Having horse in a cold, snowy climate - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Having horse in a cold, snowy climate

I don't know that this is really a journal. I just couldn't think of a better place to put it. So here it is.

I often read posts about keeping horses in various climates and when I talk about the snow and cold here, many seem shocked at how cold it gets! Having horses in cold climates certainly poses different challenges, but I really don't think it's harder. Some of you living in the south have to deal with heat, drought, or rain. You have bugs and snakes that will kill you and/or your horse. The good news is that none of those can survive in my part of the world!

I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world, even though I will complain when that third big snowstorm hits within a week. Or when I have to shovel out a path to my manure pile three times in one day because the wind is causing the snow to drift back in. But in the end, I've lived my whole live here. I know how to deal with cold and snow. I don't know how to deal with heat and drought. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't feel sorry for me. Looking after horses is always a big responsibility, no matter where you live. I'll be posting pictures that may make it look hard - and it is! - but no more than dealing with other kinds of issues in other parts of the world. Here, we have no skyscrapers. Oh heck, the mayor made a big announcement when the city got its first escalator. I'm not even kidding. And I live 30 minutes from that city so even they think I'm a hick.

So here are a few pictures of the property during a quiet winter sunset.
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post #2 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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So we just got about 12-16 inches of snow last night. When everyone was inside, I trudged out for the late night feeding in the dark, wading through knee-deep snow. Lucky for me, hubby gets up bright and early and had the path from the house to the barn plowed by morning feeding.

There was, however, the small matter of shoveling a path to my manure pile. That was not so much fun. Fluffy snow this time though, so that made it easier.
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post #3 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 10:59 PM
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Ah Acadian I love this <3 i do want to experience living in a hot climate for at least a year, to see how I fare. I love heat. I hate flies. I hate snow, but I love no flies. If I could find a place that was hot with no flies, I'd be golden. Can I post some of my snowy photos? We're supposed to get another good one Sunday :(
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post #4 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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In that last picture, you can just barely see the manure pile. That's three months of manure for two horses, completely buried. So guess what, no smells! For now, anyway...

Being the kind of person who figures that if life hands you lemons, you should make some margueritas (what did you think I was going to say?), I figured gravity + snow + my kids' old round sled would make a fine manure disposal system. Here's how it works:

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post #5 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhattaTroublemaker View Post
Ah Acadian I love this <3 i do want to experience living in a hot climate for at least a year, to see how I fare. I love heat. I hate flies. I hate snow, but I love no flies. If I could find a place that was hot with no flies, I'd be golden. Can I post some of my snowy photos? We're supposed to get another good one Sunday :(
Yes! Post away! I totally understand your dilemma. But having spent time in Louisiana, I also appreciate that we have no deadly snakes or bugs.

Let's post lots of snowy pics, and show how we manage quite well in this climate!
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post #6 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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The other thing I've found is that without any grass around, the horses are far more interested in what I'm doing and much more interactive. Tonight, Harley kept picking at my gloves until I took them off, then he licked my hands. I assume it was the salty flavour he liked, but he has a salt lick and I add salt to his feed so it's not like he's deficient. Then he took my tuque off and waved it around. I put it on his head and he just stood there with this funny look on his face. They're a lot more interested in hanging out with me now that there's no grass to be eaten!

The other day, Harley even managed to get away from my daughter and ran out the back door of the barn. When he realized all the green grass was covered in white, he just turned around and walked back in the barn. LOL
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post #7 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 11:18 PM
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I hear people say they don't ride when it hits below 10C LOL I wish that was an option!
Here's a couple new and old
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post #8 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Of course the hard part is that Harley coughs when it gets cold. So I have to give him cough syrup and am trying to resolve it for good. But it's heartbreaking to hear him cough. Luckily, he's a good patient and will happily lick his cough medicine right out of a bucket!

Kodak, on the other hand, is a different sort of horse. Harley doesn't like the cold so if it's windy, or snowy, or just unpleasant in any way, he'll stand in his stall with his head looking out. Kodak on the other hand, will not come in to save her life. She'd rather stand outside, in front of Harley's stall. Even though her stall door is open. I don't even blanket her because she seems to grow a coat like a grizzly bear.
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File Type: jpg barn in winter 023.jpg (102.3 KB, 2 views)
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File Type: jpg barn in winter 032.jpg (81.0 KB, 2 views)

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post #9 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhattaTroublemaker View Post
I hear people say they don't ride when it hits below 10C LOL I wish that was an option!
Here's a couple new and old
Great pics!

Yes, that makes me chuckle. I ride at home when I can, but mostly it depends on footing, not on temperature. My daughter rides at the lesson barn (Carriage Hill) every week. I've been taking lessons there lately too. I've never heard of a lesson cancelled because of the cold and it's been around -20 C every morning for like the last 3 Saturdays! - 10 C is balmy!
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post #10 of 93 Old 02-10-2017, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Of course the hard part is that Harley coughs when it gets cold. So I have to give him cough syrup and am trying to resolve it for good. But it's heartbreaking to hear him cough. Luckily, he's a good patient and will happily lick his cough medicine right out of a bucket!

Kodak, on the other hand, is a different sort of horse. Harley doesn't like the cold so if it's windy, or snowy, or just unpleasant in any way, he'll stand in his stall with his head looking out. Kodak on the other hand, will not come in to save her life. She'd rather stand outside, in front of Harley's stall. Even though her stall door is open. I don't even blanket her because she seems to grow a coat like a grizzly bear.
Spirit started coughing when the temp dropped too. I come into the barn and she will cough once, so I don't know if she coughs overnight. She also coughs once when she comes out into the cold air. It got a lot better when I started wetting her hay at night. She only coughs once in a blue moon now.

Trouble has a love hate relationship with the cold. He spent a lot of time in the barn last winter because he was a *cough* escape artist and it was too frozen to rebuild fences. He loves it in the barn. He could do well in 24/7 or out. Doesn't get antsy or excited at all. He just wants to eat. Funny thing because he has a wooly mammoth coat spirit is the opposite. She gets excited in the barn and always wants to see what's going on outside. She will climb walls if she hears something knock against the walls or something. Sucks because she has a thin thin coat and tends to shiver, but hates her blanket, and will kick out at it. I've hung it up and gave her free choice hay and I'm just letting her figure it out. If she shivers I make her wear her blanket since she is a hard keeper. Ugh horses are so strange.
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