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We have a home in Eastern Pennsylvania and would like to get a couple of horses but at the moment have no barn. I wanted to know if it is safe to keep the horse in the pasture through the winter as long as an adequate run-in is provided as well as fresh water, hay and some grain.

Would they need to be blanketed or any other special considerations?

Thanks for your response.

- K. S.

Thermometer in Northern Minnesota reading 64 below zero F. ANSWER:

Assuming they're in good health, your horses should do fine with just a three-sided shelter for protection from sleet, high winds, etc. Horses survived quite nicely for thousands of years with much less than that -- in environments much harsher than yours. Willy and Fanny have spent most of their lives on pasture -- in northern Minnesota! (When was the last time eastern Pennsylvania saw temperatures lower than 64 degrees below zero Fahrenheit?)

About the only caution would be regarding exercise. If I've been out on the trail for a few hours and Willy is really warmed up, I'll throw a thin blanket over him and walk him around until he's had a chance to cool off before I turn him out in the pasture.

(By the way, the thermometer in the photo is showing the true temperature at the time... it had warmed up a few degrees, however, while I waited for enough light to take the picture.)

Happy Horse Care!

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