The Horse's Philosophy
We complain about the winter, moaning with each snowstorm and shivering our way through the cold wind.
Horses just take it as it comes. When you think about it, it's something else about horses to really admire. They adapt to the weather and just don't complain.
Now, I'll admit, my Boys have clothes. For the bulk of this brutal winter, they each wore a middleweight, waterproof turnout blanket (rug). There are many horses around the area that went "naked" all winter and were just fine. Their own winter coats were more than enough to keep them warm.
I think I put blankets on just because it makes me feel better.
But I haven't heard one word of disagreement from the Boys. They make do. As long as they have food, water, and shelter, whatever the weather brings, they cope just fine. Sometimes, even when it's raining or snowing they prefer standing outside exposed to the elements rather than hiding inside the barn.
My barn has run in shed roofs on both sides, open access to the stalls, and there is a separate run in shed in the riding arena, again always open for their use. There are also a number of trees around the paddocks, and one is a cedar tree that's green all year with plenty of sheltering branches. Since my property has woods and trees on two sides, some of the winds are naturally blocked as well. I guess it makes for a pretty good habitat in general.
I keep a heater in the water trough and make sure there's always water. Luckily, this winter, we never lost power here. I haven't tried my new generator hook up yet to see if it really does power all the stuff I need powered to keep the Boys and me happy, but if I never have to use it, I'll be content.
I do feed three times a day, both hay and grain. Sometimes it seems all I do is feed horses, but I like the idea that they have food more often than not. I don't have much pasture grass--none in the winter--so keeping their digestive systems working is important. Since Toby is a Cushings horse and I'd not be surprised if both Tucker and Chance have metabolic issues, not having a lot of quality grazing is just fine and probably better for everyone. There's just enough to nibble and keep them busy between feedings. I try to give them plenty of hay too.
Perhaps their spoiled. Perhaps they don't complain because they are just too content with room service around here. But when I look out to see them basking quietly in the sun or napping in the paddock, all I see are three horses just taking it as it comes.
Maybe we could all learn a lesson by watching.