When temperatures drop, horse owners usually begin to worry. Is it too cold? Does my horse need a blanket? Should they be stalled? Believe it or not, horses are hardy animals. Most adjust very well to the cold temperatures. There’s a limit though! Find out what it is.
How Much Cold Can They Handle?
Most horses can tolerate 0° F or even a little below. This would be without wind and precipitation.
With shelter, such as a run-in or stable, your horse can manage in as low as -40° F. This is dependent on the horse though. Factors like weight, coat size, and age all come into play. On average, your horse prefers the temperature to be between 18° and 59° F.
If you want to make your horse more comfortable, ensure they have the basics. A shelter of roughly 240 square foot is sufficient for two horses. They’ll also need warm water (45° to 65° F), extra hay, and to be monitored regularly. Keep a close eye on their body condition and hooves.
When to Blanket
Their winter fur is still growing in until roughly December 22nd. If you blanket before that, you could be stunting the growth of the hair. The use of blankets is necessary if there’s no shelter and the temperature or wind chill is below 5° F, they can get wet, or they’re clipped.
Cold temperatures require a little more work. With proper care, your horse is likely to do just fine this winter!