Do Horses Get Cold In The Winter

Do Horses Get Cold In The Winter

Horses can tolerate temperatures at or below 0°F (-18°C) without cold winds and moisture. However, they can tolerate as low as -40°F (-40°C) with adequate shelter. Many other factors are involved, such as the age of the horse, weight, breed and coat type as to whether horses get cold in the winter, and just like humans, some of us feel the cold more than others. According to research, most horses are comfortable between 18° and 59°F, depending on their coat type. Do horses get cold in the winter? They won’t if you follow our top tips and advice to ensure your horse keeps warm.

Winter Woolies

Erratic weather patterns aside, did you know that during the winter months and shorter days, a horse without rugs will continue to grow a natural winter coat until around December 22nd? Once the days begin to get longer, the horse will gradually lose their winter coat.

Your horses’ winter coat versus summer coat is very different. A horse’s winter coat is their defence against the cold weather, helping to trap warm air. However, prolonged exposure to wet and muddy conditions can compromise their ability to keep warm, so keeping your horse dry with good shelter is imperative. The thicker the coat, the better its ability to maintain heat.

Grooming is essential during the winter months. Grooming your horse allows you to check for cuts, mud fever and rain scold, and by removing dirt and scurf, you help distribute the natural oils through the coat to help repel rain and snow.

To Rug Or Not To Rug

Rugging a horse comes down to personal choice. Horses that live out without shelter in the wet and exposed to cold temperatures, horses with low body scores, animals not acclimatised to cold weather, clipped horses, or young or older horses are all examples where horse owners generally will rug to keep their horse warm.

Prevent A Horse from Getting Cold

Prevent a horse from getting cold by keeping him dry. If your horse does get wet, use a cooler rug with wicking properties to draw the moisture away from his skin and coat. If you exercise your horse and he is clipped, use an exercise sheet to keep his quarters warm.

Feed To Beat The Cold

Whether you clip or leave your horse with a hairy coat, it’s an excellent idea to weight-tape your horse regularly to ensure they don’t drop off weight. Thick woolly coats can make spotting weight loss more difficult.

Do you keep your horse warm? To keep warm, your horse needs more fuel. Fibre is your horse’s best friend. Feeding fibre will convert to heat as the fibre ferments in the horse’s digestive system. Aloeride is a pure organic soil association aloe vera supplement. Aloe vera is excellent for supporting healthy skin, coat and hoof health and is known to offer digestive health support.

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