Working your horse in the winter

Some of us are lucky to have a lit barn on timers and double blanket our horses but most of us don’t have the luxury, nor the time so what do we do? We’ve got these woolly mammoth horses, ready for the next ice age. When you barely work them they are drenched, take forever to cool off and dry or they start to shiver on cold nights due to their workout. Is clipping the answer? Yes, but in moderation. I’ve found that clipping the chest and throat line up to the throat latch does the trick just fine. This way the horses skin can breathe but not cause a chill if the animal is just loafing outside with its turnout blanket on. In my experience I do not recommend clipping the horses belly. It’s the coldest part of the horse shielded from sun and not covered by a blanket. Many sport clips on horses include the belly. Yes it looks nicer by far but I noticed more horses with clipped bellies that were colder faster just standing in their paddocks. To each their own obviously but I personally don’t clip bellies until spring when I notice their flanks starting to sweat before they blow their winter coats. Also if you must hose your horse off in winter, please do so early in the afternoon so they have time to dry before the temperature drops. When hosing them off, do not wet their belly it’s the last to dry and if wet will cause a chill in the evening. Hose off mainly chest and neck then sweat scrape and cover the horse with a fleece cooler until mostly dry. If the horse appears cold, keep hay available for the horse. Eating helps increase body temp. Most importantly have fun, be safe and enjoy these beautiful animals they are a treasure.

Published by Jillian

I specialize in problem horses, youngsters, horse rehabilitation and achieving softness and a better relationship between horse and their rider. I not only train horses but humans as well. Not your typical riding lesson but I can, if you so choose, teach you to train your horse! I’m always available to help answer questions or share photos or videos upon request to better illustrate my advice. I’ve mastered the “don’t break the bank” way of keeping your horse healthy and cared for while on a budget. If you walk into almost any large barn in Oregon you’re bound to meet a horse I trained or sold! I’ve trained over 623 horses and counting! I post updates as I receive them from clients and buyers. Thank you for taking the time to browse and hopefully learn something new!

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