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

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

    title says it all... it's COLD here in Virginia (for Virginia... 20s during the day with a single digit wind chill)... I have two clipped ponies. They are NOT happy. One was shivering this morning in her stall, the other was shivering when she came in tonight. Both are wearing three blankets, only one has a neck blanket, I just don't have two so only one of them gets it. They are in at night, but the barn is very cold. I am going to pick up some extra bedding for them, they are getting extra hay. Gave the particularly cold one a warm bran mash for dinner... anything else I can do before this weather breaks?

  • #2
    I double and sometimes triple their hay if the weather is ridiculously cold, like today (9 degrees for the high) and make sure they're adequately blanketed and have access to the barn on the worst nights (normally they are out 24/7). Some horses appreciate warm water to drink. Beyond that, they cope with it--and far better than I do!
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      Extra hay, extra bedding and more blankets. My fully clipped gelding is wearing an Amigo heavy stable blanket, and a Rambo Duo with a 400g liner (under the 100g shell) and a hood. When it's not quite this bad, he wears a back on track sheet underneath instead of the stable blanket.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks guys, one pony has a Baker blanket, a heavy Rambo full neck and a heavy turnout on top. I just don't think I can really add any more. The other has a warm heavy stable blanket, a turnout sheet that is only on her because it's a high neck, and a heavy turnout. I need a full neck for her but alas, don't have one, not gonna get one before this weather breaks


        • #5
          hay hay hay - and a full neck. layer as much as you can find

          give them free choice hay and THEN some...


          • #6
            The wimpy TB I am looking after for the winter (who has almost no fur) was TOASTY warm tonight with his midweight + a liner, knee deep in hay. He has frost on his whiskers and icicles under his chin and an ice encrusted forelock, but he is WARM, and outside by choice with the stalls open if he wants in.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              My clipped guy is wearing an Amigo 100 gr liner, 300 gr liner and the heavy weight with a neck cover and he is nice and toasty.

              On the other hand my older gelding who is NOT clipped is wearing a thinsulate sheet, Rhino heavy weight with neck cover and a Smartpak heavy weight on top. He was toasty when I went to check on him after work, hopefully he was warm enough while out in turnout.

              I gave them both extra hay and hot water soaked alfalfa and timothy pellets and filled their water buckets with hot water. They were very happy when I left, thankfully the barn is really warm!!


              • #8
                LOTS of blankets (my pansy ass guy had 4 on today while out in the wind), LOTS of hay. And, I don't demand that they stay out all day. One of my boarders was out this afternoon, looked at me and said "Let's bring the horses in!" We got them in a little earlier than normal, and they all appreciated it! I looked around about 45 minutes later and they were ALL sound asleep instead of noshing like usual.

                I'm sure they have some woollies or anti-sweats or some other lighter layers. Put one or two on under both of them. If my guy's not warm enough tomorrow, I'll strip him, stick his wooby-woolly on, and pile all his rugs back on.


                • #9
                  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
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    Keeping them in a stall doesn't mean they stay warm. They may be more comfortable outside with plenty of hay and water, and the ability to move around at will.

                    It's very cold outside (for Virginia) but it's dry - no wind or sleet. They should be fine unless they have a medical condition or other issue.

                    My horses are clipped, blanketed, and are outside tonight, including the TB who is a bit sensitive. They're fine.
                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                    -Rudyard Kipling


                    • #11
                      JSwan, I think the the OP is in my neck of the woods, and we had LOTS of wind today. It was a pretty brutal day, which is why I think my guys all napped after they came in.

                      I have two that live out at night. One is trace clipped, the other is full clipped. One has two rugs, the other has three.


                      • #12
                        Both my girls are on night turnout (they like it that way....silly OTTB's). Barn workers reported that both were actually quite warm this am when they came inside. One is super fuzzy unclipped with a medium weight stable an a light weight turnout and the other has a very light coat with a bib clip. She wears two medium weights and a neck rug. It was 16 degrees this am with a wind chill of -2 and they were perfectly happy.


                        • #13
                          My high trace clipped TB wears one, mid-weight, high neck turnout blanket and is warm and toasty. The average temperature here (for the last 3 weeks) is in the single digits at night and <20F during the day. She gets ~30lbs of hay a day and a bit more on extra cold nights. She is outside during the day and in an unheated barn stall with outdoor run at night. I'm wondering if those that suggest perhaps more is not better might not be correct - if the blankets are pretty heavy, they are probably crushing the loft of each other and reducing the insulation.


                          • #14
                            I live in VA and it was brutal today. Really really cold and windy. Is there any way you can close off all of the doors to your barn? Usually with the doors all shut our barn stays warmer as the horse's body heat warms it up overnight. Def try some warm water or bran mash. With the wind I would keep them in at night and out when it warms up some during the day. And def make sure they have as much hay as they want to eat, that's huge for keeping them warm.


                            • Original Poster

                              yes yellowbritches, we are also in Middleburg and it was just wicked today. The one is cold because she's freshly clipped and it's rough out there. I really need a neck cover for her. The other is just a pony that runs cold. She is always the coldest in the barn... always. Thanks for all the tips!


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by stargzng386 View Post
                                I live in VA and it was brutal today. Really really cold and windy. Is there any way you can close off all of the doors to your barn? Usually with the doors all shut our barn stays warmer as the horse's body heat warms it up overnight. Def try some warm water or bran mash. With the wind I would keep them in at night and out when it warms up some during the day. And def make sure they have as much hay as they want to eat, that's huge for keeping them warm.

                                we do close the doors, but unfortunately there a ton of windows and they are all wide open, the windows were removed in prep for getting replacements... which have not come yet. So the barn is colder than it is outside really. Really unpleasant to say the least.


                                • #17
                                  Poor pones.

                                  I would stick a couple of light layers under if you can, pile the hay on, etc. Can you put up some tarps or plywood to wind break?


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                    Poor pones.

                                    I would stick a couple of light layers under if you can, pile the hay on, etc. Can you put up some tarps or plywood to wind break?
                                    they put heavy duty plastic over the windows tonight, hopefully it will help at least a little.


                                    • #19
                                      These posts always make me laugh because I'm in Canada and our cold snaps are more like -13 degrees ferenheit or colder. My horse is just trace clipped, those with full body clips sometimes stay in the barn because it's just too cold for them. But my horse has a trace clip (all her neck clipped) and wears a nice Buccas liner with a heavy hooded winter blanket on top. We increase hay. I agree with JB, your horses might be wearing too many blankets, just like 3 pairs of socks will actually make your feet colder.


                                      • #20
                                        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.