When to use winter coat

Horse management, health, feeding and grooming.
Falcon254
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When to use winter coat

Postby Falcon254 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:11 am

Living between Ft. Worth and Waco we get some bad weather every now and again. I have a 24 year old gelding, a 5 year old mare and a month old filly. All are in good health. They are pastured 24/7. We are in the process of building a loafing shed for them. We have a large cedar break that they use for shelter. Rain and wind hardly penetrate this area. The next few days are going to be 36 degrees and rainy. Should I coat them, or should I put a tarp over the shed frame for shelter, or should I do both?
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Hippie Rancher
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Postby Hippie Rancher » Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:04 pm

36 degrees is not cold to livestock. If it is really unusual weather I might feed a little extra. I am always amused by the clothing market for horses. To each his own, I suppose - keeps the economy running.
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Postby chippie » Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:47 pm

If you can, I would make a shelter for them.

It isn't the cold that is bad, but the combination of wet and cold. You don't want them to get wet to the skin.

Blankets are not always the best when it rains.
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Miss Daisy
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Postby Miss Daisy » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:28 pm

as long as the old horse and the filly are not real thin and have grown in good winter hair they should be fine. it gets down to zero degrees here and we just feed a little extra to help keep them warm
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Running Arrow Bill
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Re: When to use winter coat

Postby Running Arrow Bill » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:17 pm

Falcon254 wrote:Living between Ft. Worth and Waco we get some bad weather every now and again. I have a 24 year old gelding, a 5 year old mare and a month old filly. All are in good health. They are pastured 24/7. We are in the process of building a loafing shed for them. We have a large cedar break that they use for shelter. Rain and wind hardly penetrate this area. The next few days are going to be 36 degrees and rainy. Should I coat them, or should I put a tarp over the shed frame for shelter, or should I do both?


I've been to Rio Vista. Not real severe weather in that area as a rule. Best thing for horses is that they can stay dry in below freezing, damp/wet, windy weather. Same for cattle if possible. Our horses have loafing sheds and even when it's in the 20's and upper teens they tend to spend a lot of time out in open with no ill effects. As long as they have a choice to get shelter they usually know what they need to stay relatively comfortable. I wouldn't blanket a horse in such situations unless it was EXTREMELY cold...don't want them to SWEAT and get chilled. As long as they have plenty of hay to eat (creates internal heat) and have already started to get their winter coat, they should be ok.

P.S.: Yes, I'd put a tarp over the wood frame of the pending shed.
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Postby Alice » Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:20 pm

Yo! I have family in Rio Vista...and what Running Arrow Bill, and the rest, have to say, by the way!

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ArrowHBrand
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Postby ArrowHBrand » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:19 am

I live in NW Iowa and we really do get some bad weather here in the winter time. Our horses are outside 24-7 through it all unless there is any type of wet weather, i.e. sleet, ice, or freezing rain. When that happens we will curry them off and bring them into the barn, we have 7 horses currently. If it's real cold we will tie them in the barn and put blankets on them. However, once they are dry and warm they go back outside. Horses are very resilient and can handle rough weather with a little help from their owners.
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Re: When to use winter coat

Postby msscamp » Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:42 pm

Falcon254 wrote:Living between Ft. Worth and Waco we get some bad weather every now and again. I have a 24 year old gelding, a 5 year old mare and a month old filly. All are in good health. They are pastured 24/7. We are in the process of building a loafing shed for them. We have a large cedar break that they use for shelter. Rain and wind hardly penetrate this area. The next few days are going to be 36 degrees and rainy. Should I coat them, or should I put a tarp over the shed frame for shelter, or should I do both?


Since you stated that the wind and rain can't hardly penetrate the cedar break, I might possibly consider putting a lightweight, water proof blanket on the 24 year old - depending on problems he might be having. I wouldn't even consider it for the other 2 - they should be just fine.
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Falcon254
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Postby Falcon254 » Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:56 am

We sold the old man and now just have the mare and foal. The shelter is working and we have taken ya'lls advice and pretty much left them alone. They are both doing fine so far. I appreciate the help. We are feeding the mare 1 scoop of oats in the morning and 1 scoop of oats at night. The faol is starting to eat out of the mares bucket. We put purina foal chow in a seperate bucket but the foal preferes the oats. Should I for go the foal chow and just feed her oats? About when should we wean her?
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Postby ArrowHBrand » Tue Dec 25, 2007 7:58 am

For now let the foal just eat out of the mare's bucket. We wean early because we show our foals, but you don't have to wean until they are 6-8 mos. old. Once you wean put your foal on hay for a few days until things calm down then feed the foal chow.
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