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Bad weather question...

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 1 » Bad weather question... « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Kim Winter
Yearling
Username: Clafairy

Post Number: 53
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 04:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I live in the south east of the uk - we arent used to getting snow here and it messes the roads up and causes kaos - I was just wondering how you should keep a horse in the snow? I have put vaseline in her shoes to try and stop the ice from balling up, it seemed to have worked yesterday but today there is more snow! And I havent stabled her as It stresses her out to be stabled at the moment and I dont want to upset the pregnancy - I have put hay in there though ad lib and also hay in the field and she is wearing a large rug with a neck cover so is all snuggly - Is anyone used to having to keep them in snow? Im worried shell slip and fall or that its going to hurt her feet (Shes a navicular sufferer) can anyone offer some advice/opinion?
much appreciated : )
 

Gynna Meiller
Weanling
Username: Jw_kings_excalibur

Post Number: 48
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 06:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

you can use W-D 40 on her feet. Its a llubricant spray in a blue can. Main thing is she has pleanty of hay as eating that will help keep her warm. If she is not running amuck then she should be okay..sorry I have no further help but sounds like she is in good hands.
 

Kim Winter
Yearling
Username: Clafairy

Post Number: 54
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 06:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks - I got her in this morning and she had ice over the toe of her shoes that I couldnt pick off, she is in at the moment - Seemed to calm down fairly quickly and was eating her hay when I left so I have kept her in for the ice to defrost and to give her a chance to get her coat off - I would never have thought about wd 40! Hmmm.... : )
 

Dorthy (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 136.181.195.113
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 07:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I use cooking spray on their hooves. There are times the snow/ice is balled up and packed in there so hard I have to use warm water to loosen it to pick it out first then spray the bottems.
We are use to snow--but I hate it makes lots of extra work
 

Kim Winter
Yearling
Username: Clafairy

Post Number: 55
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 08:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Im going to try a mix of baby oil and salt for now. Hopefully the salt will disolve it a bit stop it from collecting in there and the oil will protect the hooves and make it hard for the snow to stick too. The things we do....
 

Kim k
Breeding Stock
Username: Kimk

Post Number: 196
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 09:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think that I would be careful with the salt. Salt can be very corrosive--it can kill bodly tissue. I would also caution the baby oil as it might become slippery. I live in Northern indiana and have never seemed to have much trouble ?? Most of the time the horses seem to weather the winter pretty good. We are in a winter thaw right now and we hate it as the top layer of soil turns to MUD and then there is a lot of slipping around. The horses seem to be ok with it but are always glad to be in the barn at night but glad to go back out in the am. Actually would consider keeping them out at night the the temps being around 28-40 but we like to know they are dry for a while. I would imagine that there are many pros and cons to each home remendy, just be cautious
 

Dorthy (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 136.181.195.113
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 10:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i live in Michigan and same we seem to fair ok --kinda get use to the snow and the horses do too. Although I do put cooking spray on their hooves especially before a ride(no indoor arena)
Ours are out all the time but have access to the barn whenever they want. But even in a snow storm they are usually standing out in the field, I always check for shivering but they all seem pretty toasty in there winter coats
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Jos

Post Number: 10384
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Having lived in Canada for many years, each winter presented lots of snow, and all my mares ran out all winter! On the other hand, I grew up in England, so I know how unprepared that country is for snow!!! :-)

We actually never did anything to them in Canada, as they seemed to sort it out quite well with no problems. One thing that was different for us was that they did not have shoes on though, so if you are not currently working your horses you might want to consider removing the shoes until the snow is gone - this will pretty much cure the balling situation. If you are in need of keeping shoes on (I note that you mention she has navicular) you might want to put pads on, as these too will assist in preventing balling. There are some special "snow pads" available, but they may not be available in the UK (not a big call for them!!! :-))

When we were working horses with shoes on, we would use either Vaseline or cooking spray, as the previous posters mentioned. I would not use WD-40, as it is a petroleum based product that has a greater ability to penetrate than does Vaseline, and could well cause problems with the hoof (I recognise that Vaseline is also petroleum-based, but it is less absorbable).

Do not be too concerned about shivering as a general rule and as long as they have a good coat and a way to get out of the wind and wet. I know that sounds cruel, but shivering is natures way of warming up a body. Obviously if you have access to a NZ rug, put one on, or if you do have a way to warm them up use it, but if the shivering is intermittent, it's not a major cause for concern.

Do not clean the snow off the horse if it's still snowing and they have a long coat! Nature really is quite interesting in the way it deals with problems, and the snow settles on the coat, then the layer next to the body melts a little, then freezes, and then the snow that lands on top of the ice layer doesn't melt (much), while under the ice layer there is a layer of air trapped in the long coat that warms up and the combination of the air layer, the ice layer and the snow layer results in a "thermal insulation coat". Nature really is clever! :-)

The important thing is to make sure that the horses have access to shelter and that they are dry. The shelter can be quite simply a clump of trees, it doesn't need to be a barn - indeed, our mares would rarely come in the barn preferring to go and stand in the trees in all but wet weather!

Keep a good eye on water consumption too. Sometimes in cold snaps such as the UK is experiencing horses reduce the amount of water intake, and then you will see more colics. If you find that your horses are not drinking, warming the water a little may be beneficial. If the buckets are freezing, make sure that you water them BEFORE feeding them! If you feed first and then water, the water will wash the undigested grain into the hindgut and you'll see colic.

I know it probably seems pretty barbarian to you right now in the UK - I know it did when I first came to Canada and saw it! - but you'll be amazed how well and how quickly the horses will adapt!
 

Rooty (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 72.56.36.121
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I find snow much easier to deal with than when it there is a cold heavy rain, snow doesn't drive through the coat the way rain can, and then if it is windy as well, I find they are quite often not so happy outdoors! But, snow, no problem.
Some horses will still ball up even without shoes, some of them seem to have a hoof shape that holds snow, my old girl bowed a tendon balling up badly about 3 days AFTER I had her shoes pulled to prevent balling up...And I have met a few other horses that ball up even barefoot. I've not had much luck with Vaseline, but I haven't tried cooking spray.
 

Kim Winter
Yearling
Username: Clafairy

Post Number: 56
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 03:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The wind and the rain is something we've grown rather acustomed to so its far easier than this, well, far less untested for me! The weather itself like temp etc is not a prob - Infact she has her lightest rug on and is still molting! I didnt realise that the pregnancy would affect her body temp quite so much!! Its just the ice balls in her shoes that worry me because before she would always come in for a day or two to get out of it. I did notice she was not drinking as much - I will try some warm water in the buckets tomorrow - thanks jos! I also noticed she STILL stands in the middle of the field rather than going into the nice warm barn with ready hay and water... Yes jos - It seems ridiculas that it can cause such a drama - the roads stop and offices close! If we get it each year Im sure Ill soon become accutomed to what I should do for her, Its just lack of experience with the white stuff! : )
 

Jennifer Demski
Nursing Foal
Username: Jennifer_d

Post Number: 13
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 05:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have to laugh at all of these posts! I too live in Michigan and we have winter from late November until April. My horses love to go outside no-matter-what the weather (they bang the doors down to get out). Jos is right about the snow insulating on top of the coat. It's hard for me not to go out and brush it off, but is neat... it never melts!
 

Terri Berwanger
Nursing Foal
Username: Terrib

Post Number: 17
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 12:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kim,
Hello from Ireland. Such an interesting point you make about the molting. My mares are starting to shed now too. I to keep them rugged, but also with the lightest T/o's. I think they can actually deal with the snow better than a cold rain that never lets up. All my horses love the snow and since my mares don't have shoes on, it never really balls up in their feet. We are not getting the snow over here that you've had though.
terri



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