Question about the cold - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question about the cold

Ok I am moving to Ohio soon and my G/F's aunt and uncle own some horses, anyways She and I feel the horses aren't really well cared for and We will probably buy at least one probably two of them from them (that in and of itself is a long story)

Any ways I have a question about cold weather and horses. How cold does it need to be to start thinking about getting them a blanket or finding warm shelter? I live in Arizona so it isn't really a concern, but in Ohio it gets pretty cold.

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post #2 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 09:43 PM
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I say about anywhere under 20 degrees celcius? It depends on the wind, though. If it's windy AND cold, that is definitely not too good. ;) I say blanket if it's too cold to ride, or if you are freezing yourself!

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post #3 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 09:46 PM
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Well, I'm in IL and it's 4 right now. The high today was 6. Tomorrow night it's supposed to get down to -7. We don't blanket. We do have available shelter but they don't usually go into the barn.

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post #4 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 09:49 PM
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A shelter/run-in to get out of the rain and wind, and enough hay is all they need if they have a good winter coat.

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post #5 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 10:05 PM
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Wow. You guys are all the warm weather type! LOL.. Tonight it is -30 celcius. My girls are probably in their free access barn right now because I put hay in there for them, but most times, they are outside by choice. No blankets. They have winter coats and so well insulated that when it snows, the snow doesn't melt on their backs. I would only blanket an old or sick horse, or one that's been clipped, or if they are put in the barn every night. Going from a "warm" barn (say just above freezing) to -30 would be way too hard for them to adjust to.

Edited to add -30 C = about 20 below Fahrenheit and it gets colder than that here.
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post #6 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 10:13 PM
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It was -31 F here this morning and never used a blanket. Horses stay much warmer with hay 24/7 then any other way. Ours are outside 24/7 year round they have round bales at all times and a 3 sided shed. Everything from the 08 foals to the 27 year old stallion
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post #7 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 10:14 PM
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We'd go 2 week straight where the temperature went from -70 to -20F including wind chill up in Vermont. The horses who were used to it and had nice thick coats were never blanketed. Two TBs with thin coats lived in their winter blankets. If the wind was down and/or the temp went above -40 the horses went out for the day. Plenty of hay and lots of fresh water was required. They got hot mash morning and night.
If you keep a horse dry and give them the ability to get totally out of the wind (3 sided shelter at least) a healthy horse can manage -20 to -40 with a good food supply and buddies. The more horses that are together, the more heat they produce. Once the sun goes down I don't like leaving anyone out, but I've known a number of ranchers that turn the herd out for the winter and come to get them in the spring. If it comes to the worst horses will line up next to each other, tails to the wind and let the snow pile on their back, they stay pretty insulated.
A horse in poor condition, or that isn't used to the weather can't be expected to handle such temperatures. From what I've seen, a horse needs at least 3 years in an area to be prepared for a hard winter.

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post #8 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 10:19 PM
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I live in Ohio, and I don't blanket my horse in any weather. If you're going to keep them outside, then you may want to blanket them, and definitely have a run-in shed so they can get out of the weather. If you're keeping them inside, a blanket isn't really necessary. What part of Ohio are you moving to?

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post #9 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 10:23 PM
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As many others have's been below 0*F here a lot lately and my horses have free access to go inside if they wish and have never been blanketed...but they choose to be outside. As long as they have grown the proper coat they will be fine. If you are moving soon and they haven't had the chance to grow the coat you will want to keep an eye on them...see if they are shivering or whatever. At a place I used to board one of my horses the lady had an old horse she had gotten from way down south and he was always cold so she needed to blanket him but that is something rare as far as I'm concerned. Especially if they go into winter in the place where it will be cold it shouldn't be an issue as horses adapt very well normally to cold temperatures.

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post #10 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 11:01 PM
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I start putting a sheet on when it gets in the 50 's F if its windy but not if its sunny. Then when it gets low 40's F I put on an insolated stable blanket and then colder then that I put on a medium weight turnout and he alwasy sleeps in a blanket.

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