Tuesday 3 October 2017


Poor Kachina was shivering when I went to check on her last night. She had been wearing a blanket and was dry underneath, but apparently the weight wasn't adequate to keep her insulated against the nasty wind, snow, freezing rain and ice pellets. She looked pretty miserable.

I brought her into the indoor arena, took off her blanket, let her roll, gave her a good brushing while letting her munch on a double portion of feed. I then put on her heavier winter blanket and hood and did some ground work with her to get her walk and build up some heat before turning her back out. By the time I was done she had stopped shivering and felt pretty toasty underneath her fresh blanket. Here's hoping she stayed warm though the night.

Looking much happier about life

Modelling her heavy blanket - this is actually the first time I've used the hood

I try to keep a pretty close eye on Kachina during changing weather to make sure she's warm or cool enough. She's lived her entire life outside 24/7, is healthy and grows a long thick coat of winter hair (which is already coming in nicely). Sometimes, like yesterday, she surprises me with how she reacts to the cold though. Both horses she shares the pasture with were much wetter but still seemed more comfortable than Kachina. (For the record, it was only around 0C, it was just the wet snow and wind that made it more miserable)

Have you ever had a horse who seemed more susceptible to the cold? Any theories as to what makes them that way?

What are your go-to methods for warming up a chilly horse? (Bonus points if it doesn't involve a heated barn because we don't have that)


  1. It's probably better than you don't have a heated barn, mine is barely heated but sometimes they crank it up and my horses start sweating just from coming inside in the winter. Henry is a delicate flower about the cold (so am I, so I get it). He has a varied and extensive wardrobe. Mystic and Apollo are more stoic (and fat) so I don't tend to blanket them a whole lot, other than for appts.

    1. That's a good point. Sometimes I wish we had heating, but it is nice that I can do more riding in the winter without her breaking a sweat.

      I was wondering about the fat thing. Kachina isn't skeletal by any means but she is a finer build than her pasture buddies.

    2. I used to board at a place that had oddly placed heaters and it was SOOO nice for me being a wimpy human, but the horses HAD to be tied right underneath them. My poor girl was sweating just from getting tacked up more than a few times.

  2. I don't have any good advice, but this does remind me of one time we got freezing temps in the middle of summer at summer camp. I ended up taking blankets and sleeping bags from the camp's lost and found and tying them around the horses for the night.

  3. We had shivering ponies too. I find the fastest way to warm them up is to put a fleece cooler on them under their blanket while I feed them beet pulp made with warm water.

  4. I wonder if it's not the sudden change that she was struggling with.