• Sep 17, 2019
With approach of fall and winter many horse owners think of whether to wrap up a horse in a body cloth? Whether she freezes? Whether the body cloth for a horse is necessary to ? Let's try to understand.
 a horse in a photo body cloth
On a photo: a body cloth for a horse

Thermal control at horses

Thermal control is a mechanism of maintenance of constancy of temperature of an organism. Each of living beings (and horses not an exception) for normal activity needs a certain body temperature. If it goes down or raises, chemical reactions at the level of cages change. And evolution in every possible way promoted that animals learned to maintain independently the necessary temperature in any weather.

Everyone adapted with
as could. Horses tried and developed the whole 5 mechanisms of thermoregulation.
  1. Quite thick skin.
  2. Wool which twice a year changes and helps to adapt to different seasons. Besides, strands of wood can nestle or puff up, so, the horse can regulate thickness of an air bed which, as we know, plays an important role in thermal control. And during a rain or snow of a strand of wood can stick together, forming kind of "armor" on which water flows down down, and the underfur does not get wet. But, of course, during a heavy rain the horse will get wet.
  3. Fatty layer. In the nature of a horse by winter gain weight, and by spring grow thin.
  4. Blood vessels can be narrowed or extend. During narrowing of vessels of heatloss decrease, at their expansion – increase.
  5. Sweat glands which produce moisture at high temperatures. This moisture, evaporating, cools a horse.
Besides if the horse freezes, it begins to move more actively to be warmed thanks to work of muscles, or if there is no such opportunity, begins to shiver.

All these mechanisms allowed horses to occupy almost all climatic zones. And in many of them there are wild herds which learned to survive without any help from the person, and precisely without body cloths.

Violations of thermal control at domestic horses

When people undertook care of horses, they in many respects changed ability of wards to adapt to the changing conditions. The horse can be kept almost round the clock in the heated stable , shave or limit in number of a forage. And in this case mechanisms of thermal control can not be started.
 the head of a horse of a photo
In the nature of a horse have no colds. But present that the animal lives in the warm room, works in the covered arena where temperature is far from street too, and then the idea to walk on it on the winter forest comes to the owner to mind. Certainly, the horse not accustomed to such extreme temperature differences and not having opportunity to cope with them, can quite get sick.

the Body cloth for a horse: benefit or evil?

For a horse with normal thermal control a body cloth can become considerable test.
the Body cloth does not allow a horse puff up strands of wood that heat remained. But, besides, barefaced parts of a body remain vulnerable for low temperatures. Thermal control works or in all body, or anywhere.
Besides, a body cloth can become both the overheating reason, and overcoolings. If the horse moves, then muscles develop heat to which the body cloth prevents to go to the atmosphere — and, please, overheating. But if the body cloth inconvenient, constraining movements, a horse can freeze, on the contrary, because of a lack of the movement.
Making the decision on whether the body cloth is necessary to your horse, you proceed from of its interests , be not guided by yourself. If to you it is cold — not necessarily cold to a horse.
Certainly if at a horse it is broken thermal controls or her shaved, then without body cloth in the winter it will not be able to walk. But if your pet leads the life close to natural, and on walking there are shelters from bad weather probably the body cloth is not so necessary for it. Even the Arab horses at competent walking, a diet and without restriction of the movement are capable to worry our severe winter without "clothes".

How to help a horse to be warmed in the winter without body cloth?

  1. do not prevent a horse to grow dense wool and to save up a quantity of subcutaneous fat. Of course, if you in the middle of January decided to transfer an animal from the warm stable to the round-the-clock walking, nothing good from this will leave.
  2. Provide continuous access to hay, not for nothing say that the horse is heated thanks to what eats.
  3. Access to water is also extremely important. It is desirable to establish on walking of a drinking bowl with heating or to often give to drink to horses from buckets.
  4. do not subject a horse to an excess stress.

Why water is more important than a body cloth for a horse?

Many know that there is a concept "holodovy gripes". It arose because after frosts of colic happen more often. Researches were conducted, and as a result it became clear that such gripes not are connected with overcooling, and with a lack of water.
When water in habitual sources (a drinking bowl or a stream) freezes, the horse drinks insufficiently, and without water of a wall of intestines produce not enough slime to advance a food lump (a grass or the semi-digested hay, grain). Gripes become result.
Consider
that if in the summer the horse eats the grass containing about 70% of moisture, then in the winter with it well most often only to hay where the share of moisture makes up to 20%.
Thus, it is possible to draw a conclusion that if the horse is healthy and got used to live in the conditions which are brought closer to natural, it quite can do without body cloth. But, certainly, each case is individual, and the decision to accept to you.

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