My horse is cold already

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My horse is cold already

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    10-14-2009, 11:56 AM
My horse is cold already

I am concerned about my horse! I just purchased him this summer so this is my 1st winter with him. He is an 8yo Standardbred gelding. I went out to feed him this morning and he was shivering. He had snow crusted on his back like it had snowed wet snow and then it froze. So when I got back inside I checked the weathernetwork an the temp. Was only -4 (feels like -11). He does have a shelter in his pasture but he does not use it instead he tends to stand next to our shop for shelter. I am currently feeding him 1/2 bale of hay per day split up into 3 feedings (6:30am, 1:30pm and 8:30pm). He came from a herd of 40. I do not believe he was blanketed before and I am sure he had regular access to food in previous winters. I have emailed his previous owner. What should I be doing to keep him warm if he is already shivering in -4? We live in Alberta, Canada and our winter days will get anywhere from -20 to - 40.

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    10-14-2009, 11:58 AM
Super Moderator
Shivering is how they keep their body temperatures up so that isn't a huge deal. If you are concerned then I would put him in a medium weight blanket. If when the temperatures really start to drop he seems cold, then put him in a heavy weight. You have provided him with shelter, if he's healthy then he should be fine.....
    10-14-2009, 12:40 PM
Can you give him some alfalfa? I keep a bag of alfalfa pellets in the winter months. I give some in the evenings on the really cold nights. It will help them produce more heat.
    10-14-2009, 12:50 PM
That is quite normal this time of year. I would hesitate to put a blanket on him out side if keeping him dry. B/C you are slowing or stopping his hair growth. Which sometimes you want and sometimes you do not depending on if you plan on riding him this winter much.

Your best bet is to give more hay and make sure he has shelter to keep him dry. Works for mine. If needed I will blanket them for a few hours to warm them back up but normally that is not needed. Only for the older ones like late 20's
    10-14-2009, 12:58 PM
Originally Posted by farmpony84    
Shivering is how they keep their body temperatures up so that isn't a huge deal. .....

While shivering does help up the body temperature, but it's the last resort to keep warm. If they are shivering they are not warm enough.

This is an excellent info source.

Winter Care for Your Horse
    10-14-2009, 12:58 PM
Green Broke
Um if his back is iced up then its probs about time you rugged him up for the night.
Oh and I've been to alberta its really nice, you're lucky to live there :) (im from shropshire, uk)
    10-14-2009, 03:09 PM
I agree that you should probably put some sort of blanket on him and add some alfalfa- even if you just feed it at night ... have you thought about feeding him in the shelter so that he will go in there?

Also is he alone? If he was in a heard of 40 and now is alone, he might be standing by the work shop to be closer to you guys...

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