Rainy days

I come home from work on another wet day. As I get out of the jeep, I hear loud whinnying coming from the back field. My two mares are telling me they have had enough and they want to come in. I change my shoes for wellies and go to the yard. I put piles of hay in the stables. Minnie and Cassie are waiting by the gate.  Cassie is in a hurry and trots straight into her stable. Minnie follows, head lowered against the rain.

I take their rugs off and hang them out to dry. Cassie is still very sleek, she hasn’t really grown a winter coat and her neck and mane dry quickly. Minnie has a deep, velvety coat that curls when it’s wet. Her mane is so thick that it keeps the left side of her neck almost dry underneath.

There is not much we can do on days like this. Just spend time in the stable, groom, clean the mud of their legs, enjoy their gentle presence and the air of contentment they radiate munching their hay.

Zebby is content too. Watching the rain from the cosy warmth of the hay shed.


5 thoughts on “Rainy days

  1. Funny – I just did a post about the rain. Must be that time of year! Is Minnie just wearing a waterproof sheet? I think that’s what I need to get for ours, as I want to avoid
    anything insulating. Do you understand the reasons why it’s better not to use blankets to keep them warm? Cos I don’t really!

    What a handsome cat!

  2. November is the month of endless rain! Minnie and Cassie are wearing rain sheets. They are very light and I put them on to prevent rain scald. Heavy rugs interfere with a horse’s ability to self regulate their temperature. Horses need to be able to puff up their hair in cold weather to trap insulating air. A horse in a heavy rug will often sweat when there is sun or still be cold when it freezes. Minnie and Cassie don’t get rugs when it’s dry. We’ve had some freezing nights and they were fine when I checked them around midnight. Even Cassie, who doesn’t really have a winter coat worth mentioning. I have to admit that I still find the “no rugs” rule hard. It’s so tempting to put rugs on when I am cold myself. Or think that they would be better off in a nice, cosy stable overnight. But it would be for my benefit, not because that’s what they would choose for themselves.

  3. Can they still puff up their hair under the light rain sheet?

    It is very hard not to do for them what you want for yourself. Like a hot water bottle for instance.

  4. Puffing up their hair would be reduced under a light rain sheet, but not as bad as under a heavy winter rug. I would prefer not to have to use them at all, because as you showed with your lovely photo’s on Nature’s rain coat, horses’s coats are designed to let the rain run off and keep the underside of their necks and bellies dry.

    The problem here in Ireland is that we get incessant rain. When horses are wet for a prolonged period of time, they do get cold and start to shiver and worse, they become prone to rain scald. I rescued a horse a couple of years ago and he had very bad rain scald. It took months to heal and a year later you could still see it in his coat. Native horses that grow long, shaggy coats can usually cope, but Minnie and Cassie are both very fine skinned, it wouldn’t take long for them to get rain scald.

    Your horses all look fine skinned too. I don’t know how much rain you get where you are, but if it’s anything like what we’re getting that would have them wet for days on end, they might need rain sheets too.

  5. Rose and George are very fine-skinned. Chloe is very shaggy, and her skin is always perfect. Bridget is getting shaggier than I anticipated. I’ve just been writing about George going into a tailspin with the cold weather, psychologically speaking. He is very worried, and I wonder if it might not be worth letting him wear a blanket to soothe his tormented little mind. If he felt warmer, he might not be so worried about eating.

    Our old Arab/QH mare used to get rain scald. And our TB was prone to it as well.

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