I live in SC, near the mountains, where the climate is pretty mild. We experience only a couple of months of "real winter". My horses stay out in the pasture 24/7 with the exception of feeding time. They grow out big furry coats and they have never seemed uncomfortable in the past (last winter).
I had to move my mares to a new boarding facility after my friends farm was sold. It is a beautiful facility and they take great care of my horses. The only problem is that the pastures does not contain run in sheds, shelters or even trees for a little cover. Last winter, when my horses were kept at my friend's farm, they didn't have shelters either, but they had about 15 acres of forest they could run into for relief from the wind and rain.
It rained all day yesterday. Today it is still raining and a cold front has moved in. It is 40 degrees today and will be 33 degrees tonight. I have been grooming my girls everyday (up until yesterday) and they have begun to grow heavier coats, because it has been getting into the 30's and 40's at night. I am concerned that they are not ready for the cold mixed with rain with no where to go for relief.
I have been told that I shouldn't blanket them, b/c it will stop them from growing the heavy coats they will need for winter pasture life.
Am I being uptight about this? I know they are animals that are adaptable to these types of conditions, but in the wild they can at least try to stand under a tree.
What do you think?
***Please note that I am looking for responses that will make me feel better and not freak me out.