The winter months are difficult for all animals, especially horses. When in cold and freezing temperatures, a horse will attempt to find ways to stay warm. It will try to find cover, ranging from overhanging branches of a tree to huddling against other horses when turned out in groups. No matter how your horse tries to stay warm, it is up to you to care for your horse during the cold winter months.
Like other animals, a horse possesses instincts to handling freezing temperatures and how to survive in the wild. A horse will typically grow coats both longer and thicker to better insulate them against the cold. A horse's nostrils contain spirals of bone and cartilage which warm the air they breathe as they inhale. Its metabolism will also decrease in cold weather. This lets them store fatty tissue just under the skin.
Pasture horses are the most likely to undergo difficult times as the temperatures drop. During the winter, they are constantly exposed to the harsh elements. They don't get the benefit of taking shelter in a nice warm barn. While this doesn't mean they won't survive, horse owners should take the necessary steps to ensure they manage.
Heated barns are essential for horses which are stabled indoors. Although it can be a little pricey to heat a stable throughout the entire winter, there are methods to keep the temperatures comfortable. First, close all doors and windows every time they aren't in use. Heated barns are continuous battering from the cold wind. Some horse owners also close windows which allow their horses to look out from their stalls plus the doors at the ends of the barn.
During the day hours when you are around to better care for your horse, some horse owners utilize horse blankets. Sometimes space heaters are used to keep a temperate barn. These heaters are the kind with a hard-plastic exterior and no uncovered metal coils. When you leave the barn for lunch or for the night, the space heater needs to be turned off and unplugged. Also never leave a space heaters turned when set near stalls or any hay supplies.
Above all, it is important to remember that caring for your horses during the winter is not too difficult once you understand the basics. The principal purpose is to keep your horses as warm and at ease as possible. All you need to do is apply simple common sense.