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Horses in Winter Conditions

Image of Carole Herder's horses Slash and Dot laying down together in the winter months.

Horses in Winter Conditions have certain things they must deal with. I am not talking about winter in Florida, or even Northern California. I am talking about real winter. Winter Conditions when everything freezes, including you. Winter conditions when you muster every ounce of courage to get out there, yet again, and care for your furry beasts. This is the hard part of owning horses.

It’s fine when the sun warms your face, the days are long and you can hop on and go for a ride. But in real winter conditions, we are not riding, we are not lingering around to enjoy the companion of Equiss. All we are doing is trying to get them fed and watered and scurry back to the house.

Winter Ready

Not so easy when the buckets are frozen, the water lines are frozen, the poop is frozen to the ground, and you can’t change the bedding because it’s stuck to the mats. And it’s dark at 4 anyway. So why do we do it? Because we know summer is just around the corner. Yes. Have faith. We shall indeed ride again.

I am embarrassed to admit this, although I do find it fascinating when I learn something new; something I should have considered, but didn’t. My horses are always teaching me. Well my big excuse for not knowing this, is that we live in a semi- tropical rain forest. Winter here means rain. Lots and lots of rain! This year though, it has been very cold for a very long time. Ever since Christmas. What that means is that my horses don’t easily find a soft space to have a rest. Their paddocks and stalls are rock hard. You see, to maintain the counter effect of a hard surface for hoof mechanism and proper expansion, we don’t heavily bed our stalls. They are just mats and when my guys need to lie down they go out on the grass, under a shelter if they like. I should have noticed, this unseasonably cold year that they required a different sleeping arrangement.

Image of Carole Herder's horses Slash and Dot laying down together in the winter months.

Here they are on a warmer day, both lying down, together, which they never do, as if to say “well hello there, we need a rest, duh.”

They now have some nice soft bedding in their stalls to get them through this cold snap. And summer is just around the corner. Right?!

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