With the deep chill we recently experienced, the horses at DuBois Center have certainly been enjoying their luxurious winter coats! This extra fur is super soft and GREAT for petting, but it also serves a crucial and practical function – it traps in heat to help protect against harsh winter weather. Horses are very social animals, and in order to maintain a healthy herd dynamic, our horses live outside year-round. We do bring them into the barn occasionally to groom them for rides and feed them.
When the temperatures drop and the winds pick up, we also open the barn as a wind break. While living outdoors does help keep our horses mentally healthy, they do require some extra care when the cold and snow prevent them from grazing on grass. Staff and volunteers provide a steady stream of hay, and supplemental grain when the weather gets exceptionally bad. Some of our horses have even been known to gain weight over the winter!