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Old 02-18-2008, 05:19 PM   #1
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Can Horses Get Sick From Being Out In The Rain?

Can a horse become sick from being out in a cold rain - no rain sheet on?

We are in MA and do not blanket our horses. If we know the weather is going to be freezing rain, we keep them stalled on that day. However, sometimes the weather doesn't do what it is predicted to, and they end up being out in inclement weather. They have access to the barn, but most of the time do not go into it. Someone told me they can get sick. Does anyone know if that is accurate; and if so, what might happen to them? So far, they have been fine when this has happened. We bring them in every night, towel dry them and "fluff" their hair. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:28 PM   #2
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One might be able to catch cold if they got chilled, or if there immune system was a little down. If you are bringing them in and drying and fluffing coats, I would think they would be fine. Just keep an eye out for runny noses, weight lose or stiff acky joints. If they have weather well so far, I would think they should be just fine.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:26 PM   #3
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All our horses are outside 24/7 year round. We don't blanket them at all. They have shelter to get in out of the weather but even when it is -30C with the wind blowing, snowing like crazy, or when it is pouring rain....they choose to be outside in it. They do just fine and no sickness from it.

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Old 02-18-2008, 06:33 PM   #4
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Ours are out too - and occassionally they will suffer a bit of a cold.. especially the really young or really old.. so I agree with both of the above posters.. they should be fine, but just keep an eye on them..
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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Mine are out 24/7 with just a run-in & no blankets regardless of weather & they do just fine. And up here in Canada, they suffer through it all.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:41 PM   #6
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Horses really are very well adapted to life outdoors in the temperate zone. Big bodies, furry coats and high metabolisms make a little chill rather pleasant for them. As long as they get enough feed and water, and some sort of windbreak, they're fine. Like you said, they can go in the barn whenever, but would rather stay outside.

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Old 02-18-2008, 08:50 PM   #7
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I agree with everything said. They should be fine if they are not sick to begin with. Mine stay outside and are fine. I do have one that willnot adapt to well. My stud for some reason will not grow a winter coat. He will be out there shivering but it also is just ONE horse and it is Tennessee weather. Nothing as extremem as you. If they are not really young or really old they should be ok.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:52 PM   #8
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Yep, I agree with all of the above.. some of mine are out 24/7 others inside, but the yahoo's will stand out in the rain, snow,sleet ,etc. and just look back at their shelter.. silly horses.
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:10 PM   #9
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They will be fine. Most of the things that we do for our horses is to make us feel better (blankets, stalls, etc.). Left to thier own devices horses are pretty smart and will do what is best for them. Mine all have run ins and they choose to stand outside even in the worst of weather. It is usually the horses that are "bubble wrapped" for the weather that will get sick if they get a chill from rain or snow. Sometimes in the horse world less is more. I would not worry too much unless your horses are clipped, older or don't get a good winter coat.
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:24 PM   #10
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No, and people can't either. Being cold and wet does not and cannot cause disease. If the conditions were bad enough, they could potentially weaken the immune system and allow a pre-existing bug to strike harder, but that's it.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:30 AM   #11
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Well that all makes sense. They will both be five this year so I guess that's not considered really young.

Thank you all for your answers; I feel much better.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:13 AM   #12
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Ditto everyone else. Mine out 24/7, no blankets, I don't like them.
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