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Horses and freezing weather?

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  • #41
    Don't get stable blankets, they can wear their turnouts 24/7.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

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    • #42
      I didn't think to mention that ( for you) a good pair of insulated coveralls and coat ( Carrhart makes the best) will make doing things outside so much better. My husband lost his coveralls to me, they are not terribly heavy so movement is easy and I am never cold. A hat with ear flaps too. You hair will be ruined, but it is a must.

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      • Original Poster

        #43
        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
        Don't get stable blankets, they can wear their turnouts 24/7.
        Perfect! Thanks!
        Happiness is the sweet smell of horses, leather, and hay.

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        • Original Poster

          #44
          Originally posted by candyappy View Post
          I didn't think to mention that ( for you) a good pair of insulated coveralls and coat ( Carrhart makes the best) will make doing things outside so much better. My husband lost his coveralls to me, they are not terribly heavy so movement is easy and I am never cold. A hat with ear flaps too. You hair will be ruined, but it is a must.
          My husband has a deep fondness for Carhardt products, probably as a result of growing up in WI. I expect we will find ourselves with a lot more of their products. And I gave up on nice hair a long time ago lol.
          Happiness is the sweet smell of horses, leather, and hay.

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          • #45
            In La Crosse you have a choice of either Wisconsin or Minnesota horse activities. Winona is about a half hour
            from La Crosse and Rochester, MN (home of Mayo Clinic)
            is a bit over an hour. Rochester area is developing a pretty
            active community of dressage and some eventing activity
            with clinics and also local trainers. La Crosse area has some
            hunter folks and their own circuit. Up north in western
            Wisconsin is eventing with Otter Creek (just north of Menomonie) the biggest. Take a look at the yahoogroup
            TCCTList to see what the Minneapolis/St Paul centered
            region has going. La Crosse is a bit closer to that than
            to the Madison/Milwaukee area.
            Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
            Elmwood, Wisconsin

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            • #46
              Two words: Smartwool Socks.

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              • #47
                I am in love with my Rambo Duo. One blanket for a range of temps. In the single digits, put on the neck cover. Getting warmer, take off the neck cover. Even warmer, take out the liner. Also easier to wash because it comes apart into shell and liner.

                For you, agree on Smartwool, Muck boots (warmer than Bogs IMHO). I love flannel-lined jeans. Incredibly unflattering, but very warm, and my LL Bean jeans have lasted for over 10 years now. I also have an LL Bean Wind Challenger vest that is a great underlayer for barn work and great to ride in too. I top it off with a Patagonia Retro-X Jacket that is a size big for layering. I may look like a big pink Sherpa, but I am WARM,WARM,WARM. Ooops, almost forgot my Gore-tex lined Outdoor Research ski gloves. With those on, frozen buckets are no problem. Horsey lives at home, so if I look absurd, it is only my husband and the neighbors who laugh.

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by nightsong View Post
                  Remember how different horses are from us. They grow natural hair coats that keep them warm by providing insulation. putting something on them will mash this fluffy layer FLAT so there's no warmth. And they don't live in nice warm houses like we do, they're locked in sunless barns where they can't use their natural warm-up mechanism, moving around. Horses are WARMER and HAPPIER outside, where they can move around and adjust their conditions to the weather.

                  Just keep them out of freezing rain. That's the killer...
                  Yep! I don't clip, so I've never blanketed. Just one more thing to do and unless you're religious about it a good way to get rain rot. I've got a secondhand turnout in case Lucky didn't adapt to wintering over in Michigan, but I've never had to bother. He now gets a nice fluffy coat, and if it's wet freezing rain rather than snow, he stays in, and gets grain even though he's not working.

                  Now, heated buckets, cold-tolerant faucets and pipes, insulation--THAT you need to learn about!
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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by tbgurl View Post





                    I think I am more worried about how to know when it is safe or not safe to turnout, how to tell if the horse is cold and needs extra hay/blankets, and anything that I am completely and totally not thinking about that might be important to know.
                    If a horse shivers, it is too cold. If you have severe weather warnings, wind chills below freezing, and excessive ice making it dangerous to walk on, then probably they need to stay in. I think it's great that they will be boarded and that you are moving in June. Gives you and them time to settle in. Enjoy yourself and good luck.
                    I LOVE my Chickens!

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                    • #50
                      I have Bogs boots and love them. However, if it gets truly cold and I am out for too long, my feet get cold. I have Steger Mukluks for those days, but haven't had to wear them a whole lot this winter.

                      I also love Smartwool socks. And Carhartts. I have been seen wearing some lovely ensembles to ride or do chores in. There can be a fine line between freezing and sweating, depending on how much you are moving around. Dressing for the weather is an art and a science in WI.

                      Wait until your nostrils stick shut. Or your eyes water from the wind and then it freezes. It's exhilarating!

                      (You also are going to probably buy a lot of bug spray, and will need fly masks. Summer isn't always wonderful either.)

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                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Megaladon View Post
                        If a horse shivers, it is too cold. If you have severe weather warnings, wind chills below freezing, and excessive ice making it dangerous to walk on, then probably they need to stay in. I think it's great that they will be boarded and that you are moving in June. Gives you and them time to settle in. Enjoy yourself and good luck.
                        Wind chills below freezing mean it's too cold to turn horses out? Wouldn't that mean most northern U.S. horses just don't go out in the winter?

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by katyb View Post
                          Wind chills below freezing mean it's too cold to turn horses out? Wouldn't that mean most northern U.S. horses just don't go out in the winter?
                          What Katy said.

                          Wind chills below freezing do not stop turn out. Severe weather warnings only stop turn out if it is going to product a dangerous situation in some way. Lots of snow fall is not an issue, the horses will walk around with a huge pile of snow on their backs happily munching hay.

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                          • #53
                            Depends on the individual horse/situation.

                            If you have a young horse or an older horse in need of calories then blanketing/turnout/etc should be carefully considered. Some horses don't seem to like the weather as much as other. But with a good shelter (and/or blanketing) and free choice hay, most seem happy to be out.

                            It's the freezing rain & winds that seems to be the killer/most miserable to horses.

                            And of course the crazy weather swings that cause the awesome colic bouts.

                            But each person has their own considerations too....

                            Ice is also a dangerous situation, but careful land planning and use of drylots/etc can help this out.
                            Semi Feral

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                            • #54
                              Originally posted by katyb View Post
                              Wind chills below freezing mean it's too cold to turn horses out? Wouldn't that mean most northern U.S. horses just don't go out in the winter?
                              I actually feed my guys outside UNLESS--It is raining, very strong winds( hot or cold weather), heavy snow falling, excessively hot or buggy. Otherwise they stand out by the normal feeding spot wondering why I am putting the hay inside.

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                              • #55
                                Originally posted by katyb View Post
                                Wind chills below freezing mean it's too cold to turn horses out? Wouldn't that mean most northern U.S. horses just don't go out in the winter?
                                Depends on the horses. My TBs have never appreciated wind chills below freezing. Man, horse people are so snarky...
                                I LOVE my Chickens!

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                                • #56
                                  We just completely retired our Arab stallion who had been on the show circuit all his life and spent the last two years at stud in Southern California. He is now out pretty much 24 hours a day in central Minnesota. He grew a beautiful winter coat and loves knocking snow off of the top of fence posts.

                                  None of the horses have problems navigating icy patches, but I get granite grit in 50 lb sacks from the feed store for around water tanks and walkways.

                                  After we use hoses we drag them up a hill to let them drain, but have other hoses in case the main ones do get frozen.

                                  If you build, make sure regular doors open in, and if possible have garage doors that open overhead. It is a pain to have to dig out sliding doors on barns and outbuilding. For that reason I have a shovel safely tucked away close to all sliding doors. We had an electric line run out to one pasture to plug in the tank heater. Much safer than trying to run an extension cord.

                                  You can get ice fishing gizmos to slip over the bottoms of your boots that are either spikes or springs to help with traction. We also use ice fishing sleds to haul bales and muck buckets.

                                  Get a cute neighbor boy with a truck with a blade and a Bobcat to clear your driveway. Give him hot chocolate. Pay him well, since he will be cheaper than buying your own Bobcat and can help with other tasks.

                                  Since the horses do prefer to be out, we have some thin 4 x 8 sheets of plywood that we put outside the fence to make windbreaks, then take them in in spring so the breeze helps keep bugs down in summer.

                                  And try to have a nice spot facing south so that sometimes when the sun shines you can just st in the sun and play with a barn cat, enjoying that everyone is safe, and soon you will have to worry about mosquitoes.

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                                  • #57
                                    I second the tip of buying turnout rugs/sheets only. They can be worn inside or out but stable blankets are strictly indoors or under a turnout. All of my horses/ponies have a good turnout sheet for very cold rainy days. Everybody's fine as long as their skin stays dry but on cold rainy days especially if it's windy they can get wet to the skin and that's when they're miserable and likely to shiver.
                                    We built a new barn 2 years ago and did a couple of things specifically to deal with winter. Frost free spigots outside, all stalls are on the east side of the barn, the west side is tack room, wash stall, hay and storage and is insulated, and the indoor faucets are also frost free. Draw back to indoor frost free faucets is they drain the last bit of water out after the tap is turned off so there has to be a drain, or in my case, a bucket to catch this last bit of water (about a cup in my barn). Heated buckets and stock tanks have been well worth the expense in the time and effort saved and the increase in water consumption.

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                                    • #58
                                      Crikey, if DH misses snow so bad, buy him a one-way ticket to Alaska.

                                      Also, re: turnout sheets during freezing rain: exercise caution. Unless blankets are 1" thick, they don't replace the insulating properties of natural unblanketed horse hair. Meaning that a thin sheet can actually make a horse colder when the temp dips. Either put ginormous turnout blankets on'em or bring'em in.
                                      Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

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