Yesterday was one of those days when the temperatures fell from the upper 20sF into the upper teens by the end of the day. That wasn't so bad, except that the wind was steadily blowing at 25-30 mph with gusts to 45mph. That made things pretty nippy. Dawn, despite her very heavy turnout blanket with the insulated neck (only the best for the "fragile flower", as we sometimes call her) was ready to give up and come in by 8:30 a.m. after being out for about 2 hours. Pie and the others stayed out until about 11 a.m. We've had much colder weather than this, often for a week or more at a time, and this cold snap is supposed to be easing up by tomorrow afternoon, so I'm grateful for that.
This morning things were a bit better than expected - the temperatures was about 5F with a wind chill of about -10 - they had expected -20. At those temperatures, Dawn wouldn't have been comfortable even for a short time, so I gave her a 10-minute hand walk in the aisle of the barn. She didn't seem too upset about not going out - I always let her stick her head out the barn door so she can see for herself what things are like. One of the downsides with our facility is that when the horses are in the barn due to the weather - our dry lots and pastures have no shelter and they're very exposed to the wind - or ice, there's no indoor to turn them out in, so hand-walking's your only option. Pie was able to go out for a few minutes and probably would have stayed out a bit longer but I wanted to head home after cleaning my stalls. I'll turn him out at noon for a bit if things warm up. Depending on how things are, Dawn might go out for a minute then or else get another hand walk.
(I added to the overview post on equine digestion (see sidebar) a link to this article, which has beautiful illustrations of the equine digestive system and how the various organs are placed relative to one another.)