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  • How cold does it have to be to put coat on your horse

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    11-06-2007, 09:25 PM

How cold does it have to be for your horse to be put in his/her stall at night?
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    11-07-2007, 01:13 AM
Some people stable a horse 24/7, and some never bring a horse inside. As long as a horse has shelter from wind and rain, and the horse is used to the climate, they can be outside all year long. Horses are actually most comfortable from +10 to -10 degrees celcius (just above and below freezing). The temperature isn't the biggest factor, it's the wind and rain that makes a horse cold. I would consider bringing my horse inside if it was -30 and blowing snow sideways, but she's in a small herd with a very well built run-in shelter and wears a blanket, so I don't worry about it.
    11-07-2007, 01:36 AM
I think it depends on the horse and other factors. If a horse hasnt been exposed to the low temps in its life, it wont be as able to deal with it as a horse who has been subject to the elements. It also makes a difference if the horse is rugged and if it has a winter coat or not.

I keep my horses rugged and they have no form of winter coat at all so I wouldnt even dream of leaving them out once the cold weather starts. If I have to rug up cause im cold, then the horses go into their stalls. That's how I judge it

Everybody is different with how they view rugging and stalling etc I personally believe that while horses may be able to tolerate these conditions, its my responsibility to keep them warm in winter and cool in summer :)
    11-07-2007, 06:58 AM
I put mine in stalls in strong rain. Mostly for them to eat hay without being under rain. I did try to give hay in run-in, but they picked up fights (they never do it near the feeder though). So just easier for me to separate them to feed when raining/snowing. Other than that I let him stay 24/7, and they already grow quite a lot of heavy coat.
    11-07-2007, 07:21 AM
It gets pretty cold here but my horses are out 24/7. I keep them in a small dry lot (about 2 acres) in the winter that has several run in sheds and lots of tree windbreaks. I don't rug them and I think they would hate it if I did. I did have a TB that needed a blanket all winter but she is the only one I have ever owned that did. I always check to see if they are shivering if not I don't worry about it.
    11-07-2007, 11:32 AM
Good info guys thanks.
How do you mesure for a blanket? Do you keep it on during the day . It has not frosted hear yet should I be seeing a change in her coat yet.
    11-07-2007, 11:57 AM
You take a tape and measure from mid of chest to the mid of tail. Don't hold it very tight.

It's not freezing here (I'm in MD), we just had couple days with temp around 35, but both my horses started to grow heavy coat. You can see it right away - it's furry. Lol! I probably will get blankets to put on them in really cold weather (below 20), but only for the night. I think it's healthier for them to grow coat and keep warm naturally.
    11-07-2007, 02:03 PM
Same here, I am in MD too.
My horses are getting a fuzzy coat.

As for stalling. My QH mare, Cocoa, was never stalled in the winter but last year she was and this year too... she is 29 and not in the best health.
    11-07-2007, 02:41 PM
I blanketed my mare all last winter, but only put on a isulated blanket if it got below -10. The rest of the time I just had a rain sheet on her. I find that a rain sheet can be just as good since it isn't the sheer cold that really gets them, it's the wind and rain(/snow) that gets them chilled. I'd suggest starting them with just a rain sheet for a week or 2 if you plan on using a heavy winter rug so that they can adjust and stop the growth of their winter coat. I've always measured from the middle of their chest to the point of buttox.
    11-07-2007, 02:44 PM
I keep blankets on hand in case my horses seem cold, stiff, or shiverry, but I try to avoid the use of blankets on a regular basis if possible. Blankets, if left on, can actually matt down the horse's hair taking away the horse's natural ability to keep itself warm. Blankets can be very dangerous for a horse if left on, because if they become saturated, and the hair becomes matted, the horse can get quite cold.

If I feel the need to blanket, I blanket at night, and then remove it in the morning, making sure to brush out matted hair. I find it good to remove at feeding time while they are eating - they are consuming calories and producing heat to digest the food, so are likely to stay warmer. Stalling can also be dangerous in extreme climates. Brining a horse from extreme cold temperatures into a heated stall and back into the cold, can cause shock to the horse, respiratory issues, and other health complications. If a horse needs to be stalled when it is extremely cold outside, I would keep the stall temp. Just a little above freezing, so the change in temperatures wasn't so extreme.

I don't base stalling or blanketing my horses on the outside temperatures (it gets to 30 degrees F below zero), but rather wether or not the horse looks uncomfortable. Last winter, I only had to blanket our 18 year old gelding over a period of a couple of weeks when his coat was changing over. Otherwise, none of them had to be blanketed or stalled, even in the coldest temps. By the time it got really cold, they all had fabulous coats.

My horses have been starting to get their fuzzy coats for about a month now, and the temperatures have been between 20-30 degrees F. Rather than adding blankets or stalls, I add hay, and feed calories through various grains. This gives them the ability to build up a fat pad, and the energy to grow a good coat, keep their body temperatures up, and stay warm. Also, a good shelter to protect them from wind and rain is very important. Our shelters are insulated, and kept as run in style, but can be turned into single horse, heated stalls if the temperature gets unbarable.

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