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cold and the pregnant mare

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  • cold and the pregnant mare

    How does the cold effect pregnant mares ? My 7 month along pony mare is currently living out 24/7 except to come in twice a day for meals. She was not bodyclipped this year and has been wearing a medium weight until current snowy period in So MD. She is now in a hooded heavyweight. Temps currently in the 20-30's overnight, mid 30's during day. She prefers to be out, tolerates the stall long enough to eat. Should I have any worries about the cold effecting developing baby ?

  • #2
    No, the only thing you need to worry about is her foaling unattended and the foal getting caught up in the blankets. I never blanket my broodies for that reason.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      I always wonder why people think horses or ponies need blankets. If pregnant horses are anything like pregnant humans, then she is probably HOT! LOL Only time I was ever warm in the winter was when I was pregnant!
      Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
      WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)


      • #4
        No.....just make sure they don't get soaked to the bone in a cold rain. even then , a few hours with some hay in the stall will warm them right up.


        • #5
          My Pg mare is happy living out 24/7 , parked in front of the roundbale, with free access to a run in shed.
          Our low tonight is 7°, and has been colder the past week. We were below 0 on Tuesday, plus windchill.
          Horses tolerate the cold much better than the heat, IMO. If she were too cold or distressed she'd come in or be blanketed, but she seems to be quite content.
          Tracy Geller
          Find me on Facebook!


          • #6
            Mine wears a blanket and until this week lived outside but is now coming in over night to prepare for foaling. I will probably start removing blankets once she's about a month out during the day. She doesn't have much of a coat but what I expect for a good winter coat in Colorado is completely different, I think she has plenty for the winters here in Virginia, while my yearling and weanling have Colorado coats (my poor weanling was sweatin just standing around during the day te other week!)
            First and foremost about the horse.
            Rose Bud Ranch Sporthorses
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            • #7
              DON'T BLANKET

              For the past few days our temperatures dropped to minus 30C which must be around the same in Farenheit at this temperature. I want my horses including my broodmares to have the best so I NEVER BLANKET them. I am lucky I have a big cover all where they can go in and sleep and eat as they please.

              A blanket flatten their hair. They know better then us how to adjust to the temperature. In the morning of a very cold night I can see their hairs all straight up and fluffy compare to a more warmer day. They have to have the possibility to grow their hair to the fullest . If you start to fool them with blanket they won't be able to adjust accordingly and they will be less comfortable.

              The only time that a blanket is useful is for a riding horse but for a broodmares or foals or any any outdoor horses is a no no unless there is freezing rain and they stay outside. In that case I force them in . This would be the only temporary time that a blanket could be of any utility.

              But what is also a must is to keep your horse clean as if they are dirty the hair will loose their capacity to adjust to keep them warm. And they have to have access to hay all the time. In cold temperature as we had in the past few days they eat almost twice as much as on a warmer day.

              SO all they need is a good shelter, hay as much as they want and be kept clean; they will be happy AND healhty, I assure you.
              Breeder of Royal Dutch Sport Horse


              • #8
                my mare and the cold

                Well my best brood mare on very cold days - lets say below zero, likes to stand and flip the water from the stock tank all over her neck, chest and front legs...Then it freezes and turns into ice....She loves it--I think like someone else says, they are hot!!!--No blanket required!!--THis year she is 22 and has about a 4" coat!!!--it is all fluffed out and she looks like a shetland (but she is a 16-3 hand TB. (With icy neck and legs) --LOL


                • #9
                  Mine live out 24/7 until two months prior to foaling, then they start coming in at night. I do blanket, mainly in very wet weather as i do not have run in sheds. They do appreciate it as most stand without halters and leads to let me throw the blankets on when the rain or snow is on it's way. They know and they like to be warm and dry in wet weather. I start taking blankets off permanently a month prior to foaling.

                  Facebook: Hilltop Farm VA


                  • #10
                    Blanket as needed, but stop the blankets when she gets remotely close to possibly thinking about maybe foaling

                    Mine wore her regular med-weight blanket, sometimes topped with a sheet on the coldest windiest days or nights, all Winter. Her 320 date was March 11, and she started spending nights in her stall about 2 weeks prior to that, so blankets weren't necessary.
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #11
                      Horses can manage temps well below freezing with no issue as long as they are not wet and can get out of the wind......my girl friend has horses out with no blankets in -30 to 40 on the celsius scale they are all happy as clams.

                      I would never blanket a mare in foal.



                      • #12
                        My mare is at 300 days and I'm still blanketing her when the weather is in the single digits at night only. Once she hits 320 days ill no longer be blanketing (she will be in a 30x24 pen attached to her stall).
                        "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

                        Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                          No, the only thing you need to worry about is her foaling unattended and the foal getting caught up in the blankets. I never blanket my broodies for that reason.
                          Couldn't agree more. I never met a PONY who needed a blanket. My WB mare (due in late June) lives out in her pasture 24/7, isn't blanketed, and is doing just great. This will be her 4th foal and even with the one that was born in mid-Feb (!) we didn't blanket.

                          We've had 3+ft of snow on the ground since mid Nov. and our HIGHS have been just above freezing all winter. Still no blanket.
                          And the worst thing you can do is keep going back and forth with the blanket -- on, then off, then on, then off. This just presses the coat down and they lose the insulation it give.

                          It is FAR better for the horse in all ways to ditch the blankets completely and when the weather drops into single digits or lower GIVE MORE HAY. This is far more healthy for the horse and works just as well.

                          I've read reports from horse folk up in Alaska who have never blanketed and the temps there routinely drop to 32 BELOW 0 (F). The horses have shelter from the wind, heated water and plenty of hay. They do just fine.

                          You need to pull that blanket before foaling...Laurierace is right. But if you go from a heavy-weight blanket to nothing and the weather hasn't really warmed up yet, you are doing the exact WRONG thing for the pony. Once they get to depend on the blanket, you have to keep it up till the weather warms up...

                          Yet another reason to just not start the whole blanketing deal...


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dalemma View Post
                            Horses can manage temps well below freezing with no issue as long as they are not wet and can get out of the wind
                            Somehow people think all horses can manage just fine even without wind or wet, no matter the temp. That's simply not true, and no, that doesn't mean the horse isn't healthy either
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                            • #15
                              Well, this is actually true. When I say "healthy" it means they are comfortable and retain their weight. And yes, any vet will tell you most horses do not need blankets. Period. They need shelter from rain & wind and they need enough good quality hay to keep their thermostat working. But they do not NEED a blanket even in the most severe cases unless they ill/or very old/young.

                              When ranchers out West have blizzards they don't rush out to blanket all their horses... they go out and give them more hay. The horses will find natural barriers for protection and they do just fine.

                              Check it out; especially #6:http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-ex...-mistakes.aspx

                              And if you Google "Horse Keeping in the Winter" almost 100% of the articles will stress a non-riding horse not only does not need a blanket, it's actually better for them to simply use what Nature gave them.

                              The plain fact is horses don't need blankets. People do.
                              Last edited by Kyzteke; Feb. 5, 2013, 07:10 AM.


                              • #16
                                I won't ever understand why anyone thinks that young, "middle aged" horses only need blankets if they are not healthy, even if out of the elements.

                                It's not fair to compare to horses in the Mid-West, or Canada, where horses acclimate early on to very cold temperatures. It is not fair to expect the horse who lives in mostly 40* days and 20* nights to suddenly be able to deal with 5* and a light breeze. Tell my mare she is unhealthy because she has to run to keep warm on those nights.

                                It's a very different ballgame when you are thrust into a situation different from what you are accustomed to.
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                • #17
                                  Rather than make blanket statements (no pun intended!) I agree with JB - blanket when needed! It kills me that people can say no horse would ever need one or vice versa. Nothing is ever that black and white ALL the time.

                                  We were NOT blanketing ours, they have 24/7 hay and turnout and a nice run-in shed. Well, we had one VERY WINDY (wind around here is bone cutting, and pretty much the norm) night in the teens where all three of our broodmares were shivering, one excessively, the next morning at feeding time. Blankets went on. If it warms up, they come off. If it cools down I groom and put them back on. This is basically a daily weather fluctuation here now, 16 one day, 70 the next. You can tell if they are cold - even without shivering there are obvious signs. If I see it, I will not hesitate to blanket.

                                  Blankets will be off well before they get near foaling, and temps will also be mild.

                                  Edited to add, just because some rancher in Alaska's horse makes it through harsh winters "just fine" (by whose standards?) doesn't mean I'm going to let mine shiver or tuck their tails between their legs and not try to warm them up. Look at the horse and situation in front of you and go by what you see! Or I'll tell the horses next time it's 15 degrees with 50 MPH wind and they are huddled in thier run in shelter to suck it up, that they are horses and aren't supposed to be cold. If your fine with your horse being that way (or if your horse doesn't get that way), fine, but don't condemn those that heaven forbid put a blanket on the horse.
                                  Last edited by okggo; Feb. 6, 2013, 05:17 PM.
                                  Celtic Pride Farm
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                                  • #18
                                    I blanket the broodmares of mine that have thin coats (like my Thoroughbred mares). If the weather is calling for sleet/freezing rain, then I either bring them in or blanket them.

                                    Your mare does need to get used to coming in so she won't freak out when it's foaling time. Having her adjusted to being in a stall before that time is very important.
                                    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                                    • #19
                                      Give Mother Nature a chance to do her "thing". Provide shelter if out most of the time. Although in my experience, they tend to want to brave the elements. Always surprises me to see any of our horses, even with option of shelter, weather out the storms in the field even if they have icicles hanging off their heads.

                                      Blankets help in extreme weather and so does bringing them in, even if they oppose it. Watch your mare and let her guide you in your decision making.

                                      Hyperion Stud, LLC.
                                      Europe's Finest, Made in America
                                      Standing Elite and Approved Stallions


                                      • #20
                                        I'll just say that I certainly wouldn't worry about her being cold in a heavyweight blanket with a hood in the 20's, but rather I would worry about her being too hot.
                                        My riding horses (TBs) are in midweight blankets until we get below 15 or so. If it's colder than that and/or super windy/and blasting snow to bring the temp under zero with the windchill I add a neck cover, and change to a heavier blanket if they have a partial clip. They are always warm to the touch underneath.
                                        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.