Is Your Horse Is Cold? -Ask Clare!

How To Tell If Your Horse Is Cold?

Going into winter, it is useful to know how to tell if your horse is cold, and needs a blanket or a cooler. The most effective way is to feel the tips of their ears. If their ears are cold, they are cold.

I use this guide regularly. Some horses simply run cold, as do some people. Therefore, some horses need to wear a blanket or a sheet, when the weather gets wet or chilly. Another way to be aware that your horse is cold, is if their hair is standing up, or fluffy. The last is very obvious, and the most extreme.

Shivering, sometimes violently. Some horses, when they get wet and saturated by the rain, will shiver. I had a Quarter Horse mare, in training, that would shiver so violently, that she would almost fall down. In this more extreme case, it is imperative that you get a cooler and blanket on her, immediately. As a general rule, I find most horses only get cold if they get wet or saturated. Most can handle just the cold.

My general rule for blanketing is, if it is raining, I blanket.

Notable exceptions:

If a horse is thin, they need to be blanketed in the cold to stay warm, and to protect calories that they must retain for weight gain.

If a horse is old, they usually will need extra help, to stay work and dry though the cold and wet seasons. On the other hand, a horse that is very plump, is usually just fine un-blanketed in the winter.

For lots more information about blankets and blanketing, please see my link ( as well as my video below on  Blanketing and Unblanketing:Proper technique, Safety tips.