No shelter for horse, and worst storm in a long time is upon us...
 
 

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No shelter for horse, and worst storm in a long time is upon us...

This is a discussion on No shelter for horse, and worst storm in a long time is upon us... within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Can horses be out in heavy rain without shelter
  • No shelter in horses paddock

 
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    07-12-2011, 01:40 AM
  #1
Started
No shelter for horse, and worst storm in a long time is upon us...

We have recently(for the last week or so) been about knee height in mud and it is constantly raining hard with thunder and lightning storms, wind that knocks you over, up to 140km apparently. It is also constantly hailing and is pretty darn freezing, and also flooding very quickly. It is apparently supposed to be still coming too for a while, great.

Mitch is outside 24/7, he's a 7yo thoroughbred that is used to having stables/sheds (which we don't have), and his winter coat is near non-existent. He would have shelter by trees but due to them falling over lately I decided it's safer for him to be away from them.

My problem is, that while his body is warm (he has a polar fleece and a very warm zilco defender) his neck and head are most definitely not, so he shivers even though his body is warm, which means he loses weight trying to get himself warm.. And he's hard enough to put weight on as it is.

I saw these a few nights ago Snuggy Jamsİ - hood and rug set - Happy Horsewear and wondered about it, but I know that obviously polar fleece isn't waterproof, so could I make a waterproof one(without the entire body) that still covers his ears? Or could that be bad in any way? I'm pretty good on sewing machines, and mum suggested an oilskin hood or something similar. (I googled them but can't find what I'm looking for)
Or are there other ways I could keep him more comfortable without a shed etc? Apart from hay because that does nothing for his ears.
If I go into the paddock in my heavy polar fleece thing he thrusts his head into my arms until he stops shivering, which is ironically when his ears are warm and dry, but I can't be his permanent head warmer He won't even eat his feed, he would rather thrust his head into me and be warm.

Also, like humans, can horses get colds from the weather?
-The main reason I'm really concerned is because I did see hail going into his ears this morning and I'm guessing that's probably not a good thing. He was tossing his head a lot as in "Ow that hurts" which of course it would, it was coming down hard, heavy and fast.
     
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    07-12-2011, 07:49 AM
  #2
Yearling
The main thing I can think of is would something waterproof also render him unable to hear?

A friend has a canvas hood in her 18yo clipped tb and we live in a bowl of horrid weather, that seems to keep him quite warm. At the moment most of our horses are in about 600gm worth of synthetic rug and neck rug. He has that plus another 300gm doona and polar fleece
     
    07-12-2011, 08:14 AM
  #3
Showing
While keeping him warm and dry is certainly a priority, I'm just as concerned about the knee high mud and lightning. That can present a whole different set of problems.

Is there any possibility of getting him to a stable, just for a little while? That would certainly solve a whole myriad of problems.
     
    07-12-2011, 10:25 AM
  #4
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBubbles    
Also, like humans, can horses get colds from the weather?
People don't get colds from the weather. Colds and the flu are caused by a virus. The reason why people seem to get colds and the flu when its winter is because they are inside more and spread germs to one another more easily.

When you're mother says bundle up or you'll catch a cold, not true. Hyperthermia - sure. Colds, no.
     
    07-12-2011, 02:28 PM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses    
While keeping him warm and dry is certainly a priority, I'm just as concerned about the knee high mud and lightning. That can present a whole different set of problems.

Is there any possibility of getting him to a stable, just for a little while? That would certainly solve a whole myriad of problems.
I agree with this. Do you have a horsey friend or relative's house that you can move him to? Or maybe even to a barn close to you just so he can wait out the storms. Someplaces will allow you to board on a week to week basis.
I'd be worried about him breaking a leg in the height of mud you are describing.
     
    07-12-2011, 03:30 PM
  #6
Weanling
Its crazy weather here - were further up the island than HollyBubbles - but she's right, the storms are supposed to be around for at least another week possibly more. The wind is nuts - it picked up our wooden deck table and threw it off the deck, and that table is pretty heavy!. The rain is dumping massive driving storms - the ground just can't handle it and so its pooling everywhere - our boys are loose on the driveway (gravel so at least that drains) so while they're in the rain they're at least not in the boggy mud - do you have a gravel track/driveway that you could fence him onto? Where its not so boggy - wouldent be ideal but its better than nothing.

Holly - I'd ask around and see if you can't find somebody with at least a paddock shelter that you could lease for a couple of weeks. Maybe the local Pony Club might be worth a try? - at least they might be able to put you in contact with somebody who might have a stall/ paddock with shelter avalible.

Boarding stables like the american ones are not very common here - most horses are paddock kept and it is very common to see them in with cows and sheep and the like, the fields are set up for livestock rather than horses so I can understand your situation Holly. Do you know anybody with an indoor arena , even if it was only for a week you might be able to stick him in there over night (seems to be when we are getting the worse of the rain up here , not sure what its like further south).

I feel for you! Its got to stop soon.
     
    07-12-2011, 11:48 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoope    
its crazy weather here - were further up the island than HollyBubbles - but she's right, the storms are supposed to be around for at least another week possibly more. The wind is nuts - it picked up our wooden deck table and threw it off the deck, and that table is pretty heavy!. The rain is dumping massive driving storms - the ground just can't handle it and so its pooling everywhere - our boys are loose on the driveway (gravel so at least that drains) so while they're in the rain they're at least not in the boggy mud - do you have a gravel track/driveway that you could fence him onto? Where its not so boggy - wouldent be ideal but its better than nothing.

Holly - I'd ask around and see if you can't find somebody with at least a paddock shelter that you could lease for a couple of weeks. Maybe the local Pony Club might be worth a try? - at least they might be able to put you in contact with somebody who might have a stall/ paddock with shelter avalible.

Boarding stables like the american ones are not very common here - most horses are paddock kept and it is very common to see them in with cows and sheep and the like, the fields are set up for livestock rather than horses so I can understand your situation Holly. Do you know anybody with an indoor arena , even if it was only for a week you might be able to stick him in there over night (seems to be when we are getting the worse of the rain up here , not sure what its like further south).

I feel for you! Its got to stop soon.
I know that feeling, it moved our trampoline over 2 meters across the ground, and it is no small trampoline.
That's a good idea with the gravel, I'll see if I can find somewhere to put him on gravel or something, because unfortunately the only paddocks that do have shelters anywhere near here are the ones close to our flooding river, so no thankyou. I have put him in a new paddock which is just over hoof deep in mud, so nowhere near as bad for now *crosses fingers*.
My local pony club is over 40km away and with no mode of transport availible I can't go there unfortunately.
If it keeps going on like this I may have to find somebodys calf shed to put him in, but with the material they have on the roof and walls(sheet plastic) I would be worried that he would end up getting a fright and hurting himself when it flaps in the wind.

Hmmm, if I were to make the hood, and it did cover the ears, what If I put a small piece of thick mesh at the front of the ear, so he can still hear?

I might actually develop a plan to getting Mitch to be allowed on our gravel tanker turn haha, there's still grass/mud there but the majority of it is gravel. *Thinking face is on now
Or possibly concrete yards during the day? In our cowshed we had 2 big square concrete yards, he could just have the paddock at night? I dunno.
     
    07-13-2011, 12:13 AM
  #8
Weanling
What about contacting 'hackett horse covers' in Whanganui and see if they can do you something. They hand make to measure and so might be able to help you out?? I don't know what it would cost . Alternatively you could draw up a pattern (make sure its correct though!) and take it to the boat outfitters who make sail bags etc they often to custom jobs and might be able to sort something out for you they're pretty good to deal with on the whole.

The cow yard is a great idea I think , either put him there when the cows arnt in and hand graze him if your able on the dryer bits - its probably good for the fields too , not having him out there churning it up. At least until the bad weather is over - the flash storms have to stop soon , but there's supposed to be at least another week of it.

I think for the short term at least the gravel is probably your best bet :) it works for us at least , not ideal but better than foot problems from the mud and wet.
     
    07-13-2011, 01:12 AM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoope    
what about contacting 'hackett horse covers' in Whanganui and see if they can do you something. They hand make to measure and so might be able to help you out?? I don't know what it would cost . Alternatively you could draw up a pattern (make sure its correct though!) and take it to the boat outfitters who make sail bags etc they often to custom jobs and might be able to sort something out for you they're pretty good to deal with on the whole.

The cow yard is a great idea I think , either put him there when the cows arnt in and hand graze him if your able on the dryer bits - its probably good for the fields too , not having him out there churning it up. At least until the bad weather is over - the flash storms have to stop soon , but there's supposed to be at least another week of it.

I think for the short term at least the gravel is probably your best bet :) it works for us at least , not ideal but better than foot problems from the mud and wet.
Now there's an idea, I can't believe I didn't think of that I could quite easily draw up a pattern I think, I made my own pattern for a big "Tui" Blanket last year and made the blanket too. Turns out it's stayed together well.

I think I might just do that, but I might have to wait till my holidays (no worries, starts this weekend) because I don't have time in the mornings to shift him into it.

I might go searching around the farm some tomorrow and see what I can find in the way of gravel, i'm sure something will be around.
     
    07-13-2011, 05:12 AM
  #10
Weanling
The only reason I suggested the boat outfitters was for their heavy duty sewing machines - might fair the weather a bit better , also I know my little sewing machine can't handle the thick waterproof canvas. I reckon go for a fleece hood (make yourself ) then you can test the pattern and then use the pattern for the boat outfitters to do the waterproof over if your keen.

I had them make a body bag for my Double Bass and it was quite reasonible at $80NZD - not too bad at all I thought for a fairly big piece of sewing , that was with padded shoulder straps and all.
     

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