Bad Weather

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

dixie_belle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
655
Reaction score
462
Location
South Central, KY
This is our first full winter here in Kentucky. And it is proving to be a real doozie! The temps here have been below freezing for days and last night it was 5 degrees. I shudder to think of what they were when you figure in the wind chill. But here is my problem. We are originally from Texas. I am not used to this kind of cold. The horses don't seem to mind, but I am a real worry wart. As soon as it gets below freezing, I bring them into the barn. Am I over-reacting? I guess what I am really wondering is this: At what point is it still safe to leave them out? They don't seem to be bothered by the cold, but I cannot imagine that 5 degrees is a safe temperature for them. And I worry. They are all real furry this winter, I guess they anticipated the cold weather, and they may be a tad overweight, as well. OK, OK, so maybe more than a tad. But all that fat should insulate them, right??? (I'm working on the fat issue even as I type.) I see pictures of other people's horses outside in bitter temperatures so I wonder if I am being over-reactive?? I would rather be safe than sorry but I don't want to keep them in if I don't have to as they much prefer to be outside. I should mention that when they are outside, there are two protected areas for them. There is a barn down at the end of the pasture with a huge run in for them, and another one up near the house that is very sheltered. So when I say they are outside, they have access to two very protected areas.

Just wanted to know what other people do.
 

minifreishorsefarm

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2008
Messages
251
Reaction score
3
All they need is a run in shelter so they can get out of the wind if they want. IF they dont seem cold (shivering), then they are fine. They can stand the cold temps way more then we can. Being chubby in the cold winter is a good thing for them.

I dont have a barn for them to go in, just the run ins/small shelters (I live in WI) and they stand out in the worst stuff all the time with their butts towards the wind. Usually the bred mares and sometimes the younger ones stay in the shelter more than others.

Marsha
 

Charlotte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
3,224
Reaction score
28
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
As long as they have shelter big enough that one horse doesn't 'take possession' and not let the others in, and as long as they have warm water and plenty of hay they are actually healthier outside in the clean air. That is assuming none of them have any kind of health issues that would make them more sensitive to the cold.

As cold as you say it is, I wouldn't put them on a weight reducing diet untill the weather warms up.

I bet they are happy horses!

Charlotte
 

Becky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
5,652
Reaction score
31
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
All of my horses live outside in groups in dry lots with loafing sheds. While we generally don't have brutal winters here in Oklahoma, you never know for sure what the weather is going to do. Last winter was the worst I can remember here with one snow storm after another. The horses did fine with plenty to eat and heated water.

As long as horses have food, water and shelter, they can survive the worst weather. As Charlotte pointed out, you have to make sure that every horse can get to shelter if it wants, but horses are very well designed to live outdoors even in the most brutal weather.

Sounds like your horses are adapting well to their current living conditions.
default_smile.png
 

Taylor Richelle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2010
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
9
Location
Sebago ME
Since I have a 4 stall barn and only 4 horses...mine are in every night, when it's down pouring or a blizzard...as we don't have run-in for ours. You can see our horses are very spoiled!! Another reason they are in every night is because we have had bears come right up to our barn at night so I feel safer when they are in!

But as everyone else said as long as they have a good run-in they should be fine
default_smile.png
 

targetsmom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
6,147
Reaction score
512
Location
Suffield, CT
I have enough run-in areas for all our minis so they are outside almost all the time. I do stall a few at night. The only time I keep them in is when (like Sunday) there was VERY heavy rain (5 inches) with the weather predicted to turn bitter cold right away. I didn't want to have to deal with their wet coats freezing. That was an extremely rare occurrence, thank goodness. I will also confine them if the ground gets icy, which I worry a lot more about than the cold.
 

Matt73

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
5,441
Reaction score
27
Location
London, ON
I do the same as Taylor. My two girls are turned out from about 7am to about 4pm. At 4 they come in to nice clean, fluffy stalls with fresh water and hay and grain. They stay in if there is a thunderstorm or it's below -5 celsius and really windy, snowy, blowy, icy etc. If it's calm (no matter what the temp.) they're out. Their paddock has no shelter, so I take that into account. We have a separate run out back that is sheltered, but they only go out there once there is a lot of snow on the ground (like right now
default_wacko.png
) as it is cement. My one girl needs a blanket, usually, once the temps dip below -5, but so far she hasn't shivered once...so I'm hoping she can tough it out this winter because once it goes on it doesn't come off (only to groom etc., of course).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

georgiegirl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
247
Reaction score
0
My horses have never been out in a blizzard or a big rain storm. I dont want to stress their systems if it is not necessary.

They are always inside, tucked in their pens, with heated water buckets and food during storms, and at night. I guess they are spoiled, but that is the way I take care of them. We do have numerous mountain lions that frequent this area, and our yard. We have found big cat tracks right by the house. I am as afraid of maurauding dogs as I am of bears or lions,however.

Every horse gets plenty of turn out during the day when the weather is decent.
 

GrullaBlue

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
91
Reaction score
0
Location
Madison, WI
I don't bring mine in at all. They have access to the barn as they like. I am in WI, I woke up to 10 below 0 this morning. My mini geldings were running around in the snow playing.....they love the snow and cold. So when I feed, I throw a couple flakes outside, and some inside, and let them choose where they want to eat. The donkeys eat inside, the mini geldings eat outside. (the geldings rule the roost, so it's not that the donkeys chase them out). I will see one of them after a snowfall with inches of snow sitting on his back. And he's happy as a clam. I almost think he gets hot in all that wooliness he gets in the wintertime. But they love winter. Not me....I'd rather move south.

Angie
 

Taylor Richelle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2010
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
9
Location
Sebago ME
I do the same as Taylor. My two girls are turned out from about 7am to about 4pm. At 4 they come in to nice clean, fluffy stalls with fresh water and hay and grain. They stay in if there is a thunderstorm or it's below -5 celsius and really windy, snowy, blowy, icy etc. If it's calm (no matter what the temp.) they're out. Their paddock has no shelter, so I take that into account. We have a separate run out back that is sheltered, but they only go out there once there is a lot of snow on the ground (like right now
default_wacko.png
) as it is cement. My one girl needs a blanket, usually, once the temps dip below -5, but so far she hasn't shivered once...so I'm hoping she can tough it out this winter because once it goes on it doesn't come off (only to groom etc., of course).
Finally someone like me! I felt I was the only one who kept mine in every night. Yup mine go out from 7am-4pm too! Mine have like 3in of sawdust and heated water buckets hay and grain. I spoil my babies
default_wub.png
 

Charlotte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
3,224
Reaction score
28
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
Oh yeah! If you have large predators or feral dog packs then by all means put them inside! But you didn't mention that as an issue. I guess my two biggest concerns here are lightning so they are in for thunderstorms and then dogs which we are fenced to keep out (but no fence is 100% dog proof)

Actually, our horses are all stalled at night just because I don't have a secure set up to be comfortable leaving them out, but they really do tend to have less health problems with 24/7 turn out.

Charlotte
 

Carolyn R

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
2,709
Reaction score
151
Location
eastern Pa
Finally someone like me! I felt I was the only one who kept mine in every night. Yup mine go out from 7am-4pm too! Mine have like 3in of sawdust and heated water buckets hay and grain. I spoil my babies
default_wub.png
Don't feel like a nut, mine get tucked in every night. I don't put them in until around 10pm, but they are in for the night. Busy snackers full, warm water in their buckets, full bellies, dry stalls, safe and sound, y'ep spoiled in every way!
 

little lady

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
1,740
Reaction score
75
Location
Illinois
It was 4 degrees this morning here at 5:30 AM when I let them out. They are out until 5:00 PM (this is everyday)but have access to a run in. 90% of the time they are outside. My belief is that horses are much happier and healthy in that type of set up.
default_biggrin.png
Just as everyone else has said if you notice one shivering or one that may have other probelms then they would need special attention. So far I have been very blessed with healthy horses!
default_biggrin.png


Edited to add: they are stalled at night...more to control eating and for my piece of mind!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

LindaL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
3,131
Reaction score
43
Location
Hudson, Florida
Mine are in at night as well, but not because of the weather. I feel "safer" knowing they are tucked in at night, since we live on such a busy highway.

To answer your question, tho...horses adapt very well to the cold and most would actually prefer being outside than stuck inside. Unless it is very icy, windy or pouring rain with wind/cold I would leave them outside with the option of shelter to go in at will. When I lived in the NW, that is how all my horses lived (unless they were being shown or ready to foal).
 

Matt73

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
5,441
Reaction score
27
Location
London, ON
Finally someone like me! I felt I was the only one who kept mine in every night. Yup mine go out from 7am-4pm too! Mine have like 3in of sawdust and heated water buckets hay and grain. I spoil my babies
default_wub.png
default_biggrin.png
I just look after them they way my big hunters and jumpers were looked after when I boarded. I know in some ways it's better to be out 24/7, but I like to spoil my little ones, too
default_wink.png
 

SHANA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
1,993
Reaction score
15
Location
Quebec, Canada
I try to keep mine out as much as possible. The minis have free choice hay, fresh warm water a few times daily and seem much happier and healthier for it. I do bring them in when it is really really cold and nasty out(huge blizzard with blowing snow, etc). My 2 arabian mares stay outside all year round. One arabian mare refuses to go in the barn in the winter and plants her feet. She has done this since a young age. I have owner her her entire life since the day she was born. Though the 2 arab mares do wear winter blankets when it is really cold, etc. I also move them to the mini mare/filly winter paddock if the minis are inside since the shed is bigger and has a fan blowing warm air in it from the barn. My arabian stallion is at my parents farm for the winter and he goes in at night and out during the day if not nasty out.
 

dali1111

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2004
Messages
417
Reaction score
2
Location
outside Edmonton
As long as horses have food, water and shelter, they can survive the worst weather. As Charlotte pointed out, you have to make sure that every horse can get to shelter if it wants, but horses are very well designed to live outdoors even in the most brutal weather.
I agree with Becky. In general, barring any health issues, horses are fine outdoors. We do not have a barn or anywhere indoors for our horses and they have never had a problem with the extreme winters we get here in Alberta. They have a nice shelter with room for all of them that pretty much completely blocks the wind. We usually don't blanket unless a horse is really shivering or if it is extremely cold. That being said, our horses get a very long, dense winter coat and have lived their entire lives in this climate. I do have one who I have a hard time keeping weight on during the winter so he will get a blanket more often. If it is really cold they get an extra handful of hay and that really helps. The most important thing when it is cold is making sure your horses drink enough water. They do not like to drink when it's cold. We have a heated water bucket and they get beet pulp in the morning with extra water so I know they at least have had some liquid.
 

Marty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
13,596
Reaction score
521
Location
Tennessee
I have pretty much the exact same weather as you do right now. Every horse has his own stall and they use it. I"m no stranger for cleaning a dozen or more stalls daily. I don't really set a temperature as a rule of when to bring them in just common horse sense. If its pouring down rain, storming, having a blizzard, high winds, or the dreaded summertime heat wave, that's a clue. And why should they stand outside to freeze when that is what I paid to build a barn for in the first place? It is for their comfort and safety and it is well used.

That being said, I do stall every night due to predators and possible theives, but I do like my horses out daily all day barring any very serious weather. It is rare to find my horses inside during the day but they are on occasion such as now. I have solid ice on the ground right now, temps went to single digits last night, so my horses have been inside for two days straight. I do not like that one bit for them, but it is necessary at the moment until it melts off today. I think its just as bad when people overly confine their horses to stalls without letting them out.

So I say to you that you need to use your best judgment and find that healthy balance for your horses with using common sense. Some may acclemate better than others so keep an eye on each one as an individual and provide accordingly.
 

SampleMM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Messages
1,969
Reaction score
89
Location
Corry, PA
default_biggrin.png
I just look after them they way my big hunters and jumpers were looked after when I boarded. I know in some ways it's better to be out 24/7, but I like to spoil my little ones, too
default_wink.png


I do it the same way.
default_yes.gif
I treat all my minis like show horses and they don't seem to mind plus I guarantee you that it will keep your numbers down.
default_smile.png
 

ohmt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Messages
3,331
Reaction score
111
Our mares are out 24/7. They have 3 big round alfalfa/grass hay bales and a great big barn to go into at all times. We have grain feeders lining the inside walls of their barn so during the winter we bring the grain in there for them. It's been 20-30 below out here the past week and the mares are still outside eating away. They're outside even when it blizzards. We have 3 different big barns around where we put their hay which blocks most of the crazy wind. The snow is nothing new here and pretty much all of my mares have seen many of our North Dakota winters by now.

I have my tiny 28" 4 yr old mares on the yard with my weanling colt (the mares are all checked in foal). They are out 24/7 as well and then have access to our main barn at all times.

My stallions do come inside when it gets too cold (20 below)or snows like crazy and that's because they have calf huts for shelters, which are surprisingly warm, but not as warm as our big barns. When it snows, they can not get around in their little winter pens, so they go in the barn in my big foaling stalls. I do have one stallion that I keep inside anytime it drops below zero, but he is the one that broke his leg in 2 places as a 2 yr. old. He has no pain in that leg until it drops below zero and then I can tell it gets achy.

We make sure nobody is dropping weight or shivering at all. If they do, they get to come inside. We usually fatten them up so well before winter and they grow their super thick bison fur that everyone makes it through winter just fine.
 

Latest posts

Top