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How cold is too cold to leave a horse out in the pasture!

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  • How cold is too cold to leave a horse out in the pasture!

    At -35 below zero my horse will not go in her barn, she just puts her butt to the wind and will seek shelter from the wind by going on the side of the barn, but she will not go in the barn, she does have a great winter coat, but she has ice on her eye lashes and whiskers, her muzzle is covered with snow and ice, just curious about other's and when do you put your horse up?

  • #2
    If she has adequate shelter and chooses not to use it, I wouldn't worry. If she can't use it due to other horses not allowing her to or if she's not comfortable in the shelter, that's another story. Horses are very adaptable horses and should be fine. Just throw extra hay out if you are worried! It is disturbing to look out in lousy weather and see them outside when they do have a shelter to escape to. As long as they have enough hay and water, and don't seem upset with their conditions, they will be fine.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Equino View Post
      If she has adequate shelter and chooses not to use it, I wouldn't worry. If she can't use it due to other horses not allowing her to or if she's not comfortable in the shelter, that's another story. Horses are very adaptable horses and should be fine. Just throw extra hay out if you are worried! It is disturbing to look out in lousy weather and see them outside when they do have a shelter to escape to. As long as they have enough hay and water, and don't seem upset with their conditions, they will be fine.
      She hates to go in, she was always a pasture horse, I put hay in her barn but she stays outside, I guess she knows when to take shelter, good advice, Thanks!

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      • #4
        If she's shivering then you should put her up or put a blanket on her. Otherwise give her plenty to eat.
        http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Funny you should ask I am at -35 C today too in Alberta, are you my neighbor? My horses have all the food and water they want, and a run in stall. I put food in a dish in the barn so they do not have to leave so much during the nite. My 5 month old is not even having a issue with it, I clean their feet from snow and up the calories. I watch them closely but they seem to be fine. No blankets either. It has been close to -40 at nite.

          Good luck and stay warm!!

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
            If she's shivering then you should put her up or put a blanket on her. Otherwise give her plenty to eat.
            I have only seen her shiver once, that was on a 40 degree rain all night evening, she was soaked, I did towel dry her and put her up until the rain ended, but this dry snowy windy weather does not seem to bother her, but it worries me.

            Comment


            • #7
              I understand! But they are horses and it doesn't help to "humanize" them. Their coats function to protect them from the wind and also insulate-which is why when you see steam rise when wet. Really, as long as she's not shivering and keeps her weight, she is doing well. All you really can do is throw more hay, I wouldn't bother with blankets unless she REALLY needs them, that just interferes with her body's ability to keep hair full and poofy! Hope this makes you feel less worried!

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              • #8
                If it's dry I wouldn't worry. But if it is raining and she gets soaked she will lose her ability to insulate. For my own peace of mind I put a waterproof, light turnout sheet on my gelding that is pasture boarded.

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                • #9
                  -35

                  I feel horrible that my horses are out in the 40 degree and rainy weather today!

                  I need to come out to South Dakota to get a reality check!!!

                  It's so funny the way I (and I know other people) worry about horses. My guys didn't have access shelter when I first moved them to my new farm and although this was ok for a while the first time it snowed I FREAKED out and went a literally built them a bridge to get to their shelter in the freezing rain! (They couldn't get to their run in because the water line trench had been dug in front of it and the ground was still to soft for them to walk on)

                  Now that they have access to it... they could care less!
                  http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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                  • #10
                    You will find that she is colder in rain then she will be in snow. Snow rests on top of the coat and actually helps insulate. We leave horses out without blankets in snow but will blanket or leave them in when it is warmer but raining. The rain soaks through to the skin and flattens the coat.
                    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post
                      -35

                      I feel horrible that my horses are out in the 40 degree and rainy weather today!

                      I need to come out to South Dakota to get a reality check!!!

                      It's so funny the way I (and I know other people) worry about horses. My guys didn't have access shelter when I first moved them to my new farm and although this was ok for a while the first time it snowed I FREAKED out and went a literally built them a bridge to get to their shelter in the freezing rain! (They couldn't get to their run in because the water line trench had been dug in front of it and the ground was still to soft for them to walk on)

                      Now that they have access to it... they could care less!
                      I can't believe what we as horse owners will do for a horse, they have trained us well. I have been freaking out over this weather, but again 40 degrees in Alabama with rain is COLD, -35 here in South Dakota is not the same kind of cold, it does not soak you to the bone, I am just worrying way too much, she was raised in Northern North Dakota and never had nothing other than maybe a tree for shelter, since I got her I want the best for her and like you I am willing to build a bridge if that's what she needs, your story made me giggle, you sound like a wonderful person...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Same bitter cold here and if I were to open the barn door, the horses would look at me as if I were nuts. When I opened the small door yesterday, they ran and hid so I won' even try until it warms up,

                        But horses raised around here are different, they only go in if they feel the need. They are a bit different than formerly pampered retired race horses who spent most of their lives in the barn. So enjoy not having to try to remove frozen turds from the barn, and freezing your ass off doing it. Just make sure she has plenty of hay and a windbreak.
                        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                        Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dwblover View Post
                          If it's dry I wouldn't worry. But if it is raining and she gets soaked she will lose her ability to insulate. For my own peace of mind I put a waterproof, light turnout sheet on my gelding that is pasture boarded.
                          No such thing as rain at this temp. Even the snow is dehydrated!
                          BTW frozen horse turds are why Canadians are so good at Hockey!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
                            So enjoy not having to try to remove frozen turds from the barn, and freezing your ass off doing it.
                            haha love this! i cannot express how happy i am that it's staying above freezing tonight!
                            My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by horseowner40 View Post
                              you sound like a wonderful person...
                              awww thanks!

                              tell my horses that! I got a wonderful lil cow kick at me while I was trying to change blankets today... I guess he though he should keep his heavy weight on in 45 degree weather
                              http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The ability to run in large pastures keeps horses warm in very cold dry weather. Mine are mostly all out at winter pasture, -34 here this morning, not a blanket or a shivvering horse out there. I have one in the barn in a stall, she was cold last week at -20, because she can not run around in the stall. She's the only one that is blanketed, and heavily blanketed too, lots of insulation. The turned out herd takes a turn around the pasture at full speed in the snow if they get feeling a bit chilly, everyone warms up with a gallop.

                                (the location on my personal info is outdated, and I don't know how to change it... I am further north now.)
                                www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm kinda in the Banana belt. It only got down to 0* around here. My friends who live an hour or so away were down to -20*. Not as cold as you canucks. But cold enough. My horses have a run in shed, and they use it. But I see them standing out in the snow often enough. They have frost on all their whiskers and long hair. We never blanket. So our horses get pretty wooley.

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                                  • #18
                                    I have found that when my horses are alone or worried (eg, fireworks) they don't want to go inside. They'd rather be where they can keep an eye out for predators 360 degrees around them. Hopefully when you get her a companion she'll take advantage of her shelter.

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                                    • #19
                                      mine is pretty comfortable so long as he is dressed for the weather but at some point you definitely can't dress for the weather. I usually avoid turnout if the ground is frozen because of injuries.
                                      "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."

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                                      • #20
                                        she probably doesnt go in the barn because she feels trapped and there are no friends to keep her company.
                                        My horse are all prissy and they have blanket and a barn. We dont have sheds. Usually we keep them in at night if it's below 10, which isnt very often. But our two tb's actually prefer being outside, the WBs like coming in (esp if its raining)

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