4 Tips to Keep Horses Warm in Extremely Cold Weather

Hey Guys!

Y’all it’s cold!I am sitting here in utter climate shock right now. The temps are expected to plummet tonight. The news is saying we are going to hit record lows tonight and tomorrow. Now I am from FL, so cold weather has never been my friend. However, I have lived in NC long enough that I have become accustom to the cold days and nights each winter. I’ve also slowly learned to add extra layers and wear long johns instead of trying to tough out the cold. (I actually bought my first pair of thermals last month. How I went so long with out them is a mystery. They are a lifesaver.) Despite the amounts of layers I plan to where the next couple of days are going to be freezing and I do mean F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G! The low tonight is 9 degrees. Yes, you read that right 9 degrees! I have never experienced temps that low before. The coldest that we’ve been since I’ve lived here was high teens and that was only once or twice. Most nights its mid-to-upper 20s.

I know all of you from up north or the northwest are probably talking out loud to your computer right now and saying “that’s nothing” or “suck it up baby” but hey, I’m from the south south and I don’t do cold weather. Heck I’m as cold natured as anyone can possibly be and when its in the 80s I’m freezing, so single digit numbers are going to be rough!I can promise you the heat will be turned up and a fire going tonight.

Anyway, since my horses nor I have ever experienced this cold of weather, I decided to take extra precautions to help them stay warm. Now according to a local vet here, it takes horses 10-20 days to acclimate to colder than normal temps. Since we don’t have that much time and are gonna experience a drastic drop, I’m going to do all I can to help mine stay warm.


Here are some tips on how to keep your horse warm and happy in the cold:

Keep Horses Warm in Winter


  • Make sure they have plenty of food. Providing extra hay for your horse to munch on will help keep their core temperature up.  ( I put out a fresh round bale for mine while they are outside during the day and plan to give extra flakes of hay while they are inside at night.)
  • Blanket your horses. (I plan to blanket all mine to help provide a extra warmth)
  • Make sure they have access to shelter. (Mine will be kept up in their stall still the wind is suppose to make the temps feel like they are below 0)
  • Keep water buckets/water troughs Ice FREE. (I just bought heated water buckets for my stalls but have used the water tank heater in the pic below the past month and it’s been perfect. My horses drink twice the amount of water they use too. The tank heater keeps the water temp at 45 degrees.)

Water Trough Heater











So those are the most important tips I can provide for any horse owners who are going to experience a drastic drop in weather. Hope all of you stay warm this winter! Enjoy a fire and bundle up!

Question for y’all – What extra steps do you take to keep your horses warm in the winter when temps get really low? 

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  • Reply
    Weekend Cowgirl
    January 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    It hardly ever gets too cold here. This winter has been different and it has kept me worried every time we have a cold front. The problem is it can be nearly 80 one day and drop to 18 the next day which, to me, makes it hard on the animals. We feed extra hay and grain, keep water troughs broken up and put lots of extra hay as bedding. We do not have fancy barn with stall. The animals have several pole barns with an enclosed room in one of them. The problem is they rarely want to stay in the warm one.

    I wish I had a really nice barn with stalls!!!! But, my donkeys and goats all stay together so that would probably stress them out.

    We are going to be building them a “carport” in pasture big enough for all of them which will be close to our house. In summer when in pasture instead of getting under trees when dreadfully hot they want to be close to me if I am in yard. Figured it was a greater priority than barn at this point since they have two barn although not the kind I want! I want your barn. Just not in the budget right now…
    Weekend Cowgirl recently posted..Meet Remy!My Profile

  • Reply
    Meagan B. {The Charming Farmer}
    November 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I agree with all of your suggestions! It’s been an interesting year as many people have picked up the debate on blankets. Personally, with all of mine out in their run-ins (no stalls built yet in the barn), I blanket, feed plenty of hay, provide salt, keep their troughs ice free (I use the same water heater), and make sure they can run and play.
    Meagan B. {The Charming Farmer} recently posted..Amish Law Breakers?My Profile

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      November 21, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Sounds like your horses are just as spoiled and well cared for as mine!

  • Reply
    Penelope Smith
    January 11, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    My father and mother are thinking about getting some horses soon. So, I liked what you said about how they will need to get some type of shelter. That does seem smart since it gets really cold where we live.

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