (If coming from a heated barn they will need a blanket, etc) It also depends on the horses past (did they use to be an outdoor horse?) If transitioning to pasture make sure to actually transition them onto the grass, start off slow and work up to full time. This is the important part. For some horses (sensitive or prone to getting silly and hurting themselves, coming off of stall rest, etc) a slower transition is better. Ideally I would throw them out and bring them in if need be, maybe with a run in.
     
    11-12-2013, 02:51 PM
  #5
Started
A horse is going to have an easier time adjusting from heat to cold. First of all, horses in general are more developed to deal with cold. Second, you can blanket horses for cold, but for heat you really can't do much. Just make sure you have plenty of blankets, and a stall or a big run-in shelter for him/her. I to may be going from California to Colorado in a few years, but I am in a very mild climate in CA (45-65 F year round).

When it is really cold out, you do not want to put a sweaty horse out into the cold. His coat is wet, and although he might be warm at that time from the lesson, the cold is going to catch up to him and he is going to be freezing with the cold coat. Make sure he is cooled downed, not huffing or anything and not hot. You can put a cooler on his wet coat and put a blanket on top of that and put him out in the pasture but you need to remove the cooler once it gets wet and the horse is dry a couple hours later.

As long as you use blankets to keep your horse at a good temperature and your horse seems fine, I bet your horse would be fine going right to pasture boarding, although if there was any grass you would need to adjust him to it.
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    11-12-2013, 03:07 PM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by frlsgirl    
How well do horses adapt to climate change? If you ship a horse from sunny California to snow in Colorado, how does that affect the horse? Do you have to keep them in a climate-controlled stall?
We've received horses from the Netherlands/California before and they did alright with the completely different weather here. We don't have any climate controlled stalls, that'd be pretty much impossible for our finances. We just had to keep an eye on them the first year or so they were here and either blanket or shave accordingly.

If your horse gets sweaty during a particulary productive lesson and it's cold outside, is it ok to just put the sweaty horse back in the pasture? Should you put a blanket on a sweaty horse?
[COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]No, I wouldn't put the horse back in the pasture. Like others have said I would dry him out first before he went back outside.[/COLOR]

If a horse has been primarily stall-boarded, is it ok to just switch to pasture boarding? Or do you have to slowly increase the amount of pasture/climate exposure?
[COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]This might sound harsh but we just through our two out. They went from being in at night to being out 24/7 rain or shine. The first two years were the hardest because it took their bodies time to adjust, but if you watch their weight and feed accordingly, as well as their temperature then they'll be fine. The biggest problem I see when people switch from stall to pasture board is that they bring the horse in and/or blanket them when they get the slightest chill, which is counterproductive. If it's not too bad then leave it be the horse will be fine. Now if your horse hasn't been on grass I would say wean him onto it.[/COLOR]
Keep in mind every horse is an individual but this is what I have always done/been taught.
     

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