The two girls have actually gained a bit of weight each - Bell about 30kg and Steph about 10. They will be going into winter with good smooth covering. By official winter, I hope to get about 10 more onto Bell and hopefully 5-6 onto Steph. It isn't that Steph doesn't get as much as Bell or anything, it is just that her body is so thrifty it only uses what it needs and passes out the rest.
I let them grow their winter coats well before I start rugging them regularly, so they have a bit more warmth. Usually it is not too cold, even at night, till late May/June. If the temperatures drop I will put them on if they need them - I have even been know to go out at midnight because the temperatures dropped more than I estimated.
I will have to get Steph a new rug this year. Last two years I had sewn an acrylic blanket into a hessian light rug, but after the weather last summer, I am expecting it to be much colder this year. We hardly had any hot weather this past summer.
In winter when they have their meals, I add warm water to it. I think it is especially important for older mares. So much of them has gone into their babies, that sometimes the warming isn't as good as it should be. They seem to love the warm food, anyhow, and it is no extra bother.
During the time I will be off with my operation and recovery my grandsons will continue to care for the mares, with supervision by my partner in Bell.
We could have done with a bit more rain here for getting the last strands of grass going into winter, but it doesn't seem to be going to happen.