The opinions expressed in previous entries may or may not express the current opinion of the author.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nature's Raincoats

This morning, as I lay in bed in the dark listening to the rain, I felt sorry for the horses, as they are still out in the pasture which has no shelter. We can't afford to put up another shelter right now, and so I have a choice of putting them in the muddy pasture with shelter, or the dry pasture without one.

When I went out to feed them breakfast, the depth of water in one of the buckets let me know that it had been raining for some time. But I was relieved to find the horses placidly grazing, and as they approached I once more observed how well their coats are designed to keep them warm in the rain.

The hair lies in such a way that the water runs backwards rather than downwards, and their undersides and chests stay dry.

Chloe's raincoat

Bridget's raincoat

George's raincoat

Rose's raincoat

I returned later with a bale of hay, after a couple more hours of heavy rain, and found the horses still staying pretty dry.

After another two hours of heavy rain
I used to put a warm rug on our skinny old mare in the winter, and also on our thoroughbred, who did not keep weight on well. However, I'm hearing (although I still have to fully understand why) that it is better for the horse to regulate its own temperature.

The only times I've seen our horses shivering have been on days when wet snow is falling, which piles up on their backs and then melts down into their coat. Also, although they're staying dry now, if the rain were coming down hard at an angle and there was a chilling wind, I think they might end up getting too cold. So if I plan to sometimes keep them over the winter in the no-shelter field, I might resort to using waterproof sheets.

1 comment:

  1. I love the photos. My two have very woolly raincoats and often choose to take their rest away from the trees (and the stables) standing in the rain. I can't understand them!