New Horse Owner? Winter and Horses?
I am a new horse owner and this is my first winter with them. One of them is a halflinger and is rather stubborn. I have tied them both in the shelter that came with the house we just recently bought but the halflinger is mean to my paint and tries to kick her out of the shelter and that is the reason that I had to tie both of them in there because we are in the middle of a blizzard and I didn't think that she had any business just standing out in the wind. They both have hay. Her butt is hanging out of the shelter but she is out of the wind for the most part. Will she be okay? Or would it be a good idea to look into getting a blanket to cover her with? I know that there is talk that blankets can make horses colder so i'm not sure what to do or if she will be okay. When she was outside the snow was sticking to her so I know she was pretty toasty with only a little dripping off of her. Any suggestions or am I doing the best thing for them? That's what my horse trainer told me to do but i;m just getting a second opinion? Blanket or no? Anything I can do to make the halflinger less mean to her? Any info helps! Thanks!
Dividing the shelter would be ideal, but for the current night/day I would let them loose and give them free choice hay. Hay will generate heat and being able to move around will also keep them warm, whereas if they were just standing they wouldnt create as much heat. Unless its really cold and windy, horses generally seem pretty well suited to the snow and other elements. Next time you go out there, look at her hair. You'll notice that the top hairs will stick together and sort of guide the water off their backs, but the winter fuzz underneath is still very dry and warm.
Everyone has different ideas, but personally I dont blanket as long as they have a shelter and space to move around. ASAP i think you should divide the shelter so that they can both share without fighting.
I have a waterproof blanket with light fill just for freezing rain, but other than that I don't blanket. Unless you have a thin horse that has a hard time putting weight on, they're usually fine. Unless the weather gets really crazy, mine prefer to stand under the trees than in the shelter, sometimes I think that shed is only in there to make ME feel better!
I have never blanketed my horses or the ones that board here, if they have enough hay they will produce enough body heat for keeping warm. I also wouldn't tie them up shelter....it's best if they move around. We have a shelter and trees but they very seldom go in the shelter unless it's really a bitter windy day....
Just a note: if they have a coating of snow on their backs.....don't wipe it off, it acts as insulation and you will just make em damp and push the hair down which will reduce its insulating capacity and make em colder.:-)
I look forward to moving one day somewhere with a dry cold. Here we have had so much rain it has been almost unbearable. The wetness on them and then the wind has mine shaking, so I blanket. I have lots of them as I have to rotate. I would love a minus 20, and dry.
I think keeping horses in a shelter together in very rarely a good idea. I'd be more inclined to let them have free range inside and outside. Divider the shelter when you can and supply heaps of hay.
I rug my horse but that means I always have to rug her in bad weather. It flattens the hair and can make them colder if you don't always rug. So if you're going to rug do it whenever it gets cold/rainy/snowy etc, or don't rug at all.
I agree w a poster ^^, I would strongly suggest that you not tie them in the shelter.
I live in warm-er dry weather. I still blanket my mare, and she is the only horse I have ever "regularly" blanketed on cold nights. She has an unusually skimpy winter coat. My point....blanket w both the environment and the individual horse in mind, and choose the blanket weight the same way.
Thanks to everyone that has replied! The absolute only reason that i tied them is because my mare literally can not get out of the cold because my halflinger will not let her. Being a new horse owner i would've thought that maybe my horse trainer would've been right on this but maybe not?
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