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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Bitter temps rougher on horse trainers and handlers than horses, Irish Run Farms' owner says

Owner Daniela West said the key is to keep horses fed and watered well so their metabolism keeps working through the cold.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowans across the board welcomed this week's steady hold on above-freezing temperatures following the bitter cold of last week.

According to one horse stable owner, those bitterly cold temps were rougher on horse handlers and trainers than the horses themselves. 

Some of the horses have much thinner coats, like thoroughbreds, and are donned with heavy jackets to stay warm during the winter. 

But other horses don't have that problem at all.

"They don't mind it at all, they were playing and rolling in the snow," said Daniela West, owner of Irish Run Farms near Water Works Park. "The heat is actually a lot harder on horses than cold so even though we worry about them and we put blankets on them and we do make sure that they have food and water at all times, they fare pretty well in the cold weather."

Horses who are clipped may be brought inside the barn during extra cold nights, according to West. 

She said the key is to keep the horses fed and watered well so their metabolism keeps working. The horses also gather together to stay warm.

"As long as horses have food and water and if they have a shelter to get under they do very well. As long as they have food to keep eating and metabolize and constantly keep going their bodies stay pretty warm so they do well," West said.  

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