One of the questions that I get asked throughout the summer is “What do the horses do all winter? Do they have a barn? Do they get blanketed?” This question is asked out of love and genuine curiosity for the horses that people develop affections for during their time with us at the ranch.
The horses from the ranch all get hauled up to a different ranch that belong to one of our good friends near La Jara, Colorado. It takes quite a few trailer loads to get them all there, but once they all settle in, they get to enjoy a wonderful winter vacation. Out of our canyon, where they spend their time, winter isn’t quite as harsh, as there isn’t as much snow and the temperatures aren’t as cold.
Before the snow, there is good grass in the pasture that holds the horses over before the ground is covered. Once winter weather rolls in, our friend feeds hay every day for the horses to eat. They can also lay down in it at night, and it helps keep them warm.
Horses naturally grow thick winter coats to help warm them when temperatures begin to drop. People who ride their horses in the winter will often times blanket them. This is so when they ride, the horse doesn’t sweat so much, because they would be even colder as the sweat begins to freeze post-riding.
Our ranch horses get 8 months off between the beginning of October to the end of May. Talk about the ultimate vacation time! Because of their extended time off during the winter, they have ample time to grow a good thick coat for the winter, and not have to worry about sweating while working. Herds of horses will also take care of themselves through a few different ways. When weather rolls in, snow or rain, they all turn their rear ends to the weather, so as to not batter their faces. They will also bunch together in clusters to preserve heat and make a wind break. Horses are creatures that, all over the world, face various elements, hot and cold, and have adapted to these different climates over time.
We love our horses, and it’s a peace of mind knowing that they are down the San Luis Valley. They get looked over daily, and get to live in such a way all winter that refreshes them mentally and physically, preparing them for another wonderful summer with us at Rainbow Trout Ranch.