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how do you keep your clipped horses warm during a cold snap?

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  • Original Poster

    ha ha DQ I get it, I went to college in upstate NY near the Canadian border to so know COLD but I'm in Virginia now and we're just not set up for that type of cold. Add to it two ponies with no hair... well then you have my question. You are more than welcome to ask us Virginians what to do when its 106 out this summer Thanks again all, hoping my girls are ok this morning.


    • #22
      I was upset last night to find my boy outside and shivering... He's got hay and a stall to go in if he wants while he's out but he won't go in and eat silly horse. When he saw me he practically shoved his nose in the halter to come in. I put his fleece cooler under his medium weight amigo and neck cover and hope that helps him today. The high is supposed to be 9 degrees with a wind chill of -14 He's got a modified blanket clip and he's always been fine in his medium weight with a neck cover until now. Gonna have to go order him a liner.
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      • #23
        Originally posted by JB View Post
        I'm not sure how a clipped horse can't be warm with *three* blankets on, TWO of which is a heavy weight.

        My first thought is that's actually too much - everything is squishing down everything else and negating any benefit. More is not always better.

        You might be far better off with a heavy weight on, then either a medium weight OR a light fill sheet, so that you have an air pocket between the 2, and the top is not smooshing down the bottom
        My thought as well. If they got warm in the sun, body moisture will be trapped in bottom blanket.
        This may sound weird but works great; use a fleece or wool as bottom layer, then add a mid/heavy weight on top. Between your fleece & blanket stuff straw, just like filling a scarecrow. The fleece layer will wisk any moisture away from pony and the warm air will get trapped in the straw/air layer. You can add a third on top turnout sheets work best as wind protection.


        • #24
          OP, you haven't said what the hay situation is -- to me that's more important than any blanket combination. In weather this cold, my horses will go from eating (on average) half a bale of hay/day per horse to more than a bale a day.

          I have two herds of horses and the six horse herd has four bales in outdoor feeders plus 7 bales in cinchchix hay bags in the run-ins. The four horse herd has one bale outside on the ground (which they prefer) and 7 bales in the run-ins (in bags or hay racks to prevent wasted hay).

          The one time I ever saw my donkey shivering due to cold temps was when she was wearing her heavy blanket but my feeder the night before forgot to put hay out.
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          • #25
            I have a half draft that has a blanket clip - do you think a Rambo Duo is warm enough for him for below freezing temps? I think it's a total of 400 gram fill. He does have a huge round bale at his disposal in his shed.


            • #26
              I have had luck with putting an irish knit type scrim as the first layer. When you layer another blanket on top if it the holes trap the body heat in, almost like an afghan.
              Afghan's by themselves aren't very warm but throw a light blanket over them and they work much better.

              I wouldn't want to use the irish knit long term as I would be afraid it would rub the shoulders but for a cold snap you should be good.
              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


              • Original Poster

                interesting thanks guys... these two ponies do not have access to a round bale, and they did have hay out in the field but were not eating it... basically are just standing out in the wind. They are getting extra hay in their stalls, but again, probably not as much as they should.

                Interesting comment on the laying....the coldest of the two has a Baker blanket as a bottom layer, a rambo heavy next and then a medium/heavy turnout on top because its the only one that is waterproof. I wonder if I should switch out the Baker for a stable blanket?


                • #28
                  I hate Baker blankets. They always seem cold, they don't wick moisture, they don't loft and can't hold heat the way other blankets do. That may be the root of that problem.

                  I still think 2 heavy weights on top of each other are also a problem. Those things are *heavy*, and could actually be making the horse sore and not willing to walk around as much.
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #29
                    My clipped fella is wearing a 1200D medium weight turnout (200g insulation) and neck cover and a 1000D light turnout sheet (50g insulation) on top of that.

                    More importantly, the three of them have yummy, good-quality, free-choice hay. Their daily consumption of hay tripled over the past 24 hours. I think the cold alone would have caused it to double, but the 20 mph winds really kicked it into high gear. But...they're all warm and happy!
                    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


                    • #30
                      I need to move....

                      Well, your posted temps are making me nostalgic for fall . Where I live our outdoor temperature last night (converted to Fahrenheit for you Americans)was -25.6 F. Including wind chill factor it was -45.4. Yes, you read that right.

                      I have 3 horses living outside. A pony, a 2 yr old WB and a 3yr old WB. All three are wearing stable blankets with heavy weight turnouts on top. Actually, the 2 yr old's is actually only a midweight. They have 2 feeds of concentrates a day, all u can eat hay, heated water and a 3 sided covered shelter. Every night I stick my hand under their blankets and they are warm and their ears are warm. They are obviously not clipped!

                      They are coping amazingly well. Me..not so much. By the time I am dressed to go out and got the Muttluks on the dogs I am practically out of breath already!

                      I brought the pony is for a bit last night to fix his blanket, he started overheating and could not wait to get back outside.

                      Amazing isn't it?


                      • #31
                        OK, I should say something useful instread of just whining about my cold.

                        OP, I would try a fitted fleece cooler for a bottom layer, with a lofty sort of stable blanket on that (maybe witha belly band) and then a high neck windproof turnout on top of that.
                        If they are clipped on the neck they will lose a lot of heat there.

                        Also, try adding hot water to their drinking water, if the water is cold and they don't drink it I believe dehydration can add to a colder body temperature.

                        If the barn is really colder inside than outside they may be better off outside as they can at least move around to stay warm.


                        • #32
                          It wouldn't be so bad if it would stay cold. Last week it was in the 50's and after this week of 20's and below it is going to be back in the 50's. My guy has a pretty heavy natural winter coat and goes a few days with nothing on sweating, then his heavyweight then back to nothing with his medium weight thrown in there when the nights are cold but the days are warm. My poor barn manager has 20 horses that she has been blanketing and unblanketing all winter lol. We had a solid month of 50's during the day to freezing at night so every morning blankets came off and every evening blankets went back on.

                          Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                          It's all relative, DQ. I think most of us wimpy Virginians, when whining about the cold, usually preface everything with "cold...for us."

                          I don't know about the OP's ponies, but I do know that my horse is warmer in his pile of rugs than he would be in his standard, Virginian winter uniform. I do think HOW you layer makes a difference, just as it does for us humans.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by stargzng386 View Post
                            It wouldn't be so bad if it would stay cold. Last week it was in the 50's and after this week of 20's and below it is going to be back in the 50's. My guy has a pretty heavy natural winter coat and goes a few days with nothing on sweating, then his heavyweight then back to nothing with his medium weight thrown in there when the nights are cold but the days are warm. My poor barn manager has 20 horses that she has been blanketing and unblanketing all winter lol. We had a solid month of 50's during the day to freezing at night so every morning blankets came off and every evening blankets went back on.
                            I'm a BM. I know ALL about the blanket changing. At least all my horses are clipped, so it's easier to deal with.

                            My retired guy is unclipped, unblanketed, and EXTREMELY fuzzy. I'll feel bad for him on the warm swing.

                            Could be worse. It could be snowing!


                            • #34
                              Bite your tongue, weather forecast in my neck of the wood says snow tonight.

                              Another vote for a straw pack over top a wool or fleece base layer, and lots and lots and lots of hay. Between the 20-degree temperature drop overnight and the wind, it's enough to make anybody morose.
                              "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                              • #35
                                My Tb mare lives out 24/7 and until this cold snap had been wearing a turnout sheet with a midweight and neck cover over the sheet. As it started to get colder, I switched the mid-weight for her heavy weight with neck cover. The last two nights she has had sheet, midweight, and heavy weight with neck cover. They get plenty of hay and have access to waterer. I have been going out every day and giving her some chopped hay forage and a bucket of beet pulp as extra feed. She's not clipped, but has a very thin hair coat.


                                • Original Poster

                                  went to the barn last night thinking I'd switch out the Baker but really, that pony was nice and toasty. I actually think that blanket is pretty warm. Got some temporary windows in place and some extra bedding and hay. Just ordered a back on track blanket, so when that comes, that will be the first layer on this pony I think. And now... snow is here and more coming!


                                  • #37
                                    funny timing it did snow! keep warm working outside this is the only time of year I prefer my offic job over when I worked at barns. The rest of the year I'm jealous (except in heavy rain)

                                    now my barn manager would have it easier if she would listen to me. My horse grows an insane heavy fluffy winter coat but she likes to overblanket (I was warned before bringing him there). When I brought him I said no blanket unless it was below freezing but the 1st night he was in a small paddock with no shelter and it rained so suprise he was cold even though it was mid 30's to 40's. After that no matter what I said they said he had to have a blanket if it was colder than 40 or else he was "cold" I asked how they knew he was cold and got no response. I decided since I just moved there and liked the barn a lot I'd shut my mouth and just deal with it. It didn't put him in any danger he just lost some of his fluffyness and they have to take his blanket off all the time or else he gets warm. I do know he would prefer less blanketing because he loooves to roll and get his coat all dirty for me everyday.

                                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                    I'm a BM. I know ALL about the blanket changing. At least all my horses are clipped, so it's easier to deal with.

                                    My retired guy is unclipped, unblanketed, and EXTREMELY fuzzy. I'll feel bad for him on the warm swing.

                                    Could be worse. It could be snowing!


                                    • #38
                                      Well, cold or no, it's sunny and calm here today (RARE) so the non-furry TB is gloriously NAKED this afternoon, as I had a chance to run home and he was too warm with his clothes on. He was very happy to have a roll in the snow and scratch all the itchy spots.
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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                        It's all relative, DQ. I think most of us wimpy Virginians, when whining about the cold, usually preface everything with "cold...for us."
                                        I'm pretty sure that's what my mare who moved from VA to NE IN has been saying for the last month! Poor thing went from 50-ish to 20 something. She was there at least a week for it got above freezing. She had a good coat for VA, but definitely not enough hair for Indiana. She got some new clothes for Christmas, and was quite happy to wear them.
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                                        • #40
                                          They are so funny when they are itchy. I love watching them roll right after you pull their blankets off or after a bath. I went out to get my horse one time and of course the whole herd comes in so I just let him run in with them. Well halfway there he drops and rolls (he was blanketed) so by the time he got up they were out of sight over the hill so he galloped off like a madman to catch up. When grooming him I found the itchy spot on his back where an old scab was and scratched it for him. He had his head straight up in the air twitching his lips and his whole body was quivering. Everytime I stopped scratching he would whip his head around as if to say pleeease keep going....