Yearling in cold winters of Canada?

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Yearling in cold winters of Canada?

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    12-12-2011, 01:55 PM
Yearling in cold winters of Canada?

Hi everyone!

I'm a first time horse owner and I'm not sure what to do with my little guy for the winter. I live in Alberta, Canada and we are known for our cold winters (-20 to -40 degress celcius). I have a little yearling and right now he is outside in a paddock with some stud colts. At the barn that I board him they have a few medi stalls so if I absolutely want to board him inside for a month or two I can. What are any thoughts or opinions regarding blanketing or putting him in a stall this winter?

Thanks so much! :)

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    12-12-2011, 02:04 PM
It is healthiest to let horses live outside as much as possible. As long as your yearling has shelter from wind, rain and wet snow; and, he is good health, carrying good weight and has a dense winter coat, he will be fine living outside full-time. He will also need access to good quality hay and water at all times. To ensure he is not losing weight, make sure you check his barrel at least once a week. A dense winter coat can camouflage weight loss. So, make sure you feel along his ribs. You should not be able to feel them easily. If you notice that he is not keeping his weight on, or is shivering, then it is time to blanket him (have at least 2 blankets so that you always have a dry one for him to wear if one gets wet) or consider bringing him inside at night and in bad weather.
    12-12-2011, 02:10 PM
Hi neighbor, I'm next door in Sask and I let all my youngsters live out all through the winter, they have shelter but rarely use it. I don't blanket, all mine go into the winter with a layer fat and coats like teddy bears, and they do fine.

I keep them on ad lib hay, water from the heated stock trough, and once a day feeding of a little oats mixed in soaked beet with a mineral supplement added, they do just fine.
AnneGage and Mechelelyse like this.
    12-12-2011, 02:29 PM
Thanks guys! I'll definitely leave him outside to run around for the winter. It's just hard knowing he's out there but after this winter i'll be less sensitive about it. I do spoil him too much. I will make sure he's got a think layer of fat though. :)

    12-12-2011, 03:38 PM
Happy to help. Give us an update on how the 2 of you are doing.
    12-12-2011, 03:49 PM
As long as he has a wall to bum up to out of the wind he'll be fine. Be sure he has plenty of salt as well. If there is a lick, put loose salt in a feed pail and hang it. He will eat more loose salt than from a lick, which he will then drink more water. This helps his gut process the hay which keeps him warm.
    12-12-2011, 04:20 PM
If you plan on blanketing a big thing is not over blanket too soon. My arab has a hard time keeping warm through the winter and I started him out with just a rain sheet on the cold nights or days when it's freezing rain and such. Once the weather hits -20 to -25 I have the option to put a cooler or stable blanket or both underneath depending on how cold it actually gets. We aren't from Alberta but we're at least in Ontario so not too crazy a difference. :P
    12-12-2011, 04:30 PM
I'm not sure how much Ontario compares with the prairies here, we have very little moisture here, the snow is dry snow, it just brushes off, the foggy days are a frosty fog, so they don't get damp. It is just intensely cold and dry, and horses do really well in it.

A big shock to this girl who kept her horses in the UK blanketed most of the winter, and they both had 4 blankets each to keep up
    12-12-2011, 05:02 PM
This thread makes me feel as if I over spoil my two mares. I live in the states down south. I've kept my two girls turnout blankets on for about a week. One I kind of have to, she hasn't grown a coat at all. The other I could leave off, but then I feel bad... Its only gotten down to about 20 degrees Farientheit(?) here. They have a shelter, but one never goes in it. Though if it hits at least 50 I take it off until it starts raining again, then I put it on.. Not sure what I'd do in negitive numbers. Though I know last year during our blizzards here, I made sure to blanket the mare I had at the time. Though my friends horse who was pastured with my mare didn't have one. He was a big, fluffy boy though. Lots of fat and fur and he did probably just as well as her.
    12-12-2011, 05:19 PM
Here we go, some pictures from Feb 28th 2010, which happened to be the birthday of Stewie the Moose, it was -18.8*C (1.64*F) when he was born. Big Bert will not foal inside, so outdoors it was.


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