What to do in the weather Rollercoaster?

Saturday morning the temperature was -7 Celsius. Yes! Sunday it will be -4 C overnight and then up to a high of 7C.

Here is what the week looks like. All temperatures are in Celsius.

And….on Friday we are forecast to have a high of 15 C. Up -Down-Up-Down. It gets cold and the horses don’t drink enough. The worst complication of this is an impaction colic. No one wants that! What to do? My answer is to give Omega Alpha’s Equisel-lyte. I know electrolytes are most often thought of in hot weather when horses have been sweating a lot. But I also use it in this kind of weather. When I have ridden Biasini in a training session with my coach Belinda Trussell I will give him Equisel-lyte with his afternoon meal. This way he will be sure to drink enough. I also check his manure to make sure it does not look too dry.

And what about blanketing? Biasini has had a full clip but he is growing fur back in daily. However he is clipped. I do not want him to be cold. But I also do not want him to be too hot and start sweating under his blankets. What to do? I check the forecast temperatures and I have a fleece base layer blanket that I can put on for the colder nights and days and then take it off if the temperature is going up. I also have the two windows of his stall open at the bottom. I would rather rug him up than close up the windows until we have to when it gets really cold in the winter.

I am not alone in wondering…should I do this or should I do that? All of us at the barn are talking about what a difficult time of year it is and how best to deal with the weather rollercoaster . Anyone else with these kinds of weather predicaments at this time of year? Let me know what you do in the comments below.

25 Comments Add yours

  1. Emma Cownie says:

    If he was a human I would say “layers” but he’s not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Layers is appropriate for him too. 🐴

      Liked by 1 person

  2. David says:

    Colorado is a notorious weather rollercoaster during the fall-winter-spring months. We can be warm one day, cold the next. A warm day, a cold overnight or vice versa. Or, we could have a string of cold days. Depending upon that, different blanket combinations are used. Three of the horses are TBs, which naturally have a short coat. The others have a winter clip. When their off-season conditioning program begins in December, the horses receive a performance clip which is a slightly longer clip than used during show season. It allows them to train normally, sweat and dry fast. Our main barn is heated, so it keeps the draft to a minimum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Well we ha e snow here this morning. Temp is -4 Celsius with real feel-10. But by Friday up to +16. Our barn is still open windows but soon will be all closed up.

      Like

  3. Alli Farkas says:

    Southwestern Michigan is having the same roller coaster phenomenon as you. My only advantage is that my horse isn’t clipped and won’t be. She’s almost got a good winter coat on now. Unless temps get way below freezing and it’s super windy or all of the above plus a blizzard, she gets a light loose-fitting rain sheet and that’s it. The light fit keeps the hair from compressing and allows it to do its job of providing insulation. My absolute fave is the Amigo MIO rain sheet. The sheet can look like it’s sopping wet but you take it off and horsie is nice and dry except for sometimes a bit wet along the neckline of the sheet. I didn’t believe anything could be this good till I tried it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      That sounds like an excellent rain sheet. Biasini has to be clipped because we continue to work and train over the winter in the indoor arena and he grows a thick coat so he would get soaked with sweat and then I would have a problem with getting him dried out. He has a full clip now and in December will need another clip but I think he will only get a partial clip a hunter clip or trace clip to leave him a bit of fur for warmth on his legs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alli Farkas says:

        Our indoor isn’t heated, so unless we’re working unusually hard it’s pretty easy to just take a hair dryer to her for a few minutes and we’re good. As a rider I would much prefer a heated indoor but as a horse keeper I can put up with no heat. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          We don’t have a lot of heat just enough to make the seriously cold days bearable. But we do work pretty hard in our lessons so a heavy coat would be sweaty.

          Like

  4. So much happenings in winter. Hope Biasini will have a good time in home town after a long time. But I miss your travel post. Hopefully next year I can get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I hope I will be able to write my travel post again. It all depends on the Covid situation. Thanks Subbashini 🐴🙂

      Like

  5. Judy says:

    Electrolytes made a huge difference for my horse. I never clipped him, but if the weather was dipping below freezing, he was blanketed. He loved his blanket! My difficult child would put his head down and step into the blanket as gentle as you please and stood perfectly still while I buckled it on. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Oh that is wonderful. He did love his blanket! Thanks for sharing this story
      🐴🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Valerie says:

    Like you, I layer. Right now he has a Buccus light weight stable blanket with a lined Weatherbeeta rain sheet over that for turn-out. As the weather gets colder, I’ll replace the light stable with a heavier one and then finally change the rain sheet for a Weatherbeeta winter turn-out blanket. If it does get warmer at the end of this week, I’ll take off the stable blanket and put the rain sheet on only. My horse is boarded in Uxbridge and the weather tends to be a little colder there than where I live so it is sometimes difficult for me to judge just what he needs to wear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Sounds like you have a plan and that us the best we can do. Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Like

  7. Wish you were down here in Florida 🌞

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      It has been 13 years since we have been home for the Canadian winter! Biasini wishes he could be in Florida and so do I. But that’s life with Covid. 😄

      Like

      1. My neighbor is flying back from the north on Thursday

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          We could fly to the US but not drive since the border is still closed for tourism and open for essential workers only and essential business. I think some of the insurance companies are now insuring for Covid in the US for travel medical insurance. But we already told the person we have been renting from for the last 10 years that we would not be coming so she could rent to someone else . She lives in New York City and decided not to rent to someone else and is staying in the condo herself for a few weeks right now. We just feel it is risky and I know my husband would not be comfortable going down there with everything open and the numbers still going up. So we stay here. I hope that by next winter there will be a vaccine and we will be able to come down.

          Like

          1. I bet the cost of medical insurance with covid inclusion would be off the wall. Our tests would have been $125 each, but insurance covered it. If positive I dread to think how much it could run. Yes I am hoping for a vaccine.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. No great words of wisdom for you from me, but I sure can commiserate. My horses live outside 24/7 and generally get the Winter off from riding so they are unclipped. But I do have to make adjustments in the amount of hay depending upon the weather conditions, make sure the water stays unfrozen, see that their coat doesn’t get soaked during a super cold rain and that sort of thing. I too stay extra alert during weather ups and downs as sudden changes in temperature seem to take more energy from them than even during the dead of Winter when it gets below freezing and stays there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it is the ups and downs that cause havoc. My vet always says it is his busiest time of year and not in a good way! Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. lklambert178 says:

    Intrigued by your mention of using a fleece blanket as a base layer. What type/brand do you use? Also, I have been following your blog for 5+ years now, and love your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I use a Saratoga fleece liner. It is not too heavy and is not long on the sides. I got it for a previous horse but it fits Biasini well. I think I got it one winter when we were in the US. I am glad you enjoy the posts and than you for following along on the journey. I appreciate your comment very much.

      Like

  10. Elaine says:

    Ah yes! It’s the same here in the UK, although not as extreme as where you are. We spend the entire winter battling cold, wet and windy weather whilst trying to keep our horses healthy and happy!
    I do love being outdoors though so I’m only deterred by extremes of weather. Love your posts. Sending you and Biasini best wishes xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this nice comment. I lived in the South of England for about 10 years in my 20s and I remember the damp cold and the winds. Today it is plus 8 Celsius and dropping down to almost freezing this afternoon. Crazy! Kind regards to you in the UK. 🐴😀

      Like

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