How do Mongolian horses deal with winter?
Mongolian horses have a secret weapon. They wear a winter coat. This coat is thick enough to withstand -30 celsius.
Each horse usually belongs to a herd. One stallion and several mares. In winter, during the coldest months, horses practice huddling. They stand very close to each other to conserve the energy. Usually the weakest stand inside the herd, while the bigger and stronger horses stand on the outside.
Usually herders dont need to prepare much hay. During the winter, Mongols go to winter pastures for livestock to graze. Winter pastures are typically on the mountain plateaus. They are protected by mountains from strong winds and snow storms. This gives them more protection in winter
Finally, as sad as it may be, the weakest horses die. If a horse wasn’t fattened during the summer, the horses have high chances of dying. Horses need to gain at least 20–30 percent in weight in order to survive the winter. If the summer was dry (thus not much grass) and winter too cold, there is a real possibility that the horses might not make it. So it depends on the herder to find better pastures or more hay for winter. Herd management is an important tool.