Horses and winter (1 Viewer)

Jun 30, 2011
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We live high up on the moors over 1100 feet above sea level, in one of the fields is a lone horse which is there all year round, no shelter at all, it blows 100 mph winds, snow, blizzards, rains upwards etc. We both know nothing about horses.

Caroline thinks its really cruel of the farmer and last year phoned the RSPCA who came out and said its one of the very hardy breeds and although a very harsh environment it is built for it.

She is still not satisfied and tonight it is minus loads up here with everywhere outside sheet ice and blizzards, can someone put her mind at rest.
 

sdc77

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Loads of them around.. and surely if the RSPCA are happy then that's good. Around Tow Law (about 1000ft) there's a fair few that stand against the wind or by a wall/fence when it's blowing. So long as they're being fed and watered ..
 

pappajohn

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In an ideal world the farmer should be made to trade places for a day or two but if the RSPCA are happy to leave it there there's little can be done
Same thing applies to the donkeys in the begging adverts. . Make the owner carry the same load of bricks for 10 hours a day for a few days.
The riding donkeys on Scarborough beach are 'stabled' in a field on Olivers Mount'. The large field is a 30° slope with NO level area at all for them to stand easily.

Seems cruel to us but obviously acceptable.
 
Mar 16, 2010
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If it is a hardy native breed they have no trouble coping with harsh winters. If the RSPCA came out and we’re happy then all should be ok I have a friend who is a chief RSPCA officer and they do rigorous checks if someone reports what they think is cruelty.
Tell her not to worry:xsmile: but well done for thinking of the horse.
.
 

sdc77

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You prompted me to have a quick read up and lots of these ponies do appear to be all or part fell pony ... in which case they are very hardy

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Jan 25, 2013
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Glad I'm not a horse (or donkey)! But hey, didn't Scott take Siberian ponies to Antarctica on his ill fated expedition (OK so they got eaten by killer whale, dogs or humans, died of exhaustion or something) so they must have been hardy enough for that sort of cold even if he should have used dogs.
 

ambulancekidd

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Thinking of the horse's welfare is superb, not many people bother.
can you try to get a photo of the horse & post it on this thread, we'd have a better idea of what breed it is?


Its not very nice that this horse has no companion, they aren't usually solitary animals.
We had a Norwegian Fjord horse who sadly died a couple of years ago but, they can live happily outdoors in the Norwegian countryside, so the UK rarely had any weather that could worry them.
If she wasn't kept clipped then her coat was like a fur rug, you could lose your fingers into it right up to the knuckles.
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pappajohn

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Glad I'm not a horse (or donkey)! But hey, didn't Scott take Siberian ponies to Antarctica on his ill fated expedition (OK so they got eaten by killer whale, dogs or humans, died of exhaustion or something) so they must have been hardy enough for that sort of cold even if he should have used dogs.
Must have seen a different film. The one I watched they were all shot at one ton depot and the team pulled the sleds by hand.
Seems rather daft to me.

Artist licence. :xgrin:
 
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CazPaul
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Thinking of the horse's welfare is superb, not many people bother.
can you try to get a photo of the horse & post it on this thread, we'd have a better idea of what breed it is?


Its not very nice that this horse has no companion, they aren't usually solitary animals.
We had a Norwegian Fjord horse who sadly died a couple of years ago but, they can live happily outdoors in the Norwegian countryside, so the UK rarely had any weather that could worry them.
If she wasn't kept clipped then her coat was like a fur rug, you could lose your fingers into it right up to the knuckles.
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Yes will get a photo over the next week or so if I can see it, it wanders a very large area on its own, Caroline says it is very lonely and looks sad, we give it a few carrots as we pass.

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Thinking of the horse's welfare is superb, not many people bother.
can you try to get a photo of the horse & post it on this thread, we'd have a better idea of what breed it is?
I agree with Robert if you can post a photo of it we will have a better idea of the breed and be able to put your mind totally at rest.
I judge all native breeds at county level so I would hope I could recognise what breed it is even if a cross breed.
I would never keep one on its own they need company especially when turned out.
 
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We have Highland ponies and they live out all year round in all weathers. They grow thick winter coats which fluff up to trap air and keep them warm. The RSPCA will tell you that for native breeds (i.e. not thoroughbred race horse types) this is the best way to keep them. Rugging them, giving them extra feed etc is not good for them. The ponies should lose weight over winter so they are lean. There is a tendency in modern society to try to turn them into pampered pets which brings its own health problems. I wish we had access to moorland for ours, it would be much better for them.

Ponies are herd animals though, and prefer company. We always keep ours in small groups, but not everyone can.
 
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we have had hardy cobs for years. we live on the top of a hill and although our horses have field shelters they only ever use them to stay out of the hot sun. In winter they grow a coat that is like a fluffy hearth rug. A friend of ours insists on rugging up their cob and ended up having the vet out as he became ill. The vet told her that it was because during the day the winter sun was making him too hot under the rug and that if you commit to rugged them they dont then grow the fantastic natural coat they would do and you therefore have to keep taking off the rug/putting it back on. He told me that our horses unrugged all winter are the healthiest cobs he has seen and that this is down to their natural lifestyle.

wild ponies manage outside all winter.

This is our gang outside in a blizzard despite having a field shelter with a bale of haylage in! 3 of them are foals in their first winter so they were only 8 to 9 months old at most. They are now strapping 8 year olds.
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CazPaul
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We have Highland ponies and they live out all year round in all weathers. They grow thick winter coats which fluff up to trap air and keep them warm. The RSPCA will tell you that for native breeds (i.e. not thoroughbred race horse types) this is the best way to keep them. Rugging them, giving them extra feed etc is not good for them. The ponies should lose weight over winter so they are lean. There is a tendency in modern society to try to turn them into pampered pets which brings its own health problems. I wish we had access to moorland for ours, it would be much better for them.

Ponies are herd animals though, and prefer company. We always keep ours in small groups, but not everyone can.


Cheers, this is a large horse though not a pony.

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CazPaul
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I agree with Robert if you can post a photo of it we will have a better idea of the breed and be able to put your mind totally at rest.
I judge all native breeds at county level so I would hope I could recognise what breed it is even if a cross breed.
I would never keep one on its own they need company especially when turned out.


Thankyou, you obviously know about horses then, I will try to get a photo.
 

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Armytwowheels

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As long as the horse has good body condition, I.e not feeling ribs or spine through his/her coat when you touch it, it should be ok. A horse that is too cold for extended periods of time will drop body condition very quickly.

Not all breeds develop a long winter coat. Some grow shorter but denser coats. If he is not rugged and not groomed or washed regularly his coat will be waterproof and should keep him warm.

My horse, being a pampered spoilt beast, used to physically shiver at the first sign of rain and he had a field shelter! He used to stand at the side of it, with his head down getting wet, until I got him in, dried him off and rugged him up. Once he retired from competitions I stopped rugging him up in the winter and his coat developed as it should, thick and dense, but it wasn't long. He seemed much happier in the cold wet weather.
 
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CazPaul
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Does the above give you an idea, she has just wolfed down 2 carrots and an apple from me. She comes trotting over when you shout. The weather up here is incredibly harsh in winter so she must be hardy or she would have been dead years ago
Can I reassure my wife now?
 

Shrimp

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She looks good, no ribs showing..
She’s not muscled up so probably not ridden, she’s fine-no hairy coat-but not thin, I think if RSPCA think she’s ok she is.
When I was a kid my pony & my mother’s horse used to get buried in snow drifts and we had to dig them out regularly, they never had rugs etc and were always ok, unlike horses today they get spoilt with rugs & waterproof coats!
 

Ivory55

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Have wondered before why people have horses in fields that never seem to be ridden or driven or used for anything at all, just in afield eating grass.
 
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Its not very nice that this horse has no companion, they aren't usually solitary animals.
Yes anything would be better than nothing. even a goat
He is a typical farmer Chris, tight as a ducks arse, the farmer breeds Limousin bulls and sheep.
The sheep would be good in with the horse.

Have wondered before why people have horses in fields that never seem to be ridden or driven or used for anything at all, just in afield eating grass.
and me.
 
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Looks well enough to me. How long has it been there? Sorry if I’ve missed this in the thread. Perhaps they’ll take it in if the weather gets really bad?
 
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Looking at the photos I would say looking from the sideview it’s an older animal as it has quite a dipped back . It doesn’t look like a purebred animal of any breed although it isn’t in bad condition it seems to have a short thick dense coat..... I wouldn’t be concerned about it but would prefer to see it with a companion.
When you posted originally I wondered from your location wether it was a Dales pony but looking at the photo i would say It isn’t. They are one of our hardy breeds.
We live in South Wales and quite local to us welsh mountain ponies are out on the mountain all year round.

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