heating a barn? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-15-2008, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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heating a barn?

As you all know.. winter is unfortunatly approaching.
I went out to groom Snapple yesterday and.. her winter coat is already coming in!
So, as snow is about to be flying soon, I need to figure out how I'm going to get Snapple through the winter. She is about 26 years old now, and I know the cold weather is going to get to her. I live in Canada, and on extremely cold days in the middle of winter, we can get down to -45 degrees celsius. She is a shetland pony (well, shetland cross) and she gets an extremely heavy coat, so she doesn't have a problem keeping warm.. but I worry about her joints and muscles and stuff.. I also have a heavy winter blanket that I can put on her if I need to.
We have 2 stalls in our barn, but the thing is, the barn is no warmer then outside, but it gets her out of the snow when it blizzards.
I was wondering how I could get heat in the barn. Our hay is stacked in the barn too though, so it poses a problem, because even a spark could cause a huge fire.
any suggestions?

thanks guys!
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-15-2008, 12:03 PM
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can you blanket her? Do the doors close??? what kind of bedding is she in? that can be laid thicker =unless it is a built in system i feel any free standing heat system is a fire hazzard especially with hay stacked. maybe some of the serious cold climate people will respond=

URL=http://www.mybannermaker.com/link.php?nurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mybannermaker.com]http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/2...8e48325gx2.png[/URL]
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-15-2008, 12:49 PM
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Get underfloor heating installed!

If you believe everything you read, better not read.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-15-2008, 01:13 PM
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Giving her some joint supplements will help at her age and then just blanketing her inside especially at night will be a big help. Even though your barn is cold, it gets her out of the wind and elements. A good bedding of straw will help with insulation as well. Try to keep drafts from getting to her stall.

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post #5 of 10 Old 09-15-2008, 01:24 PM
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Actually, I've learned that heating the barn could actually make it worse. Horses are built to adjust to cold weather and heating the barn will mess this system up. (Granted, I know some horses from the south do have a tough time moving up North but that's beside the point...you said she gets a good coat and whatnot.) With heating, the horse wouldn't get the proper coat needed to survive etc. I'd say blanketing at night and just making sure she can get out of the wind and elements and has water and hay would do just fine. Also some good bedding like someone else mentioned. The joint supplements might be a good thing to try if she starts to get stiff and sore.

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-15-2008, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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OK thanks everyone!
Is glucosamine a good supplement for her joints and stuff?
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-15-2008, 09:59 PM
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Re: heating a barn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapple122
She is about 26 years old now, and I know the cold weather is going to get to her. I live in Canada, and on extremely cold days in the middle of winter, we can get down to -45 degrees celsius. She is a shetland pony (well, shetland cross) and she gets an extremely heavy coat, so she doesn't have a problem keeping warm..
Sounds like she will do well if she is getting ready now! I'm in Northern Ontario and I know about those brrrr really cold days and nights, but don't let her fool you. She is probably plenty warm. With that fuzzy shetland in her she's already designed for the cold. That's what Shetlands came from -- the Isles -- cold, wet and more cold and wet.

Quote:
the barn is no warmer then outside, but it gets her out of the snow when it blizzards.
I would NOT heat the barn. The change in temperature from a barn even at -10 degrees to going outside to -25 is harder than adjusting to the cold. And that barn IS warmer than outside. Don't forget that your thermometer is only measuring the static temperature. It is not taking into consideration the wind chill and humidity levels.

Even a blanket can upset the natural thermo-characteristics of the horse. Esp. a pony that is built for the cold. The hair follicles actually move in different temperatures to help the horse adjust to different temperatures. If you've never blanketed her b4, I wouldn't start now. If really need be come those cold, cold weeks at the end of January and February, you have that option, but I definitely wouldn't use a blanket b4 then. You could actually cause her to get too warm, sweat and then chill.

As long as you see she is developing and keeping her good winter coat and her wieght as she has previously, you're set. You can provide straw, yes, straw for her to EAT as it is provides more warmth than hay. Given a choice, your pony will choose what she needs I'm sure.

You can also provide a black wall on the south side of her shelter that will absorb the heat and give her a place to stand if she feels she needs a bit of help. Pieces of conveyor belting **FIRMLY** attached to the shelter are perfect for this. For a shetland, you'd only need one length about 4' x 4' and it'd make a difference.

Oh, of course, if she has any buddies, they will help keep each other warm.

As for her joints -- is she showing stiffness? You can provide supplements for that which will help more than heat will. Heat is a temporary measure, while supplements will help all day, all night, all winter. Start them now if you are seeing stiffness.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-19-2008, 11:46 AM
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If she is turned out, I would not blanket her inside. She needs to have a 'winter coat' to wear, if you reach well below freezing.

One of the biggestest things you can do to keep her warm is offer warm water, and lots of hay. Digesting hay helps keep their gut warm.

A cold barn is not bad- she just needs to be out of the wind.

"There ain't no vaccine for stupidity* Maxine
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-19-2008, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses
Giving her some joint supplements will help at her age and then just blanketing her inside especially at night will be a big help. Even though your barn is cold, it gets her out of the wind and elements. A good bedding of straw will help with insulation as well. Try to keep drafts from getting to her stall.
I agree with Iride. I would like to add that if there are no doors on the barn, you could use hard rubber blinds like to cover the entry ways. this will allow the animals easy entry/exit while maintaining some heat inside the barn.
Also you can use bales of straw to insulate the stall walls (stacked sideways)
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-20-2008, 09:41 AM
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Just as everyone has said, close up the barn as best as you can.

My horse has a stable blanket and an outer shell, it's much easier to keep him comfortable when you can layer blankets according to the temperature.

On the really chilly nights he comes in to a closed up barn, warm bran mash, and lots and lots of hay.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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