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This is a discussion on Shelter within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Do horses need shelter or can they just have blankets
  • Should I hang blanket bar in horse shelter

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    06-23-2011, 01:36 AM

Not really sure where to put this, and yes, I know it's not really the right time of year for my question, however I thought I'd ask

I've got a lean to (like the one shown in the picture, but much smaller... a little over 1/4 the length total)...

The temperature may get to -20 and there will be wind and snow as it's winter.

My question is, is would that be okay shelter for a weanling and older mare (approx. 23) over the winter.

They will have free choice hay, but that's it. What would you say?

Just that I've always had 3 sided shelters.
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    06-23-2011, 07:25 AM
As long as horses have a wind break of some sort in the Winter they should be okay. Watch them to see if they shivering. If they show signs of stress from the cold you'll probably need to blanket them. The weanling and the older horse may need more supplementing than just hay. Even if it is free choice.
    06-23-2011, 07:33 AM
Green Broke
Is it just the 2 horses? In winter, the more the merrier, lol. Especially for the young horse I would at least take some tarps or sheets of plywood and try to enclose part of your leanto or make it three sided.
    06-23-2011, 08:21 AM
My barn has a similar 10' over hang.

The biggest problem I have is that some times the direction of the wind does not follow the rules and it whips snow and ice directly into the over hang.

It works fine 90% of the time. The other 10% seemed to be during some of the nastiest storms so I had to provide other shelter (in my case simply opening up their stalls).
    06-23-2011, 09:56 AM

I have three horses and they do not have shelter in their corrals and there is no wind break either. I do have a barn that's inclosed and has stalls but I never bring them in winter. I put turnout blankets on them they all wear heavy weight blankets. They do just fine even in ice storms, blizzards and wind chills in the 40 below zero. They also have round bales out to eat 24/7 plus a water trough with a tank heater. I don't give any grain either and one horse is 24 years old she comes out of winter just fine.
    06-23-2011, 09:58 AM
Some states have humane laws that require shelter.
    06-23-2011, 10:59 AM

Our state does have a humane laws that requires shelter but I don't have to have separate shelters in my corrals. I have a barn and that is considerd shelter. Plus these so called laws are never inforced there are horses standing in open feilds with no shelter. You can turn someone in for not feeding their horses and nothing gets done till the horses are half dead.

So I don't know what good it does to have a humane law for shelter if its never enfoced. At least my horses wear turnout blankets and are well fed these other horses in open feilds have no blankets on and iv seen them hunched up on real cold days.
    06-23-2011, 11:04 AM
I do not know (meaning it does not truly pertain to the topic) where you live but just because they do not enforce the humane laws in your neck of the woods does not mean we (forum) should not let people know that such laws are something to think about when suggesting horses do not need any shelter.

And they do enforce the laws from time to time. Like all laws, they can not spend the time enforcing every little infraction.
    06-24-2011, 05:51 PM
So was that a "yes" they'll be okay?

Tarps aren't an option as I'm boarding theses two out. What type of supplements other than free choice hay to keep warm?
    06-24-2011, 06:50 PM
Originally Posted by Paint Mom    
So was that a "yes" they'll be okay?

Tarps aren't an option as I'm boarding theses two out. What type of supplements other than free choice hay to keep warm?
If they have free choice hay, I wouldn't worry too much. There are no 'supplements' designed to keep horses warm, just hay 24/7. Do they generally have any weight issues? If they don't, they will probably be fine but if they do...that could cause problems. Do you blanket them?

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