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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2004
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    Default TB mare shivering this afternoon - help!

    I have a healthy, normal 8 y/o TB mare who lives out 24/7. Access to a nice shed, free choice hay, water, etc. She has not been clipped or anything. The temp dropped dramatically overnight - it was probably 55 yesterday and today it's 28 with a wind chill of about 8. She has what looked to me to be a nice winter coat, she's in good weight, etc.

    I cam home after some appointments this afternoon and the mare in the adjoining pasture had upturned the water trough, so I headed out to right it and refill it. The TB mare was standing on her side of the fence, by her trough, and I noticed her shivering. Hard. None of the other horses seemed cold, the mini donks were also fine - but she was shivering. The two other mares are both "naked" and were fine....the two geldings both had their midweight turnouts on and were fine. The one turnout small enough to fit this mare was on one of the geldings, so I brought her in the barn and put her in one of his smaller stable blankets.

    I don't have a stall for her. She has the shed, and I think was in there before she came to stand by the trough to see what I was doing. I've never witnessed any of my horses shivering like this before - even in worse weather - so I'm concerned. I have to leave again for another appointment, but when I get home tonight I plan on putting the turnout (that was on the smaller gelding) on her for the night, since he comes in at night.

    Sorry for the long explanation - I'm worried. Aside from bringing her in, can I do anything else for her? Do I chalk it up to "she should have stayed in the shed", or is she just not be equipped to deal with the cold? TIA



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2009
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    334

    Default

    Like humans, individual horses have differing tolerances to heat and cold. I know horses that are happy with nothing on in the middle of winter, and I know that my mare (also a TB), gets pathetic and starts shivering if she's blanketless when it gets to the high 30s/low 40s if it's a little damp. Have you had the mare through a previous winter, so that you can compare her behavior/tolerance for the weather? She may just be more sensitive to the cold and may need more blanketing than the other guys. Best I can suggest is to just keep a close eye on her over the next few days and see how she's doing...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2003
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    New York/New Jersey
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    Hopefully she's not coming down with something ... and just got a chill. It may be that she's just sensitive to the cold and needs a nice Rambo! My TB mare is a woosy and has a whole assortment of them for all types of weather. Her BFF is a chestnut TB mare and needs even more blankets than mine does. (Both have been found shivering in the past.)

    BTW - That's a huge drop in temperature - hope that's not going to happen here (NJ) tonight! UGH!
    She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
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    NorthEast
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    24,482

    Default

    For horses without a stall it's a good idea to have at least a couple turnout blankets for them. While most horses do fine outside 24/7, some do not. Not all have decent tolerance for temperature changes and not all will come into sheds even if they are cold. Unfortunately nature made prey animals a lot less 'smart' than predators...they're not meant for long lives without human intervention.
    I'd keep her in for a while, up her hay and get her into a blanket. Then get her a couple blankets of her own, in case one gets soaked through and you need to swap them out or in different weights. Just to be on the safe side and keep her comfy.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2006
    Posts
    81

    Default first cold snap

    Some years one or more of my horses will shiver during the first cold snap but be fine later during even colder weather. The first chill must ramp up their metabolism, or something. Besides wearing blankets, eating hay helps to keep them warm.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2009
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    1,172

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    My mare is wimpy when it comes to temp drops. She will stand at the gate and shiver and be misearable if she's even a little cold.

    I have a couple of blankets that I use on her. She loves being out as much as possible, and the blankets make it more comfortable for her.

    Some horses just seem to be more sensitive to the temp changes than others. As long as she's not getting sick, she should be just fine being out with a blanket for added protection.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    35,573

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    Quote Originally Posted by asb_own_me View Post
    it was probably 55 yesterday and today it's 28 with a wind chill of about 8.
    That's a HUGE change not only in temp, but in the the "feels like". Most likely if things had gradually gone down that much, over weeks, she'd have been fine.

    My guys don't have full coats yet - almost there, but they won't be really woolly for another couple of weeks. The daylight hours are still getting shorter - until Dec 22. So, that plays a role too.

    Think about how different 60* feels to you when it's November, vs when it's March.

    Aside from bringing her in, can I do anything else for her? Do I chalk it up to "she should have stayed in the shed", or is she just not be equipped to deal with the cold? TIA
    Yeah - blanket her Or, bring her in when it's cold AND windy.

    I generally make sure my TB mare is blanketed (medium weight here) if temps are below freezing and winds are more than just breezy. Certainly things in the single digit wind chills gets her a blanket. She just gets cold, or she runs to keep warm.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by asb_own_me View Post

    Sorry for the long explanation - I'm worried. Aside from bringing her in, can I do anything else for her? Do I chalk it up to "she should have stayed in the shed", or is she just not be equipped to deal with the cold? TIA

    my 22 yo TB mare comes in if the combined wet/wind/air temp goes below 40F...sometimes it's just into the indoor out of the wind/rain

    other times its blanket+indoor
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2005
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    2,245

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    I know the trend is to treat all horses as if they can live out 24/7 without a blanket, but lets get real. Your TB mare is not a Mustang. If she were, she would have died off quickly and her genetics wouldn't have been passed on.

    She was bred to live like a hot house flower and to race, not to survive the winter in the wilds of Colorado. Put a warm, waterproof turnout on her and treat her like the TB she is.



  10. #10
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    Jun. 4, 2006
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    My warmblood grew up in Texus, now in Canada he loves his 220 polygram blanket and his 440 thinsilite waterproof breathable light weight I pull it daytime when nice but always have something on at night.



  11. #11
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    Jul. 13, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizajane09 View Post
    Have you had the mare through a previous winter, so that you can compare her behavior/tolerance for the weather? She may just be more sensitive to the cold and may need more blanketing than the other guys. Best I can suggest is to just keep a close eye on her over the next few days and see how she's doing...
    This is the first winter I've had her, so I don't have a comparison. I will be watching her closely. Just got in from feeding and she's looking comfy in the blanket I put on her.

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    For horses without a stall it's a good idea to have at least a couple turnout blankets for them.
    I'd keep her in for a while, up her hay and get her into a blanket. Then get her a couple blankets of her own, in case one gets soaked through and you need to swap them out or in different weights. Just to be on the safe side and keep her comfy.
    MB, I wish I had that for her. The others have blankets, and I'll use the extras on her for the time being. I haven't had her that long, and she's leaving in about 10-12 days...so she'll be doing the hand-me-down thing for now!

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    That's a HUGE change not only in temp, but in the the "feels like". Most likely if things had gradually gone down that much, over weeks, she'd have been fine.

    Think about how different 60* feels to you when it's November, vs when it's March.

    Yeah - blanket her Or, bring her in when it's cold AND windy.
    Agreed on the huge difference. I was miserable today too

    I did blanket her, this afternoon when I found her like that. I was just wondering if there was any other way to help her. She can't come in - she doesn't have a stall.



    Quote Originally Posted by llsc View Post
    I know the trend is to treat all horses as if they can live out 24/7 without a blanket, but lets get real. Your TB mare is not a Mustang. If she were, she would have died off quickly and her genetics wouldn't have been passed on.

    She was bred to live like a hot house flower and to race, not to survive the winter in the wilds of Colorado. Put a warm, waterproof turnout on her and treat her like the TB she is.
    llsc, I don't expect her to be impervious to the cold, but she does not have a stall. I'm not a "trendy" put-em-all-outside person. She simply does not have a stall. She has the blanket on now and was fine when I fed 10 minutes ago. I don't know about the hothouse flower thing, but my 14 y/o ASB mare was out there today too and she was toasty fine all on her own...so this isn't me expecting a "light" breed to tough it out, this seems to be more of an individual horse thing.

    And we're not in the "wilds of Colorado". Your post came across pretty snarky - I'm hoping that wasn't intended. She's got food, shelter, water, and as soon as I discovered the shivering, she also got a blanket.

    Thanks everyone for the replies/suggestions. I did give her extra oats tonight with her dinner. She was thrilled



  12. #12
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    Aug. 30, 2007
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    Illinois, USA
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    Yeah, I would just keep her blanketed in those temps. Sounds like that's all she needed to stay comfy.

    Before I owned my mare, I worked with her for the owner for a few years. The owner "didn't believe in blanketing". On a few occasions I'd find my mare in the shelter of her pasture, shivering. Now that I blanket her every winter, she never shivers.

    Another shivering story, a pasturemate of my mare, who was probably about 20 at the time, was standing in the middle of the pasture shivering HORRIBLY. She could barely move she was shivering so much. We borrowed the nearest turnout blanket for her, put it on her, and she was totally fine within 30 minutes.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  13. #13
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    Dec. 19, 2007
    Location
    Camden, DE
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    I would blanket her for sure.

    I notice that my TB gets colder than his pasture mate even though my TB appears to have more coat.

    My TB comes in at night and the barn is insulated so that makes it a little easier but whenever it's below 45° he has a turn out sheet on during the day and a stable sheet on at night. When it gets even cold he wears a midweight.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2006
    Location
    NE OK
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    526

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    extra hay! I know someone already said it, but it REALLY needs to be said again! In your situation, where you can't bring her in, extra hay will help keep her warm. Make sure she's got enough to last until morning. Use a haynet if you have to, but it really does help. Also, if you've got the time, give her a good curry to get her blood moving, and some light exercise if it won't start her sweating.



  15. #15
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    Oct. 17, 2008
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    My Paint mare needs a blanket to to live out 24/7 too. I just get different ones so I am able to switch out and layer, it can be a pain to be a slave to the weather channel for blanketing, but she is like your girl and she'll just start shivering and her muscles will get very tight.

    Glad she is feeling better with her blankie



  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by llsc View Post
    I
    She was bred to live like a hot house flower and to race, not to survive the winter in the wilds of Colorado. Put a warm, waterproof turnout on her and treat her like the TB she is.
    I was recently totally appalled at a lady buying hay at the barn for her recently "adopted OTTB" FIRST HORSE who was losing weight in a big way...but she loved it to bittsies

    I said "did they not tell you TB's were a bit<errrm> delicate?"

    she said something like "oh, they said she'd settle down in a few weeks"

    so of course, she is feeding not the best feed and wanted the cheaper hay and the horse was thin and just not looking "right" and I think it was either a weaver or a cribber(that escapes me right now)

    I tried to tell her that a going thin TB in this climate was going to need kept dry and fat and well "cared" for more than your regular old horse thru one of our winters...

    I think it went totally over her head....
    Last edited by Tamara in TN; Dec. 3, 2009 at 08:11 PM.
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  17. #17
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    Nov. 20, 2005
    Location
    missoula. mt
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    Quote Originally Posted by llsc View Post
    I know the trend is to treat all horses as if they can live out 24/7 without a blanket, but lets get real. Your TB mare is not a Mustang. If she were, she would have died off quickly and her genetics wouldn't have been passed on.

    She was bred to live like a hot house flower and to race, not to survive the winter in the wilds of Colorado. Put a warm, waterproof turnout on her and treat her like the TB she is.
    WRONG. My TB gelding was shipped to Montana from SOUTH Florida. He did have 4 months to acclimate before winter arrived, but never wore a blanket. He grew a wooley coat and stayed plenty warm without a blanket. If they stay dry, and they aren't clipped, and they are in good weight, there is no reason any breed of horse should need a blanket. I say feed more hay. Make sure they have access to some kind of wind break or shelter, but blankets will inhibit a horses' natural ability to keep themselves warm.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
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    NJ
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    ASB-I have some TB retirees here and I routinely blanket when the temps dip below 40 or it's cold and windy. If I don't, they will shiver. If you have access to a waterproof breathable sheet, I'd put that on when the forecast is for rain at 50-60 degrees and use the heavier blanket when it's colder.

    As long as she has everything else-the run in, hay,etc and the blanket, I doubt it will matter if she has a stall. If she has protection from the wind and rain(which a good blanket can provide), she should be fine.

    I've never had luck letting them go nekked in those conditions so I just keep a supply of extra blankets available to put on the retirees-in the long run, it keeps everybody here a lot happier. I just hate to see a shivering horse!!



  19. #19
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    Jul. 13, 2004
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    The hay is definitely not the issue. There's a big bale out there and I rarely see her head leave it

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will be keeping a close eye on her until she leaves in a week or so. I guess she's like my mom.....anything below 70 and she wants a coat!!!



  20. #20
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by springer View Post
    WRONG. My TB gelding was shipped to Montana from SOUTH Florida. He did have 4 months to acclimate before winter arrived, but never wore a blanket. He grew a wooley coat and stayed plenty warm without a blanket. If they stay dry, and they aren't clipped, and they are in good weight, there is no reason any breed of horse should need a blanket. I say feed more hay. Make sure they have access to some kind of wind break or shelter, but blankets will inhibit a horses' natural ability to keep themselves warm.
    Nothing is ever absolute. My motto is: never say never and never say always because there is "always" an exception. We have one TB that was turned out without blankets with his previous owner. He is now better fed, has a thicker coat, plenty of hay and a round bale in the pasture and he STILL shivers. So we blanket him. Duh!



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