Do Horses Get Cold? What You NEED To Know About Winter Turn Out

Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Allison Price

While we all want the best possible for our four-legged friends, it is not what our horses need or want. Although we share many similarities with horses, our ability to handle the cold is not one of them. This is why it is important to reconsider how we care for our horses in the winter.

Do horses get cold?

Horses will feel cold when the mercury drops. However, like all mammals, they can withstand colder temperatures. A horse’s zone ranges from 32 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (0deg to 25deg Celsius)

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your horse will get cold if it drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit/0 degrees Celsius. Many horses have thick winter coats to keep them warm and dry. The horse’s coat traps warm air against its skin, which insulates it from the cold. A double-layered winter coat can be added to horses that helps keep out the wind.

Are horses really cold-sensible?

Although the jury is still out about whether horses should have blankets or rugs in cold weather, some will argue that horses should be covered up as soon as possible. However, this is not always true and sometimes can lead to injury. Horses are more able to retain heat than humans.

Horses use a lot of energy to keep warm. However, if they are warm enough under a blanket they won’t have to. The energy has to go somewhere. Most often this is deposited as fat and the horse begins to gain weight. Horses have evolved to deal with cold. They can increase their metabolism when it gets cold.

Do Horses Get Cold

Most horses do not require blankets unless it is extremely cold. However, a waterproof and breathable blanket can provide some protection from the wind and the rain.

If a horse is clipped but is living outside, that’s another matter. Depending on the type and amount of clipping, your horse may need a blanket if the temperature drops below 41deg Fahrenheit (5 to 10 degrees Celsius). The same applies for older horses, smaller horses, and those with thinner bodies.

Horses can be outside in winter?

Horse owners may think it is better to keep them indoors if it is cold. However, this is not always the case. In many cases, your horse might prefer to be outside. Horses can live outdoors in temperatures that are much lower than us, but the thing that can really upset them is wind, rain and snow. A shelter is essential.

These are some things to keep in mind if you plan on keeping your horse outdoors during cold weather.


Shelter is the most essential thing horses require, regardless of their age. Living outside You can keep your horse in a stable at night. The field shelter should be placed so that it can provide protection from three sides. You should have enough space to accommodate all horses, or multiple shelters if necessary.


Horses will require more calories when it’s cold. This is partly because they will use the extra calories to keep warm. You must ensure that your horse has access hay of high quality, fresh and dry. You might consider feeding your horse a supplement or special feed if your horse has difficulty chewing hay.


It might seem that your horse doesn’t require as much water in winter, particularly if there is snow on the ground. But this could not be further from reality. Winter is a time when impaction colic can be more common. This is due to dehydration. While snow and ice will not hydrate your horse, it will make him more susceptible to the cold. You should consider heating your horse’s water during winter. This can be done with heated water tubs, non-freezing automatic watering systems and running electricity to the field to heat the troughs. This will ensure that your horse has enough water.


You should take the blanket off your horse if it is winter. You should remove blankets from your horse’s body regularly to prevent weight loss. Horses sweat and cool down can cause bacteria buildup in blankets. Allow it to dry out and dry.


Many people believe that you cannot clip horses that have been out in winter, but this is not always true. You should make sure that your horse is properly insulated if you are going to clip him in winter.


Although horses are usually very stable and confident, they can slip and fall on icy ground. This can lead to sprains and cuts as well as broken bones. You can’t control the weather, but rock salt will reduce the amount of ice. Your farrier should discuss fitting snow pads to snow-proof your horse’s shoes to prevent snow from building up and destabilizing it.

How can I tell if my horse has gone cold?

Horses are an easy way to tell if someone is cold.


Horses will shiver when they are cold like all mammals.


Your horse may try to hide his nervousness or stress by clamping his tail against his body. However, this behavior could also be a sign that your horse is cold. You can determine whether your horse is cold or stressed by checking his body temperature.


You should always check to make sure your horse is warm. This can be done by placing your hand underneath the blanket to feel his chest, shoulders, and withers. You can do this by placing your hand under the blanket and feeling behind his shoulders or chest.

What do I do if my horse gets cold?

You need to keep your horse warm if he’s cold. This will depend on how cold he may be. You can start by covering your horse with a blanket or another layer, and then bring him inside. Make sure your horse has warm water. Otherwise, it will be difficult for him to warm up.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!