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Freezing wind can be very uncomfortable for a horse. In fact, cold wind can drain a horse's body heat more quickly than anything else. The second most uncomfortable condition for a horse is freezing rain. Cold rain will saturate the animal, causing his hairs to become pressed flat. As a result, he loses valuable insulation. Generally, cold temperatures without wind or rain aren't hard on horses that are used to them. Snow, while cold, is not particularly uncomfortable to a horse that is used to such elements. Snow will not penetrate the animal's coat. Instead, it will gather on top of it and provide an additional layer of insulation.
If you are aware of severe weather conditions approaching, protecting your horse is the best thing that you can do for him. If there is shelter available (stable, barn, shed, etc.) that is optimal. If these things are not available, however, use multiple garments to protect your horse. If you blanket your horse make sure you choose a blanket that is waterproof (like a Weatherbeeta blanket) so that the rain will not be able to make its way to the horse's skin.