Wind chill as low as -40 tonight?! Help me decide what to do for my horse please!

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Wind chill as low as -40 tonight?! Help me decide what to do for my horse please!

This is a discussion on Wind chill as low as -40 tonight?! Help me decide what to do for my horse please! within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Should a horse be out in wind chill 18 degress
  • Windchill effect on horses

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    02-01-2011, 01:41 PM
Wind chill as low as -40 tonight?! Help me decide what to do for my horse please!

Okay, so I just checked the weather and the low tonight is going to be -18 degrees, with a wind chill of -30 to -40.. wind between 15 and 30 mph.

I'm a little worried about my (20 year old) horse, because that is cold. He has spent all winter outside in the pasture with no blanket and seems to be doing fine. I could be overreacting, because I tend to get myself worried about nothing at all.

My question is, should I blanket him? He has a very heavy winter coat right now - he is incredibly fluffy. I do have a heavyweight turnout blanket with a neck cover, but I don't know if that will benefit him or not a this point.

We've had quite a few bitter cold days and nights like this, but I don't know if we've had one quite this cold... I'm really at a loss! What do you guys think?
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    02-01-2011, 01:44 PM
Rhivia, he'd get more good out of being given free choice hay than blanketing, especially since you say he already has a nice, thick winter coat.

Can you give him his very own bale of hay overnight? That will help keep him happy and warm.
    02-01-2011, 01:48 PM
I'm curious to see what others opinions on this are, as well..

Last week we had it get that cold just for a day; my horse isn't blanketed and has been fine all winter but I kept him inside that day just in case. Rather be safe than sorry. If I couldn't have kept him in, I probably would have put a blanket on him, and I agree with the extra hay.

Edit: just wanted to add if he wasn't as old as he was, I probably wouldn't worry if he has a nice coat.. my horse is 6 and if he had a very thick coat I think I would've left him outside, with shelter of course. But my horse that's 20 always stays in or gets blanketed on extra cold days. Maybe I baby them too much though. My mom's a worrywart, I kinda inherited it from her
    02-01-2011, 01:52 PM
I agree with Speedracer..
I don't know if he has a run in or anything but that will cut the wind also.
If your really worried about it put the blanket on him it couldn't hurt. Unless he's like my horse and sweats with a thick blanket on..
    02-01-2011, 01:53 PM
Super Moderator
No shelter available?
    02-01-2011, 01:54 PM
Green Broke
The extra hay would be a really good idea. I blanket my horses if it gets REALLY cold. With weather like that I would blanket him..If his winter coat is really fluffy I wouldn't worry so much. Definitely don't blanket him if its going to rain or even mist. The moisture will freeze on his blanket and make it worse than anything.
    02-01-2011, 01:56 PM
Originally Posted by farmpony84    
No shelter available?
If there is, bringing him in out of the cold and overloading him on hay should do the trick. I'd be reluctant to blanket a horse that hadn't worn one all winter.
    02-01-2011, 02:01 PM
Thank you everyone for your input!

I should have mentioned that there is no run-in or shelter available. He is in a 40+ acre pasture that all of the barn's horses share during the day (not ideal - I know), and he and maybe 4 or 5 other horses stay out at night. There are a lot of hills and low spots for some natural protection, but not even many trees. However, they are fed hay by one of the gates and that area is pretty vunerable to the wind.

I do think they get an adequate amount of hay to last them the night.
    02-01-2011, 02:02 PM
Rhivia, he needs more than just adequate hay to last the night, especially since there's no shelter. All of the horses in that field need to have a bale EACH tonight.
    02-01-2011, 02:03 PM
I would not blanket him. Instead I would give him free choice (nicer quality if you have it so he can eat more) hay and make sure he has a good windbreak. If he's kept with other horses and the shelter isn't large make sure there is something else he can get behind or under to stay warm.

It was bitterly cold a couple weeks ago, -30 without windchills. I gave each of my horses a bale and a half a hay each day. They were getting over 60 pounds of hay each. They didn't eat it all but I could be secure in the knowledge that they could eat as much as they needed.

ETA - Ok, not cool. At the very least each of those horses need their own bale of hay overnight. And it needs to be put in the low spots where there are windbreaks. They shouldn't be fed in the windy spot when it's that cold.

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