Cold Weather Worries

What do you do to help your horse cope with below-normal temperatures?
(Check all that apply)

Providing shelter (barn, lean-to)
Heated water troughs/buckets
Providing blankets
Providing unlimited forage
Providing high-fiber feed

Total votes cast: 4112

Comments & Write-in Answers

cutting back on grain and increasing forage

1/18/2010 9:44:41 PM

Keeping water from freezing with a heating element worked well for us this year.

1/18/2010 5:48:51 PM

extra hay

1/18/2010 3:38:16 PM

pull your horses shoes so they don't slip and snow dosn't ball up in their feet

1/18/2010 2:49:36 PM


1/18/2010 8:33:10 AM

We also make sure each horse gets at least 4 flakes of hay daily

1/17/2010 3:48:09 PM

I provide elity hay when it's extra cold

1/17/2010 3:19:19 PM

My horse has a run in shed so I blanket if the wind is blowing and the temp drops below 5 or 10 deg.

1/16/2010 10:26:20 PM

On Very Cold Nights, I give my horses a Nice Hot Bran Mash with Sweet feed & Cracked Corn added.

1/16/2010 7:12:41 PM

all of the above - blankets, stall, clean non frozen water and some get hot mash and plenty of hay

1/16/2010 5:02:49 PM

all but blankets...they really don't need them as long as they have the rest, consistently.

1/15/2010 11:42:39 PM

Mostly all, he is 33+ years old.

1/15/2010 5:32:02 PM

keep them out so they are free to move around if threy desire

1/15/2010 12:32:44 PM

We also bring them in at night ;-) Lucky horses!

1/15/2010 11:47:56 AM

bran mash with mineral oil

1/15/2010 11:36:27 AM

unless snowing or rain horses out 24-7 with waterproof turnouts heated waater and free-choice hay

1/15/2010 11:27:55 AM

Blankets take away a horse's natural ability to control its temperature - they should be outlawed!

1/15/2010 11:03:42 AM

chafhay really works. It gives them the hay with extra molasses that makes our ponies drink.

1/15/2010 10:44:04 AM

check regularly for shivvering

1/15/2010 9:39:20 AM

brush horses at least 2 times weekly & do NOT blanket

1/15/2010 9:33:57 AM

Blanket if snow or rain/sleet. Stalled if icy. Exercised in indoor arena.

1/15/2010 9:12:13 AM

Blanket only if necessary - most horses need to grow thicker coat

1/15/2010 1:38:34 AM

sheets, then blankets, and lots of hay for the hindgut

1/14/2010 11:34:14 PM

plenty of spruce and pine trees to add a wind block to the feed area

1/14/2010 9:13:58 PM

heated room for barn kitties

1/14/2010 9:09:47 PM

wish i could afford to offer unlimited forage!

1/14/2010 9:07:28 PM

Keep an eye on manure & add bran/soaked beet pulp as required

1/14/2010 9:02:19 PM

Keeping them healthy, letting their hair grow, providing feed, water and shelter = no problems

1/14/2010 8:22:22 PM

keep in when icy

1/14/2010 8:16:03 PM

Lots of hay, lots of water, loose salt, and a windbreak even at -30 C they're fine

1/14/2010 8:11:02 PM

All of the above and extra vigilance just take a few more seconds and do a double once over

1/14/2010 4:48:42 PM

When really bad keep them in the barn

1/14/2010 3:47:01 PM

I had warm water to the feed before putting out in the paddock.

1/14/2010 3:42:13 PM

Don't heat the water.Have a deicer in water to prevent freezing.Lots of good hay and shelter 24/7

1/14/2010 3:37:37 PM

My general rule of thumb is to blanket when it's 15 degrees or colder at night.

1/14/2010 3:32:38 PM

warm water meals

1/14/2010 3:26:27 PM

no shelter, they have to find a tree. in tx, this isn't as bad as it could be...

1/14/2010 3:25:43 PM

I also soak alfalfa cubes in hot water to make a "hot toddy" to warm them up

1/14/2010 3:25:36 PM

pellets mixed with hot water for inner warmth :)

1/14/2010 3:00:09 PM

float a soccer ball in unheated water troughs to always leave a hole in the ice.

1/14/2010 2:51:05 PM

Increase the amount of hay I give my horse.

1/14/2010 2:46:01 PM

I also provide additional forage, but not unlimited

1/14/2010 2:24:14 PM

Provide room temperature water every 2-3 days of freezing temperatures

1/14/2010 12:06:01 PM

Provide a mid day grass hay feeding. Provides extra fiber mid day for hind gut to produce heat

1/14/2010 11:14:13 AM

I bring warm water from the house to fill up water buckets. I don't trust the heated buckets.

1/14/2010 11:11:56 AM

turnout rug and round bales. keep on exercising! its good in winter! keeps them warm and fit

1/13/2010 11:37:24 PM

By Hi Fiber you mean good grass Hay? YES, 24/7. The most important feed for horses well being.

1/13/2010 10:52:24 PM

Our horses are in a semi heated barn and are given extra hay when needed.

1/13/2010 10:01:09 PM

blankets only as needed if sleet or freezing rain

1/13/2010 9:58:45 PM

short of putting him in a cocoon= anything which make winter more bearable

1/13/2010 7:57:23 PM

Add 1T salt to feed to encourage drinking, feed warm beet pulp, warm water, keep dry and draft free

1/13/2010 7:55:36 PM

I blanket if they shiver, which is rare. If I must clip, it is as little as possible, a trace clip.

1/13/2010 7:48:28 PM

Pay close attention to him--visits every day, even when I don't want to brave the cold

1/13/2010 7:40:19 PM

We blanket and watch them closely.

1/13/2010 7:25:33 PM

warm mashes with salt

1/13/2010 5:11:52 PM

I also mix up a little beet pulp with warm water. I also add the electrolytes to this mixture.

1/13/2010 5:03:26 PM

Heated water tank to make sure they drink enough and extra hay to keep them warm.

1/13/2010 4:35:11 PM

Extra bedding in his stall and extra alfalfa

1/13/2010 4:30:45 PM

I add oil to their feed. I blanket only if horse shows signs of being cold.

1/13/2010 4:02:58 PM

Getting a blanket on them before amajor temp drop is a must, ration grains according to weather

1/13/2010 3:56:52 PM

shelter if they want it, heated water and all the hay they can eat is enough. No need to blanket

1/13/2010 3:18:11 PM

We feed them extra flakes of hay throughout the day.

1/13/2010 2:08:02 PM

add high fat feed supplement

1/13/2010 1:35:43 PM

keep ice balls picked out of their hooves.

1/13/2010 1:32:59 PM

Deeper bedding

1/13/2010 1:10:04 PM

stalled @nite, warm(er) water. blankets! beet pulp added to feed.

1/13/2010 12:34:42 PM

My horses get extra hay when temp drops. And they need it. When

1/13/2010 12:10:16 PM

All the above.

1/13/2010 11:54:30 AM

They go in the barn when bad weather or below zero temps & windchills. extra hay if outside

1/13/2010 11:48:37 AM

Daily turn out as much as possible. Maintain physical condition.

1/13/2010 11:37:01 AM

Add grain to regular forage amounts.

1/13/2010 11:36:12 AM

higher risk horses are checked under their blankets 2 x a day to ensure they are warm enough.

1/13/2010 11:31:32 AM

feed extra hay

1/13/2010 11:23:31 AM


1/13/2010 11:09:08 AM

Plenty of hay and water, stabled with blankets, how many depends on the outside/inside temperature.

1/13/2010 11:07:17 AM

Lots of grass hay...turnout whenever possible, dependant upon weather conditions (central OH)

1/13/2010 10:51:46 AM

extra hay to eat and sleep on, apples to keep them happy

1/13/2010 10:46:04 AM

Keeping them dry outside with Goretex sheets.

1/13/2010 9:35:40 AM

Put hot water in the food bucket and mix

1/13/2010 9:29:01 AM

Cannot provide warm water 24/7.Mix v/hot water in his b/fast & tea feeds.

1/13/2010 9:10:04 AM

WATER-the most important ingrediant. If heated water not available clean ice build up out of buckets

1/13/2010 8:33:27 AM

My horse drinks a lot of warm water!

1/13/2010 7:51:09 AM

I put salt in their feed and serve the Vita Royal feed in 1 1 /2 gal of water - they love it!!

1/13/2010 7:12:25 AM

I add table salt to their feed to make tham drink more water

1/13/2010 6:39:19 AM

I add oats to the regular feed when the temp. drops, helps keep them warm.

1/13/2010 6:26:44 AM

not unlimited, but extra hay at night

1/13/2010 6:11:37 AM

My horse is kept in a stall so her winter coat doesn't get thick enough for super cold temps.

1/13/2010 6:00:08 AM

My three get sheets & blankets, soaked beet pulp w/hay cubes mixed w/their grain, & extra hay.

1/13/2010 1:32:56 AM

mix hot water with grain ration, uumm they like that, also put wood shavings over icy areas

1/13/2010 1:30:24 AM

He has a blanket if he needs it but hasn't yet; he'll tell me if he's cold.

1/13/2010 12:36:25 AM

bran mash;extra blankets;extra hay;stall time

1/12/2010 11:43:07 PM

Adding Corn oil to feed is an awesome alternative to increasing feed.Also adds shine to the coat .

1/12/2010 11:39:41 PM

Providing more hay

1/12/2010 11:23:09 PM

I keep my senior in at night and on really cold days shorten her time outside.

1/12/2010 11:21:33 PM

I make sure they have non stop hay to give them extra internal warmth

1/12/2010 11:15:35 PM

Go and check on her every chance I get!!

1/12/2010 11:05:53 PM

Use salt in round pen to keep footing soft so can exercise

1/12/2010 10:41:27 PM

add a favorite flavor to the water to encourage more intake

1/12/2010 10:23:48 PM

Help to grow a full, fluffy coat and keep it clean.

1/12/2010 10:19:57 PM

feeding warm mashes

1/12/2010 10:02:15 PM

I take hot water out.

1/12/2010 9:38:26 PM

soak feed in hot water to aid in water consumption

1/12/2010 9:38:15 PM

shelter is not used!

1/12/2010 9:29:06 PM

I pour warm water in their water buckets over the ice, give them a warm sloppy mash of beet pulp & g

1/12/2010 9:27:56 PM

live in Arizona ;>

1/12/2010 9:20:23 PM


1/12/2010 9:17:59 PM

We feed their beet pulp warm

1/12/2010 9:06:55 PM

We put a thick layer of fresh hay on the floor of the stalls to provide warmth for their lower legs.

1/12/2010 9:03:27 PM

I provide all of the above because of the unusual cold spell.

1/12/2010 8:57:57 PM

provide beet pulp soaked and salt added. I also give more hay when temp are below zero.

1/12/2010 8:50:28 PM

increasing hay

1/12/2010 8:44:00 PM

Not unlimited forage, but the right amount of forage

1/12/2010 8:17:32 PM

Add salt to feed to keep them drinking.

1/12/2010 8:15:25 PM

-40: Feed hay 3x, free access water, open shed. Happy healthy horses.

1/12/2010 8:08:18 PM

feeding oat hay along with regular hay

1/12/2010 8:06:59 PM

up the hay

1/12/2010 8:03:06 PM

Horses are outside 24/7 unless weather is unusually cold; unhairy horses blanketed

1/12/2010 7:54:38 PM

Elderly horse blanketed, not others

1/12/2010 7:09:29 PM

This this Cal. after all Fjords come from a lot colder areas

1/12/2010 6:51:25 PM

lucky that the severe cold doesn't last londg in Southeast Georgia!!!

1/12/2010 6:26:37 PM

Some kind of windbreak and lots of extra hay. Usually free fed.

1/12/2010 6:18:59 PM

Blanket old horses, keep their fur groomed so it can fluff and insulate non-blanketed horses

1/12/2010 6:17:39 PM

I ensure adequate water consumption by feeding warm, soupy bran mashes, esp to older or sick horses

1/12/2010 6:04:10 PM


1/12/2010 5:49:16 PM

If you can't provide a heated trough/bucket still top off their buckets a.m. and p.m. with hot water

1/12/2010 5:40:06 PM

I mix supplements with apple sauce and warm water and feed it in a bucket to make sure he

1/12/2010 5:31:58 PM

She already has the rest all the time.

1/12/2010 5:18:36 PM

I keep Sadie out with a mid weight blanket. Access to grass, hay and water

1/12/2010 5:04:52 PM

We use large straw bales to 'build' a wind-break for our native ponies.

1/12/2010 5:03:42 PM

Extra hay too, but not free choice

1/12/2010 5:01:54 PM

If it is going to be below zero during the day, they get blanketed.

1/12/2010 5:01:44 PM

lots and lots of hay

1/12/2010 5:01:09 PM

I feed 3x a day, my last feeding is at 11:30pm and I give extra hay on nights below 25 degrees

1/12/2010 4:55:33 PM

Make sure they get salt/minerals to keep them drinking.

1/12/2010 4:54:12 PM

Flakes of brome hay with a handful of "pixie dust" (alfalfa) sprinkled in for taste!

1/12/2010 4:50:44 PM

Stall overnight only if below 0 degrees. HOT MASH DAILY.

1/12/2010 4:37:58 PM

round bales in feeders

1/12/2010 4:26:10 PM

Keep the hair brushed so it can stand out from the body for insulation

1/12/2010 4:24:35 PM

Warm beet pulp mash every day!

1/12/2010 4:17:36 PM

A lot of turn-out time to keep them moving when it's too cold to ride!

1/12/2010 4:16:51 PM

Some snow. Horses stay hairy. Break ice over water and lots of forage hay.

1/12/2010 4:14:58 PM

bran mash with barometric change

1/12/2010 4:04:45 PM

Hot sugar beet mash to get moisture into feed

1/12/2010 3:52:35 PM

provide increased forage, no unlimited. All my horses are fatties.

1/12/2010 3:48:44 PM

I have access to large bales of hay, provided 24-7

1/12/2010 3:44:38 PM

Hoping my big draft will keep my 5 donkeys warm enough in their shelter

1/12/2010 3:44:31 PM

all the hay and water they want, older horse gets better shelter and blanket, senior feed too.

1/12/2010 3:41:10 PM

making sure that water is available and ice broken if needed.

1/12/2010 3:36:55 PM

Leave them out late into fall to allow them to develop a healthy winter coat.

1/12/2010 3:34:50 PM

Not really an issue in So. CA, but I always blanket and feed well.

1/12/2010 3:32:40 PM

Last year I removed soil under the dripline of my barn roof, added traprock. No more mud!

1/12/2010 3:28:50 PM

My 'crew' come into the barn when it's freezing temps & windy; usually they are outside.

1/12/2010 3:26:35 PM

Making sure they are kept clean from dirt and mud, in the barn and covered if necessary

1/12/2010 3:18:29 PM

Bought the Wild Angel Bucket Cozy to help keep water buckets from freezing.

1/12/2010 3:18:17 PM

keeping warm and dry with access to water is priorities

1/12/2010 3:09:29 PM

warm bran mash

1/12/2010 3:08:53 PM

I only blanket when it get down below 10 degrees, then take them off as soon as it reaches into 20s

1/12/2010 3:07:17 PM

Feed hay several times per day

1/12/2010 3:07:00 PM

We can get below zero weather with the windchill. We start preparing and stocking up in November

1/12/2010 3:04:44 PM

Big round bale of Brome & make sure water is open.

1/12/2010 3:04:08 PM

I only blanket if the horse is shivering or obviously cold

1/12/2010 3:01:46 PM

We are in Az, cold is when it hits 32 degrees-blankets go on and inc the feed

1/12/2010 3:01:07 PM

beet pulp soaked with warm water adds fluids to prevent colic, fiber to prevent colic and warmth

1/12/2010 2:59:29 PM

don't coddle them, they need to build up their immune sytem

1/12/2010 2:56:55 PM

Grass forage gives more steady heat

1/12/2010 2:56:08 PM

Make sure to clean the snow and ice balls out of their feet and off their fetlocks

1/12/2010 2:54:02 PM

We just bust ice and refill buckets every day too afraid of barn fires with heated buckets!

1/12/2010 2:52:33 PM

Insulated bucket holders work really well and no electricity required

1/12/2010 2:50:59 PM

They have stalls/shelter. I make sure they drink and I provide extra hay in cold weather.

1/12/2010 2:48:07 PM

giving warm water once/day, and bran mash 2xs per week

1/12/2010 2:47:48 PM

we are lucky, special paddocks designed for winter use, good rambo blankets, stable never below 10c,

1/12/2010 2:46:45 PM

increase hay ration

1/12/2010 2:40:46 PM

Use warm water & provide more water when feeding more hay!

1/12/2010 2:38:19 PM

They livwe outside with shelter and warmed water - eating forage is how the keep their inner furnac

1/12/2010 2:36:00 PM

My outdoor pen has a cover, I just give more hay at night.

1/12/2010 1:49:07 PM

blankets and plenty of hay

1/12/2010 12:46:35 PM

more hay

1/12/2010 11:54:00 AM

warm water tubs - the 16 gal plug in type that actually warms water- horses love it & drink plenty

1/12/2010 10:53:31 AM

only hard keepers get blankets & beet pulp

1/12/2010 10:20:40 AM