Winter is Coming

Time to think about shelter for the horse. Tarps are frowned upon as shelter for horses. Why? The Arabian comes into the master's tent during a storm. My horses love their tarp shelters. They get protection from the sun and rain. It seldom snows here.

My horses are never blanketed. The few times I have blanketed them they have ripped the blankets off themselves or other horses.

They are never sick. Except once the whole herd got sick after some stray horses touched noses with them. The mare with her nose over the fence got sick first, then the whole herd got it. Thick nasal discharge and cough. I treated all with large doses of vitamins. They all got well. It had been real warm and they lost their winter coats. Then the temperature dropped below freezing for a few days. It was June. After the freeze, sunshine and good food cured them all. Also the owner of the pasture had insisted on doing the watering. He just topped off the trough so it never got cleaned out. I asked if I could let them drink it down so I could dump it out and clean the trough. Dirty water is not good for horses.

Rain galls can be prevented. The rain pounds the dirt into their skin causing irritation which causes the skin to exude serum. Whenever we get a dry day in the winter, I go around with a metal curry comb and comb the dirt off their backs. At the end of winter rainy season no rain galls on their backs.

Getting water to horses during freezing weather is a problem. I disconnect the water hoses and drag them over a high tree limb to drain the water so I have unfrozen hoses the next day. Wrap the hose bib with insulation so the valve doesn't freeze.

Be consistent. If the horses are out in pasture all winter, they grow a heavy winter coat. If they are inside all winter, they do not grow a winter coat and cannot be left out in the weather.

Dress warmly yourself and take care of your horses. They need extra attention in the winter.

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