Can horses cope with sudden cold weather?
Horses can survive and even thrive in what we consider to be very inhospitable conditions, but they do need plenty of feed to fuel them and keep them warm.
I don’t think our horses enjoy winter any more than we do but fortunately they are much better equipped to cope with whatever nature chucks at us. Horses make their own Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight – not at a premium this time of year! Fortunately hay, dried in the sun, is a good source, as also is lucerne and surprisingly, fallen leaves. But there is nothing to beat a top up of the rays when they are available, so on those rare sunny days, uncover your horse and let her soak up the sunshine – and its vitamin D. I know that for many folk, grazing is not an option due to the damage horses can do especially when it is wet, but even something as simple as tying up outside for grooming will give the horse a change of scenery and a chance to warm up in the sunshine. Even on a freezing day, sunshine will make the horse’s coat feel warm or even hot to the touch.