JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Snorty is an 18 year old quarter horse. He’s a ranch horse as well as an English hunt horse, and his owner Kylie Hogue is preparing him, along with her other horses, for the bitter cold.
Snorty and his friends are getting ready for the cold snap at Strong River Equine, where Hogue teaches horseback riding. While horses generally just need a good blanket and to be kept out of the direct elements, Hogue says you can tell when your horse starts to get cold.
“Horses shiver just like we do,” Hogue says. “And another way is if you feel their ears and their ears are cold to the touch, especially on the inside, odds are they’re a little chilled.”
Other residents at Strong River, such as the rabbits and the chickens, will be getting extra protection before they go to sleep. Giving them a warmer situation is important for their small bodies.
“You can cover those cages, cover them real well and make wind breaks, they’ll lose their body temperature,” said Dr. Bill Sullivan of Oakdale Animal Hospital. “Chickens can be pretty vulnerable. They need to be out of the wind, they need to have some good cold weather protection.”
Cows are much like horses, Sullivan said. Give them somewhere to get out of the elements and they should be okay.
Every cold snap, we’re reminded to bring our house pets inside, but for some reason, some people still don’t, Sullivan said. Even if it’s a pack of hunting dogs you have to leave in a barn or garage, make sure you’re taking adequate steps to keep them warm.
“They’ll freeze in the garage, if you bring them into the garage they’ll need to have some type of real insulating blanket around them that they can cuddle up with and even get up underneath, and dogs will do that when it’s really cold,” he said.
Remember, he said, if you’re cold, they’re cold.