Should a Pony have shelter from the snow/wind?

(15 Posts)
AngelWreakinHavoc Wed 13-Feb-13 17:21:46

I posted this in chat but maybe should have posted here so I apologise for having 2 threads.

I dont want to sound stupid but I genuinly do not know!

We live down a track and share said track/drive with an engineering company which is behind us, until last week I did not know that the engineering place had a Pony, I had heard a few horse noises but didnt know where they were coming from (I have only lived here since sept).

Anyway since last week they have been putting the Pony out on the drive (it is obviously cutting the grass down the side). The first day it was out my ds and I went and said hello and it has been out every day since, getting further along each day.

Today it is out again and it is snowing really heavy here, I can see it from my window and it has about an inch of snow on its back, I feel really sorry for it!

I must say that it does not look mis treated and is not skinny or anything but I really do not know if it should have some shelter?

My dp thinks I'm being daft and says they are used to alsorts of weather but still it makes me feel sad.

Pixel Wed 13-Feb-13 17:30:17

If the snow has not melted on his back it means he has a really good coat and is well-insulated so don't worry about that too much. Having said that, they should have some kind of windbreak to get behind, they hate the wind and rain.

Agree with Pixel if he has snow on his back that is oddly a good sign. smile. Presumably he has access to water? If its snowing heavily they really should put some hay out as well.

50BalesOfHay Thu 14-Feb-13 10:26:03

He should also really have equine company

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Thu 14-Feb-13 11:47:56

Have you ever been up a welsh mountain or to the Shetland Islands? grin he will be fine.

Mirage Thu 14-Feb-13 13:26:59

My mum pointed out to me that years ago,she never saw a horse or pony with a rug.When I had mine in the 1970's I don't remember having any rugs.I do rug ours now if it is wet/snowy,but purely for convenience,because they are ridden daily and you can't saddle up a wet pony.

bonzo77 Thu 14-Feb-13 13:33:13

Depends on the pony, but usually fine. The thoroughbreds I ride have no shelter apart from their rugs, which they only need because they have thin coats.

PoshPenny Thu 14-Feb-13 21:56:47

Some are tougher than others, if it had snow on its back, then clearly its fur was doing a very good insulation job. They have a good tendency to find natural shelter, they put their backsides into the wind usually. This one sounds absolutely fine the way you have described it. To be honest they are more likely to use a shelter in the summer to get away from the flies in the shade than they are to use it when it is windy/raining/snowing.

Depends really. My fat hairy pony was standing in his field sweating when it 2C - no shelter, no rug. He is just naturally well-insulated!

Loshad Thu 14-Feb-13 22:18:30

Any animal should have access to shelter from the wind and rain (and sun), especially if out 24/7.
It is one of the problems of modern husbandry that folk keep horses/ponies in electric fence enclosures with no shelter whatsoever, under natural conditions they would be able to access shelter if they chose to do so.
Not good your pony had almost certainly just had a spin round the field if he was really sweating at 2C

I don't think i'd be massively panicking about it. I think it really depends on the pony ie what breed, age ,general health. I had someone complain about our Shetland standing out in the rain and it was all i could do not to laugh out loud. I like ours to have the option available even more so in the summer. But i do agree that he/she should have equine friends for company.

"Not good your pony had almost certainly just had a spin round the field if he was really sweating at 2C"

No, he hadn't... I saw it a few times. He would still be sweaty after coming in the yard and standing around for an hour!

It did stop though when he moved fields, I think there was extra-calorific grass in there and he was putting on weight (in December!)

Oh, and I have never, ever, seen him shiver.

SlowlorisIncognito Sun 24-Feb-13 13:47:41

He may well be fine, but legally he really should have some shelter from the elements. Ideally (unless it's a stallion, and even then) it should also have some equine company. defra guidance on keeping equines which is fairly easy to understand, and are really considered (legally) the minimum requirements for keeping equines in this country. If you feel you have legitimate welfare concerns you should report it to your local BHS welfare officer which can be found here

I agree ponies on Dartmoor/Shetland etc are usually fine, but they are able to take advantage of natural shelter more easily than this pony.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sun 24-Feb-13 20:03:53

Those are guidelines. Every situation is different. This pony is turned out during the day to graze the drive. It's hardly being neglected!
Not all equines like company. I know several who happily live alone and would fight with any others introduced to their company.
As for those guidelines, on one hand they say a horse should live as naturally as possible, and on the other, they give details about stabling requirements. Stabling is THE most unnatural thing you can do to a herd based prey animal.

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