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tbrantley 12-10-2011 10:09 PM

What' best for horses during winter months?
Just wondering what other horse people think. Should you leave you horse out in the freezing cold weather or stall them up? Should you put blankets on them when you let them out? Should you just leave them out in the field and let them adjust to the weather? I have friends who stall their horses year round, I have others that leave them out in all weather even though they have stalls and can put them up. They feel that horses to better the less we do for them.

Please post your thoughts on this.

waresbear 12-10-2011 10:16 PM

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I believe it's better for a horse to be given the opportunity to be outdoors at any given time, with a shelter, shed, or open barn if he chooses to come in. I am not a fan of blanketing horses, just for the fact that my horses rip each others off. If they didn't, I would probably blanket them as it would make it easier for me to groom if I rode regularly in the winter. I think fresh air is better than a barn where they urine & defecate and have to breathe in those vapors.

Skyseternalangel 12-10-2011 10:37 PM

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Out and natural unless they aren't healthy then I'd blanket.. or if it's really cold and brutal and they're shivering.. blanket.

Otherwise, they're better natural

tinyliny 12-10-2011 10:44 PM

moving this to horse health

SarahAnn 12-10-2011 10:45 PM

I blanketed mine today actually... But they would be perfectly fine without blankets, I also do it because it makes grooming them easier. Especially come spring time.

Mine are stalled at night because we have serious coyote and bear problems up here, and I'd rather sleep at night knowing that they're fine. They'd survive outside as far as the weather goes though. They get turn out from dusk until dawn, everyday, all year.
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Beauseant 12-10-2011 11:29 PM

Same as sarah!

During the winter, mine are out from 7 am to 8 pm every day the weather permits. They are blanketed, even the draft, if the temps go below 40 degrees and are blanketed or have rain sheets put on if the temp goes below 50 and it is raining and windy.

During the summer they are out from 6 pm till 11 am, then brought in out of the mid day summer sun...and flies.

In the fall they are out 24/7 if the weather permits.

I do not leave them out during blizzards, ice storms, sleet, thunderstorms (they live on the top of a mountain), rain, or temperatures above 85 degrees.

That's the way WE do things, others do things differently....and to each his own, I always say.

SarahAnn 12-11-2011 12:55 AM

Our Percheron's blanket is GIGANTIC. We didn't blanket her last year, because she was still growing so rapidly that we would have gone through 3 blankets in one winter. And she had the fuzziest of coats I have ever seen, so she was fine. She has a size 86 blanket on this year, and its a little snug. She's a moose. And only 2 and a half. :shock:
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SarahAnn 12-11-2011 12:59 AM

Oh yes, and if the weather is completely crappy, I don't turn them out. But they LOVE those days because they are TLC days. They might not get turn out, but they all get a thorough grooming session, I play with them, and each one gets time to come out of their stall and roam around inside the barn with me. I think they hope for sleet/snow/hail/heavy rain on the regular.
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PaintHorseMares 12-11-2011 06:48 AM


Originally Posted by waresbear (Post 1261543)
I believe it's better for a horse to be given the opportunity to be outdoors at any given time, with a shelter, shed, or open barn if he chooses to come in.

Agreed. Our mares are out 24x7 with a large shelter, trees, and a good wind break thicket, and the only time you see them in their shelter is when it's cold, raining, and windy or 100 degrees for the shade. Otherwise, they'll be under the trees (in the summer) or out of the wind by the thicket (in the winter).
BTW, if it's cold and raining for more than a day in the winter and they decide to stay in the shelter, even our four mares (who get along) start to get 'cabin fever' and will start fussing with each other (just like children).

Joe4d 12-11-2011 09:26 AM

I have no idea whats best, so I let them decide. They have food, heated water, cold icy water, trees, closed in shelter, open airy shelter, mud wallows, and dry ground. This summer he'll have big fans in his run in. But I dont ever lock him up in any of them. I rarely if ever blanket, Usually only in weird conditions generally caused by me, I did balnket him Halloween, I rode him in 85 degree heat and it literally dropped to 20 degrees and freezing rain in about 10 hours. He still had summer coat,

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