I took a walk outside with my camera a few days ago. The sun was shining and the horses were napping in it. They like winter better summer. In summer they stay in the barn during the day and only come out at night. In winter they like to sleep in the sun, roll in the snow and when they were younger, they'd buck, run and carry on.
I admit, I haven't been that active myself. In winter, I stay inside most of the time. I used to help my husband feed the horses in winter, but now I don't go out there at all. I am so afraid of falling and breaking a bone or spraining something. So when I get out on a day like this and can get some good winter photos of my girls I take advantage of it. They gave me some good shots!
People ask how can they survive out there in the cold. Horses are livestock. They are equipped to survive in the wild, and that includes the cold. I mean I would not take a horse from FL or Texas and put it in a cold winter without conditioning it. But these girls have always lived in this area so they are used to this climate. In all the years we've had these girls, they have only shivered a handful of times. In that case, feed them hay. In fact, our horses will skip the grain and go right for the hay as they know it will warm their bodies up fast.
We have blankets for them, but have rarely used them. For one thing, if you put blankets on horses, it keeps their coats from growing. And in winter, they really do need that winter coat. Even if you think its ugly. We worked at a thoroughbred racing farm, and that is what they did for the race horses, who were working races. But the others could grow their coats freely. We only put a blanket on if it was needed. Another thought is that blankets block the sun from hitting them. They need the sunlight and it warms them up too.
Usually one of the horses will stand guard over the other two while they are laying down. Then they switch positions so the other one can lay down too. Though out here, these girls get so relaxed that we will find all three stretched out sleeping without any worry about danger. No noises really bother them much. They are used to hearing coyotes, snowmobiles and four-wheelers, day or night. Pretty calm compared to how they were in 2000 when Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow came here. Then when Tawny came in 2002, of course, she was never the spirited girl the other two were.
Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole