Cold Weather Woes (Woahs)
The Northeastern US has been hit with some icy temperatures for the past two weeks and horse folks know the all-to-real struggles of horsekeeping in the winter. Frozen water hydrants, digging through the snow to get into the barn, and night-checks in below zero temperatures have left me enthusiastically awaiting the return of tropical 30 degree weather.
One of the eternal questions that I address every winter is whether or not to blanket a horse. Nettie R. Liburt, MS, Animal Science Doctoral Student and Carey Williams, Ph.D., Extension Specialist in Equine Management from Rutgers University have written a great article to help in making an informed decision. http://http://esc.rutgers.edu/fact_sheet/to-blanket-or-not-to-blanket/
Although my horses are usually nudists, and I a strong advocate for allowing horses to go “au naturale,” this week’s harsh -10 degree forecast with wind chills close to -30 degrees had me rummaging through the basement and unpacking my blanket tote. With a fresh round bale of hay and buttoned up like Ralphy’s kid brother from “A Christmas Story,” my horses were snugly and warm.
What are your thoughts on blanketing? Share in the comments!