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Snow Days ~ Keeping your horses safe

Scottie in the snow, rugged up and ready for christmas

I, like most of the country, have woken up to gorgeous snow covered fields today. As beautiful as it is, it has really divided our yard on what to do for the best! Scottie and his field buddy Jo Jo are the only ones to have braved the snow today and have gone out in their fields for the morning with a nice big pile of hay. Now there are pros and cons of turning out in the snow.

Pros of turning out in the snow

  • It’s part of their routine to go out for a bit
  • Snow can take a long time to clear and some horses don’t cope very well with being in for days on end
  • A lot of horses enjoy the snow
  • Many horses live out in the snow with no problem, so why shouldn’t they be turned out in it
  • You don’t have to tie them up on an icy yard while you muck them out
  • When the snow does fade, you are usually left with ice, which is dangerous and will often mean you have to leave your horse in.

Cons of turning out in the snow

  • It can be deep and slippery so there is a chance they could injure themselves
  • There is no grass out for them to eat, so you need to put hay out for them
  • If they have shoes on the snow can build up in their shoes, causing them to walk on stilts
  • If there is any ice under the snow it can be very dangerous
  • Some horses find the snow quite distressing

Each horse is different, but in Scottie’s case I felt that the pro’s outweighed the con’s. He isn’t an idiot and I can’t imagine he would have gone charging round if he didn’t feel completely balanced. I also know that tomorrow, maybe even later today, it will start turning to ice and then he wont be able to safely leave the yard to get to his field. So I wanted him to be able to get out while he still could. So I greased his feet and took out a nice pile of hay for him to munch on until lunch time.

How many of you have turned your horses out in the snow?

Last Updated on 14/01/2022

1 thought on “Snow Days ~ Keeping your horses safe”

  1. When i worked on a hunting yard the horses all went out in the field even if only for a couple of hours,they really enjoyed it and they were able to roll and stretch there legs and not one came to any harm,also my own horses live out 24/7 with plenty of hay,some of them rugged up and they all have a field shelter but they dont stay in them if it rains or snows they would sooner be out mooching about.

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