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  • Writer's pictureNFF Equestrian

Shelter Me

Ensuring Your Horse's Well-being in All Weather Conditions


When it comes to caring for our equine friends, understanding how weather conditions impact them is crucial. The worst scenario for a horse unfolds during wet, windy, and cold weather, a trifecta that can cause a rapid drop in their body temperature, leading to a loss of condition and potential impacts on their immune system. Here, we delve into the importance of shelter and its role in safeguarding your horse's health, especially in adverse weather.


Temperature Check Through Ears


A practical method of assessing your horse's well-being in challenging weather is by feeling the temperature of their ears. Cold ears may indicate a drop in body temperature, signaling the need for protective measures.


Coat Condition in Wet Weather


When horses are not rugged in wet conditions, their coat becomes flattened and saturated. A dry coat, on the other hand, stands up and traps warm air, highlighting the significance of proper protection.



Native Breeds and Insulation


Native breeds, with their distinct coat structure featuring short hair underneath and longer hair on top, showcase an evolutionary adaptation for extra insulation. Understanding these breed-specific traits is essential for tailoring care to individual needs.


Considerations with Rugging


Rugging, if done with a thick enough material, provides protection from the elements. However, it's crucial to recognise that rain may still find its way down the horse's neck, and wind can penetrate under the rugs.


Importance of 24/7 Shelter


For horses kept outdoors around the clock, providing shelter is paramount. This not only shields them from harsh winter weather but also offers a sanctuary during other seasons, ensuring their well-being in varying conditions.


Ideal Shelter Spots


Natural shelter in the form of valleys and trees is advantageous if available. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have these features. In such cases, investing in a field shelter is a commendable option, providing year-round protection against the elements.


Year-Round Shelter Benefits


Emphasising that shelter is not solely a winter necessity. In spring, shelter protects horses from mosquitoes, and in summer, it becomes a refuge from irritating flies, including the notorious horseflies.


Understanding how weather conditions affect horses and providing adequate shelter, horse owners can ensure the health and happiness of their equine companions, regardless of the season.












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