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BarnBum 01-14-2014 12:44 AM

Possibly moving my horses north..?
 
This may seem like a silly question, but I'm going to ask it anyway:

I have two thoroughbreds, a 17 year old retired guy (light trail riding due to arthritis and a plethora of other issues), and my 9 year old event horse. My retired guy was born and raised in Pennsylvania, while my 9 year old was bred in Louisiana and brought to Texas when he raced.

I'm considering moving to Montana, now thats a huge climate change. I know how to take care of my horses in 103 degree heat...but snow? That's a whole other ball game. I would absolutely have stalls for them when the weather is bad, they WILL be blanketed (especially my young guy, he's a huge wuss). But how do you turn your horses out when there a foot or more of snow on the ground? Is it dangerous for their tendons and such to be slogging through possibly more than a foot of snow? I want my horses to have as much turn out as physically possible, and obviously there are horses in areas of the world where it snows like crazy...just wanting ideas and tips on how to maintain them in the snow and such.

Thanks!

churumbeque 01-14-2014 02:49 AM

I would not get in the habit of blanketing and I would move when it is warm. Lots of free choice hay will help keep them warm and fresh clean water. Not sure about the tendon thing but best case wold be free turnout with a good shelter they can go in and out as they please.

BarnBum 01-14-2014 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by churumbeque (Post 4527026)
I would not get in the habit of blanketing and I would move when it is warm. Lots of free choice hay will help keep them warm and fresh clean water. Not sure about the tendon thing but best case wold be free turnout with a good shelter they can go in and out as they please.

One of my horses, the youngster, gets clipped in winter because of his work load. Now if we moved somewhere colder I probably wouldn't clip him the first winter we were there. I've also walked into the barn when it was at 60 degrees and he was shivering violently...he doesn't handle the cold well so he needs a blanket.
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Corporal 01-14-2014 01:58 PM

Your horses will do just fine if you move in the late Spring through Summer. Do NOT blanket them when the temperature in Montana starts to dip. I let my horses stay out for 24/7 turnout as long as possible to develop their winter coat. Our normal winter temperatures average 25 at night and 40 during the day, and normally they are turnout out 1/2 a day and stalled at night. I always stall during icy conditions bc of dangerous footing. Last week it dipped to -18 F, which we have had, but not for 20 years. My DD was caretaking, and we had them stalled on January 6-7. My barn is not heated but you must shelter against the wind chill. Your TB's will get beards by December, but they only need a few days of cold to start developing a coat. I don't know but I've heard that moving to Alaska takes 2 years for a horse to adapt.
Keep blankets but save them for illnesses bc wet and sweat makes them cold in the winter. It's also important to turnout in the snow when it's clear and not bitter bc all horses need their fresh air and to move around, too.

~*~anebel~*~ 01-14-2014 02:01 PM

I actually don't mind managing horses in the snow and cold. The deep snow is actually very good for their legs! Keeps them ice cold and the undulation in footing builds strength in the tendons and ligaments. What you have to watch out for is the ice. I would advise getting borium on your horse's shoes - as much as your farrier is comfortable putting on!! They will not be used to ice and do not know how slippery it is. I would not turn them out until they have all the traction they will need. I get 4 borium tipped studs on each shoe and snow pads, usually most horses are ok barefoot, but leave the feet long for traction.
On blanketing - my kids are all born and raised around here so are used to the weather. They are also fully clipped for the winter because of their work load. So they are blanketed. From 20-40 degrees they are in their big winter blankets with hoods and naked at night in the stalls. Warmer and the hoods come off, colder and I start layering. 0-20 I'll use a light sheet under. -20 to 0 I'll put their BoT blankets on under and colder than that they get the heavy 350g liners.
If they lived outside 24/7 or are from warmer climates, I'd blanket heavier. Just blanket whatever your horses seem to like. My big guy prefers to be a little cold and doesn't like heavy blankets so I blanket him sparingly compared to the others. Some horses like to be bundled right up.
Good starter blankets for winter would be a 250g fill blanket with a detachable hood, a light liner (100g) and a heavy liner (200g+). I don't think it gets nearly as cold in Montana as it does further north, but those will likely do you fine. For summer, have a rain sheet and a fly sheet. If it's cold ish (spring/fall), put the 100g liner under the rain sheet.

But don't worry, the horses will adapt!! They are very adaptable creatures! Just be prepared for them to freak out at the snow for a moment lol.

Corporal 01-14-2014 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ (Post 4530146)
Just be prepared for them to freak out at the snow for a moment lol.

Yeah, they'll freak and then it will the favorite thing...EVER!!
Agreed about blanketing clipped, which I don't have to do bc I don't clip or show. It's tricky, but I'm sure that anabel can help you out. =D

BarnBum 01-14-2014 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ (Post 4530146)
I actually don't mind managing horses in the snow and cold. The deep snow is actually very good for their legs! Keeps them ice cold and the undulation in footing builds strength in the tendons and ligaments. What you have to watch out for is the ice. I would advise getting borium on your horse's shoes - as much as your farrier is comfortable putting on!! They will not be used to ice and do not know how slippery it is. I would not turn them out until they have all the traction they will need. I get 4 borium tipped studs on each shoe and snow pads, usually most horses are ok barefoot, but leave the feet long for traction.
On blanketing - my kids are all born and raised around here so are used to the weather. They are also fully clipped for the winter because of their work load. So they are blanketed. From 20-40 degrees they are in their big winter blankets with hoods and naked at night in the stalls. Warmer and the hoods come off, colder and I start layering. 0-20 I'll use a light sheet under. -20 to 0 I'll put their BoT blankets on under and colder than that they get the heavy 350g liners.
If they lived outside 24/7 or are from warmer climates, I'd blanket heavier. Just blanket whatever your horses seem to like. My big guy prefers to be a little cold and doesn't like heavy blankets so I blanket him sparingly compared to the others. Some horses like to be bundled right up.
Good starter blankets for winter would be a 250g fill blanket with a detachable hood, a light liner (100g) and a heavy liner (200g+). I don't think it gets nearly as cold in Montana as it does further north, but those will likely do you fine. For summer, have a rain sheet and a fly sheet. If it's cold ish (spring/fall), put the 100g liner under the rain sheet.

But don't worry, the horses will adapt!! They are very adaptable creatures! Just be prepared for them to freak out at the snow for a moment lol.

Thanks! I'm relieved to know that clipped horses survive in the snow! My old guy despises blankets so he only gets blanketed when he absolutely needs it, and my young guy loves being bundled up...so I would no doubt have to buy him a heavy weight blanket and hood. He currently only has a medium weight and a sheet...all he needs down here! If we moved them it would be in August-ish time frame.
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~*~anebel~*~ 01-14-2014 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarnBum (Post 4530194)
Thanks! I'm relieved to know that clipped horses survive in the snow! My old guy despises blankets so he only gets blanketed when he absolutely needs it, and my young guy loves being bundled up...so I would no doubt have to buy him a heavy weight blanket and hood. He currently only has a medium weight and a sheet...all he needs down here! If we moved them it would be in August-ish time frame.
Posted via Mobile Device

LOTS of time to acquire all the required blankets!! If the horses are shod - get their snow set up (borium and pads) in November BEFORE it snows. The first time it is icy is when you will have injuries.

Yes, mine get clipped. They would die otherwise! So much sweat! But they get shown year round and are always in a heated barn at night.
Definitely clip the one you are riding. Even if it's just a trace clip. Sweaty horses and cold weather do not mix well! A sweaty furry horse will do worse than a clipped, dry horse in the same blankets.

wakiya 01-14-2014 10:02 PM

Read this on thermoregulation before you decide anything:

Thermoregulation in horses in a cold time of year - Academia Artivm Didacticvm Eqviorvm in Liberti


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