Snow? Should I leave her out, or keep her in?

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Snow? Should I leave her out, or keep her in?

This is a discussion on Snow? Should I leave her out, or keep her in? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    02-22-2011, 09:51 PM
Super Moderator
Snow? Should I leave her out, or keep her in?

Once again, I'd like opinions about my eternal dilemma about whether I should keep my pony in or let her out, like usual, in inclement weather...

So, this time, it looks like we might be getting 6-12 inches of snow over the next few days. This will be our first big snow in the last 3 years or so so I'm super excited! I'm really hoping to be able to take Lacey on a trail ride in it and ride in the snow for the very first time.

But anyway, it's supposed to start snowing late Wednesday and continue into Thursday until we have 6-12 inches (maybe more, the last time they predicted this much, we got 24 inches instead, even in the lowlands, and everyone was snowed in for weeks since no one around here has any idea how to handle snow). Lacey's field is pretty steep so I'm concerned about her slipping or something.
It's just supposed to snow, no ice or anything, so I think that makes it safer, but I'm not totally sure. She's not shod so it shouldn't pack into her feet too badly, right?

My thoughts are that I'll go get her enough hay to last for two weeks, just in case, tomorrow, and hope that the snow doesn't decide to stick around that long.
Basically, we live on top of a very tall hill (people from non-mountainous regions might call it a small mountain ) that is basically impassable when any sort of inclinent weather happens. So my number one priority is making sure Lacey stays safe since the vet cannot come to her if she gets hurt when the weather is bad.

My other concern is that if I were to keep her in, she's the type that turns into a little rocket on legs when she has energy. So, she might not be careful when I let her out again, especially if she has to stay in for a number of days. If that's the case, I could always bring her down to my front yard (it's pretty flat) and lunge her there before turning her out but still... I don't know. What do you think?

I feel like since it's just snow, she'll probably be fine, but I don't want to assume something I have no experience with.
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    02-22-2011, 10:02 PM
I would say she'll likely be fine out in the snow . Do you expect a lot of wind with it? Heck, do you guys even get wind up there? Since she's barefoot, I seriously doubt that slipping will be an issue. In my area, when it snows, the biggest concern is wind chill temperatures for older horses. But, Lacey isn't underweight or unhealthy and she's got a nice fuzzy coat so that isn't as much of a concern .

I would be much more comfortable with leaving her out rather than stalling her and then having her act a fool the first time I turned her loose.
    02-22-2011, 11:08 PM
My horse is shod all around and out in PA 24/7. They make a track for themselves through the snow and they tend to stick to the paths.

Your horse will be fine.
    02-23-2011, 09:38 AM
I usually put mine in stalls during the snow and let them out as long as it's over. I just prefer for them to have dry hay as well as stay dry (plus they can sleep in shavings, which they usually don't do in snow).
    02-23-2011, 09:58 AM
My advice, is to leave Lacey out.

She is a senior, with joint issues, stiff and needs mobility. The more you put her in her stall, the more that effects her physcially.

Nelson is being moved to a new facility this saturday, where I wont be paying for a stall because I am tired of him being left in it, when I specifically state to leave him out 24/7. 15+ hours a day, is horrible for a horse with joint issues and etc, etc.

I'm not a big fan of stalls though. Don't get me wrong, some horses thrive on stalls, while others do not.

I say, if you have a shelter for her outside, and you blanket her *if need be* and she has access to hay 24/7 or as much as possible - then leave her out. :)
    02-23-2011, 11:59 AM
My horse is outdoor all days and even nights in even -27degree celius. Very cold, I can assure. My fingers are numb after 10 minutes. She is never cold. Can be snowstorm and she is not cold. Snow on top of her back is actually a layer of insulation.

I guess that you are worried about slippery ground, or what´s the problem? Slippery ground, there are soles for preventing snow to pack under the hoof. And also spikes (is that the right word??).

Horsed doesn´t get cold, if you give them extra food. Wind and rain is rather bad for the horse. Snow is not a problem! Just joy
    02-23-2011, 12:06 PM
Super Moderator
Thank you guys! You all have echoed what I thought so I feel highly reassured. :)
She is blanketed unless it's sunny and warmish so temperature-wise she should be ok. And I plan to put her heavy weight blanket on her tonight instead of her medium weight so she should be snugly. She also has a shelter that I always find her in when it's snowing so she'll probably be fine... I'm just an overly worried "mom". Lol

Smrobs: we do too get wind! Just not as much as you guys do. Lol!
However, I don't think we're supposed to get a lot of wind with this storm. The most I've seen is some 15mph wind, so nothing major.
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    02-23-2011, 12:10 PM
HORSES ARE MEANT TO BE OUTSIDE IN ALL WEATHER lol, it was -45 here with the wind blowing the snow and my horses were outside , but they did have a shelter but that doesnt change the coldness. Id say as long as they have hay and shelter of some sort they will be ok. If horses get snow on there backs that's OK!!! Leave it.
    02-23-2011, 01:07 PM
LOL, I wasn't sure if you guys got wind up there or not. Some parts of the country don't *grumbles*.

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