Unusually cold weather: advice please - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By Shropshirerosie
  • 2 Post By waresbear
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-11-2013, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Unusually cold weather: advice please

So Friday and Saturday night here we are supposed to have a low around 25F. I know for most places this isn't all that cold, but our normal low here in the coldest part of winter is mid 30's to low 40's. I'm a but worried about my mare, Amber. She doesn't have much of a winter coat and usually needs her mid weight blanket on once it drops below 40. She is in a mare motel style stall so it provides shelter, but she's not inside. Is there anything I should do to make sure she is warm? Also, she has a small automatic waterer in her stall. Do I need to be worried about pipes freezing? I'm thinking about putting a bucket in her stall, but I might just be over reacting. Living here in the desert all my life has made me unused to freezing temperatures! =P Thank you in advance for any help!
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-11-2013, 12:35 AM
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The pipes to the automatic waterers need to be turned off and drained down if the temp's going to be below 0deg C for any length of time, otherwise there might be burst pipes. You need to put a bucket of water in the stable overnight, it may or may not have a surface of ice over it in the morning, but your mare will not have suffered unduly.

So long as your mare has plenty of forage, and is out of rain and wind she will be able to generate her own heat and be toasty.
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-11-2013, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I will definitely put a bucket in her stall. I board so I wouldn't want to turn the waterers off and overstep my bounds, but I might mention it to the owner to see if she needs help. Luckily there isn't supposed to be rain and (hopefully) no wind.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-11-2013, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Our temps are alot colder here, none of our horses or boarded horse are blanketed......so long as they have free access to hay they keep warm and a place to get out of the wind.

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post #5 of 10 Old 01-11-2013, 02:33 AM
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I live in PA, so we have below temps all the time in winter.

You can get a more heavy weight blanket... That's on you.

I don't know what a mare motel is?
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-11-2013, 04:47 AM
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Sounds like a place where stallions would like to visit, doesn't it?
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-11-2013, 07:47 AM
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Mare motels are a "covering" that is very popular out west.

It is a pipe rail confinement with a roof and no sides and can be built in various sizes.

I lived in SoCal five years, where mare motels also abound, but I never did find out how those types of open shelters got that name?

Ditto shut the water off to the waterer and put a bucket in there.

Your horse should be able to stay warm enough provided you don't end up with a sideways wind that would drive rain right thru the shelter.

I would have a waterproof blanket on hand in case she starts to shiver. I am not one of those people that wants to see my horse burn calories and stress by shivering to stay warm.

Once she warms up, or it comes daylight, take the blanket off.

This weather is a bigger eye-popper than last year. Our low for January 10-11 was 63 - that breaks records since Nashville, TN started keeping weather records in 1890. By the middle of next week those night time temps are going plummet into the high 20's - low 30's.

If this isn't colic preparedness weather, I don't know what is. Folks that can afford to buy a tube of Banamine and keep it in the refrigerator, need to

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post #8 of 10 Old 01-11-2013, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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63 is a record breaking low? I want to move there!

I'm south of Tucson. My horses have their "mare motels", which includes geldings - if the mare will share. Part of their feed is in small hay pellets - I up the quantity on cold nights. As long as they stay dry, I've never had a horse shiver. The only time was when we had freezing rain and high winds at the same time. That morning, they were shivering.

My version of a mare motel (Mare Motel 6?) can be seen in the background of this old picture:

BTW - our HOA just voted to disband. I'm hoping to build a better mare motel this spring, now that I don't have to get approval from the HOA weenies who hate horses...
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Last edited by bsms; 01-11-2013 at 08:24 AM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-13-2013, 06:17 PM
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Wow, its been -5 here the last few days and before that it was in the thirties and then we had freezing rain, I live in Minnesota so thats typical. my mare grows a nice thick coat so even with the freezing rain she stayed warm. I just make sure they have plenty of hay and fresh water, and I make sure they have a salt block which will make them drink and then also mineral blocks. Since the temps have been so extreme here though so many horses have been colicing =(
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-13-2013, 08:41 PM
Green Broke
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Gahhhh I won't see 25 for a high for days. Was -15 this morning when I went to do chores. The auto waterer is fine as long as the pipes are not exposed. They stay warmer inside then an open tank. Always the last of ours to get a heater. I would blanket if she's not used to it.
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