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Discuss horses shivering is normal, right? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

it's about 40 degrees outside, it's been raining all day. a little wind here and ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member th72's Avatar
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    horses shivering is normal, right?

    it's about 40 degrees outside, it's been raining all day. a little wind here and there. we of course have a shed, but the horses aren't always in there. I just fed them their evening feeding and noticed that they are both shivering a little bit, one a little more than the other. this is normal, right? especially with them being wet and it being cold outside.....

    thanks for any help!

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    yes, but you should have sheeted or blanketed them until they were warm and dry, or sheeted them all night just to be sure they stayed warm and dry
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    Senior Member Trixiesue's Avatar
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    I will usally put rain sheets on any of my horses that are shivering that are outside even if they have shelter.

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    When the weather is 40 or below, I blanket my mare and she is out 24/7 with the option to go in her stall, and she likes to stand in the rain....Cathy
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    Moo
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    We have a 21 yr. old gelding that shivers if he gets the slightest bit cold, so we blanket him. Shivering is the bodies natural defense to stay warm. By shivering the muscles are moving, generating warmth.

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    You do NOT have to sheet a properly coated up horse.

    If you spoil your horse year round, by all means sheet and blanket them. But if you are like me, and allow HORSES TO BE HORSES, then the coat that they grow will be fine.

    Shivering is natural way of warming up. Usually in the cold and wet, I'll make sure my horse has plenty of hay to eat as digestion helps the heating process.
    Nothing like seeing nature from the back of a horse!

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    Full Member titan1's Avatar
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    I also let my horses go 24/7. I do notice that when it is cold outside and they drink cold water, some of them start to shiver. I do the same as Blister and give them food to eat.

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    I just put a 700 lb. round bale out in her field, she always has plenty to eat, but will get cold and stress colic if not blanketed...every horse is different...she is almost at an extreme....but I have had horses that never needed a blanket, what ever the weather was... Cathy
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    There are a few that INSIST on being spoiled. I'll recognize that.


    Also, on winter colics, are you sure it is from not having a blanket? Or is it from the cold water? It is BEST though, to have a heating unit to at least keep the water from freezing to allow the horses to drink. And many horses drop their water intake in the winter as well, which causes colic.
    Nothing like seeing nature from the back of a horse!

  10. #10
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    While shivering is "normal"....an involuntary reflex to help warm the body....it is energy expensive. One hour of shivering uses as much energy as an hour of fast trotting or cantering. As a result, a shivering horse quickly becomes exhausted and loses weight at an alarming rate. It's possible for a single outcast horse in an otherwise well-fed herd to shiver and starve to death in a matter of days during extreme weather.

    I do the same as the others.....if one of my horses shivers, I put a sheet on it and feed hay so it can balance the heat loss against the heat generated by eating hay. Many times, if a horse is shivering and it doesn't seem that cold or wet, simply feeding hay will help warm it. Digesting hay creates internal warmth. A couple of flakes of hay goes a long way in providing warmth.

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