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armydogs 12-06-2010 09:01 PM

No Winter Coat
Right now, both my horses are in Missouri. In the next couple of weeks they will be moving to Texas. Nakita, my thoroughbred, has absolutely no winter hair. Should I be worried about this? Should I get her a blanket? Here is a picture that was sent to me about 2 days ago. What do you guys think? Still working on the weight/muscling issue, that is why we are moving the horses.

NorthernMama 12-06-2010 09:59 PM

I guess it depends where in Texas, but overall I do believe that Texas is quite a bit warmer than Missouri! Check with SMRobs -- she can give you the outlook there!

Blanket? Yes, in theory the warmer she is, the easier it will be to put weight on, but I think she has more going on than needing weight. I don't like the look of her belly. You can blanket and feed all you want, but if she isn't digesting properly it won't help anyway. Have you checked for worms?

I took in two thin horses late in the year and didn't blanket either of them. I did make sure they had a good shelter (actually a free-run barn) and access to three sides of the barn also so they could be in the sun and out of the wind. I fed them like crazy -- hay, hay and more hay. They got a bit of supplements, but it was the hay that kept them warm. They never showed signs of being cold. If they were, I guess they went in the barn together.

Your mare looks like she fits in well with the herd and that will help her also.

So, blanket or not? I vote not, unless you see signs of her being cold, or she starts to loose weight. She may not gain much over the winter though. My reasoning is that 1. the blanket restricts the movement of the hair follicles that adjust as needed according to the temperature at any given time, 2. it's another thing that horses can get tangled up in, 3. she may still develop a thicker coat if you don't blanket her, but she likely won't if you do and 4. if there is a time in Texas that it's actually cold, if she really hasn't developed enough of a coat by then, you can still throw the blanket on her for a couple of weeks just for the "cold snap"...

I'm just giggling here about "cold" in Texas. Here's from Wikipedia:
The worst cold snap to occur statewide occurred during the last half of December in 1983. Four stations recorded their longest continuous readings at or below 32 F (0 C) on record. At Austin, Texas, the temperature remained at or below freezing for 139 hours. At Abilene, Texas, the period at or below freezing totaled 202 hours. Lubbock, Texas saw temperatures at or below freezing for 207 hours. The Dallas-Fort Worth airport measured temperatures at or below freezing for a total of 296 consecutive hours. Snow which fell on December 14 and December 15 across northern Texas stayed on the ground until New Year's Day of 1984.[11]

Now I have to look up Missouri -- this should be good...

NorthernMama 12-06-2010 10:01 PM

oh my -- BITTERLY cold at -3!!! hahahaha
Wikipedia again:
Winters in Missouri can be long with temperatures ranging from mildly to bitterly cold. Kansas City's average January low is 26 F (−3 C) and St. Louis's average January low is 29 F (−2 C). The coldest temperature ever recorded in Missouri was −40 F (−40 C), set at Warsaw on 13 February 1905. Winter also tends to be the driest season, but typically yields significant amounts of winter precipitation. Snowfall averages 20 inches (51 cm) in the state's northern region, and 10 inches (25 cm) in the southeast. During the winter, northwest winds prevail; the air movement is largely from the south and southeast during the rest of the year.[2]

Much warmer in Missouri than I thought. This can't be right?!?

SaddlebredGrl 12-06-2010 10:40 PM

I live in Missouri and the weather has been so Missouri, that a lot of the horses at my barn don't have winter coats at all. My friends two are just now starting to get fuzzy and she refuses to but blankets on them and they seem to do fine and have never got sick. The weather is just now starting to actually get cold... o wait it's going to be almost 50 wednesday and was like 30 today go figure.

I had my horse out last year and he has a thick coat but not anywhere near a winter coat. I only put a blanket on him when it was like windy and probably like in the 20's. I totally agree with Northernmama

armydogs 12-06-2010 10:53 PM

The belly concerns me as well. The person keeping my horse has refused to seperate her stud from the herd, even after us repeatedly asking her to do so, or moving my mare out. Her reasoning is he can't reach, and also her horses know she doesn't want babies. Ummmm.....ok. That is part of the reason we are moving our horses to Texas. I do not know if she is bred yet or not. Someone refuses to get a vet out for me to have her checked. Once they get down to Texas, I will have a vet out. They are going to be down by Beaumont. So should be fairly warmer I would think. Thanks for the advice on the blanket.

Ariel 12-07-2010 06:53 AM

The stud can't reach?! Trust me...where there's a will there's a way. I've seen a mare stand in a ditch to help a poor little stud out. What breed is he? I'm glad you're getting your horses outta there.

And we all need to move to Texas :D. Their idea of cold is downright balmy. You are so lucky.

armydogs 12-07-2010 07:16 AM

I have explained to her so many times that her 14 hh paint can reach my 15.2 hh mare. We finally decided it is time to move them. I am lucky to have found someone who is willing to take care of them for me for the next year.

Ariel 12-07-2010 09:06 AM

Nakita just might have a little paint/tb bun in the oven. Hope you can find that out pretty quick so your mare can get the feed and prenatal care she needs. How long was she in with the stud? Poor can still tell she's a pretty girl. Hope everything works out well you.

QHDragon 12-07-2010 09:23 AM

I had a mare that was bred in FL and never grew a winter coat her entire life. We had to keep her blanketed, even if it was a little chilly she would shiver because she always looked summer sleek. However, I live in MI.

In texas the weather is warmer (and wetter) in the winter from what I remember. I guess it also depends what part of Texas you are in, I lived on the gulf coast when I lived there.

armydogs 12-08-2010 03:43 AM

NorthernMomma, Thank you so much for looking that information up for me. I was a little worried that she was going to be to cold. I lived in Houston over 10 years ago, but never had horses while I lived down there.

SaddlebredGrl, thanks for giving me a current MO weather report. I have no idea what it is like over there.

QHDragon, I am glad I don't live in MI. Although right now I would probably prefer it to Korea's weather. LOL!!!

Basically, I wanted to thank everyone who responded to me. The woman who is going to be taking care of them for me will have a lot to do when she finally gets my horses. That will be in about 2 weeks.

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