What' best for horses during winter months? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 12-11-2011, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Thanks everyone,

I think that I will try to fix mine up to let the horses decide. Only blanket them after a ride until they cool off or when it is extremly cold. There water is heated up because I want to make sure they get plenty of water.

Thanks for moving this to his proper thread. I am still learning how to use this forum.

I have so much to learn.
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post #12 of 21 Old 12-11-2011, 06:36 PM
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I leave mine out as much as possible. But, they don't have access to shelter in their paddock, so I'm always checking weather to see if they need to be brought into the barn or blanketed.

Blanketing wise, it depends on the horse. I have a TB mare who I will toss a sheet on once it dips into the 50s at night, the other go naked until it's in the 40s. Medium weights on everyone if it's in the 30s.

Bring them into the barn in heavy downpours, very windy winter days, snow, thunderstorms, hurricanes, etc. In warm weather and it's lightly raining they stay out (there are trees for them) and in cooler weather they'll stay out with a sheet or blanket.

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post #13 of 21 Old 12-11-2011, 06:49 PM
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Since my mare is nearly 27, I do things much differently with her than I would if she were young.
If she were young: she'd be out no matter what, not blanketed ever unless it was rainy and windy, etc.

However, at her age, I leave her out as much as possible unless there's snow+ice in the forecast (because her pasture is very hilly and I don't want her slipping and getting injured), and she's blanketed appropriately for the temperature at all times during the winter.
With her, an injury from slipping on ice isn't something she'll most likely be able to recover from and at her age, keeping condition is absolutely necessary if I intend to continue riding her as hard as I do. A major loss of condition at this point in her life could be really bad since it can take older horses years to build muscle that a young horse could put on in 6 months.
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post #14 of 21 Old 12-11-2011, 07:18 PM
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All three of my horses have Dutch doors that are always open, except in very extreme weather. They choose to be outside in rain, storms, snow, etc. That was one thing I hated at a barn I used to board at, the horses all come in at the first sign of snow/rain. I don't like them locked up because they prefer to be outside most of the time. I don't blanket, because I don't think my horses need it. All easy keepers that grow a nice thick coat.
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post #15 of 21 Old 12-12-2011, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by My Beau View Post
Bring them into the barn in heavy downpours, very windy winter days, snow, thunderstorms, hurricanes, etc.
Just info about our experience with hurricanes since we see so many in NC. Our mares have never gone in their shelter during hurricanes and they appear to stay away from the trees, too. When the rain/wind bands come, they just huddle together in the pasture, heads down, butts into the wind and are back to grazing the second the rain (temporarily) stops.

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On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #16 of 21 Old 12-12-2011, 04:29 AM
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From Sept- Apr you're lucky to get paddocks over here. My yard is one of th exceptions thankfully.

But they aren't left out overnight in winter, they get turned out at 6am and brought in at 5pm. Duffy is blanketed, she was skinny when I bought her and we've worked for 6 months putting weight on, I don't want to spoil it now. And she has a partial clip, last thing I want is her wet and cold from riding as we're hoping to compete early next year- gotta put the miles in.
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post #17 of 21 Old 12-12-2011, 08:11 AM
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I have my horse out 24/7. She's an event horse and she HATES being stalled. I believe she's claustrophobic or whatever the horse equivalent is of that human feeling lol. She much prefers being out and will actually injure herself if kept in a stall (except not at a show. She's strange) so she stays out all the time.

The only time she comes in (because there is no shelter in her field) is if there is terrible ice or snow where she will potentially get sick if she stays out.

My BO is putting up a shed this winter so she'll be able to stay out no matter what!

BTW, my horse is also blanketed in three different levels of fill depeding on the weather

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post #18 of 21 Old 12-12-2011, 03:04 PM
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I blanket my ponies in their rain sheets every night and when it's oddly cold through the day, or snowing/freezing rain. They have a giant walk in stall that easily fits the two quite comfortably and is always stacked with loads of good hay. Once it hits about -20 to -25 they get double/triple blanketed with a cooler and stable blanket underneath their rain sheet. Only if something happens where it's going to blizzard out or there's announcements on the radio to keep your pets in and stay inside due to the cold they have giant box stalls to go into to stay warm and safe. Like said though, if the weather's nice that day they get the blankets off in the morning and put on again at supper. They much much much more prefer to be outside, so I do my best to keep it that way with the option if they like or need to they can go in on their own. Seeing as this is Canada and winter can be brutal here, I'm doing my best to keep blankets off as much as possible so when the really cold weather hits later this winter, they'll have built up to it a little more. I've never seen them shivering or cold, and at night when things start to chill down a little more the ponies just gallop around the field a bunch and it heats up under the sheets they have (The rain sheets they have are pretty good wind breakers, so they stay nice and toasty, especially when playing). It works, they're happier than I ever thought I'd see (Between the two Shnook's been in a mix of either being in a standing stall most his life and never having to feel any other element than some sun when very lucky) to outdoor boarding 24/7 which he really did not seem to enjoy at all either as the other horses didn't seem to let him in the shelter every time I went up. He is a bottom of the totem pole horse though so not much you can really do. But he's happy as can be with this set up so for him it works great.
As for Trevor the set up works just as great for him to. He had never been blanketed and lived outside 24/7 so he likes that he can get out of the elements and cold when he wants and loves the fussing of taking the time to put a blanket on him to.
Starting with rain sheets at night was great as they never got cold through the night but they also weren't warm to the point they didn't grow a coat. Woolly mammoth ponies they are. :P But like I said, once it gets to a certain temperature they can get piled with a few more so they won't have to worry all season through. :)
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post #19 of 21 Old 12-12-2011, 03:34 PM
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I'm a weather junkie and I'm always checking it, but it's really a matter of keeping my horse's feet dry and adequately sheltering them against wind chill. We get temperatures from December 1 to about March 30 that can vary between -20 degrees F to over 60 degrees F. We are prone to ice storms. I have a 16 x19 ft. shelter adjacent to my barn, which stays dry. I have 3/4" mats wall to wall, and I bed it with Stall Dry and pine shavings.
(I didn't finish my chicken's coop and they're monopolyzing Buster's stall this winter. =(
I always keep my east door open in my barn, and I'll make adjustments every day, if necessary. Otherwise THEY prefer turnout as much as possible. They get NO CHOICE when there is ice. Right now I'm re-building my (orginally cattle) manger in the north wall of the shelter so I can keep hay waste to a minimum. The SW wall always cuts the wind, the shelter opens on the east 1/2 of the south wall, so he gets a choice. Buster is comfortable when his friends are stalled--which is just over the wall to the east...in the barn.
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post #20 of 21 Old 12-12-2011, 05:10 PM
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Well, I didn't start blanketing my horses until recently. My mare last year decided it wasn't going to get cold enough to grow a coat. I ended up last minute buying a turnout blanket because we had a very bad storm heading our way. We ended up with a blizzard, and I bet she appreciated that blanket. Then this spring I bought a new mare, she is pregnant and use to be rather emaciated. So I went ahead and bought her a turnout blanket as well. Good think to, she hasn't grown a coat yet. Normally, if the weather is above 50 during the day I don't blanket. My pregnant mare is stalled at night, and the other has access for either in or out. Though if it starts raining the blankets go on until the weather goes back up. I'm thinking of putting a heater in the stall, because it isn't a fully blocked in weather proof area. I'll feel bad when the mare is close to foaling and I have to keep her blanket it off, and it ends up snowing..
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