Blanketing pregnant mares?

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Blanketing pregnant mares?

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    03-31-2012, 08:17 PM
Blanketing pregnant mares?

My two mares are both due in about 4-6ish weeks. They are used to being blanketed with at least a light weight sheet when they are turned out which is most of the time. It isn't super cold here now...I don't think it goes below about 30F at night....but it rains most of the Like for a week without stopping. Soooo...I am worried as foaling gets closer is it better to not blanket at all so the foal can't get caught up in the straps? Should I start weaning them off the blankets now or just stop blanketing them altogether now or closer? Thoughts? Thanks!

PS..they will be foaling in stalls....but I often leave the blankets on in the stall too if it is still raining.
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    03-31-2012, 08:19 PM
I didn't know they made maternity blankets?
    03-31-2012, 08:42 PM
Started winter I am going to let my broodmares grow their coats and not blanket them

In the meantime I am guessing it will be best to stop blanketing them now slowly so they aren't in for a shock of not being blanketed at all once the foal arrives?
    03-31-2012, 09:26 PM
All three of my show heifers...I mean broodmares, are wearing blankets. I planned ahead for "maternity" sizes and bought a size larger than they normally wear to account for more roundness. They have several adjustment points though.

I have to adjust the belly band every couple of days for the one mare, but the others haven't been too bad. It has elastic, so there is some give.

When they start showing serious signs I will take them off, but for now I just took the back leg straps off. The belly band holds it in place so they aren't going to shift much. This way I figured if a foal came unexpectedly, it wouldn't get tangled in the leg strap. If how easy they break now is any indication of what might happen, I'm sure they would snap pretty fast for a foal, but I'm not taking the chance.
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    03-31-2012, 10:08 PM
Thanks! And do you leave them on after the foal arrives or is there to great a risk of the foal getting tangled while nursing,etc. Or is it usually fine?
    03-31-2012, 11:01 PM
A horse will grow a coat whether blanketed or not. It's daylight that decides growth.
    04-01-2012, 11:43 AM
Lol...I know :) I just talking about letting them get all fluffed up which they don't do well if the blanket is consistently laying the coat down nice making it appear shorter. And since some are partially clipped this year which I am also not planning for them next year ;)

My main question/purpose of this thread was to see who continues to blanket the dam after the foal comes and is it safe.
    04-01-2012, 12:48 PM
As long as the weather here is crazy, I will be taking them off and putting them on quite a bit. Today's high is 78 degrees, but tonight will be 40 and Monday night will be low 30's.

With the rear leg straps removed, there is nothing for a foal to get tangled in. The belly band is also snug enough that it won't cause an issue either. Plus it is Velcro, not metal buckle or plastic snap, so it will come undone.

I would definitely not use a regular 2in nylong leg stap & belly strap type blanket on a mare that is near foaling or has a foal at her side. I also wouldn't intentionally blanket a mare that is about to foal.

As for the hair growing, I partially disagree. It is reduced daylight that makes them grow a coat, but if you keep them warm enough, they won't grow a long coat.
I have horses that live in a heated barn with more than enough light all night who grow more hair than one of my show geldings who lives out 24/7 for his health. Although sometimes I blame it on Barney's first year of life being in Canada, and think that ND's just not cold for him yet!

Blanketing will also help them shed faster. I only have 1 of my 11 head who isn't slicked off yet.

I am against blanketing for those who don't have someone to check on the horses at least twice a day, more during large temperature fluctuations. You also need to have enough blankets so that if one gets torn a spare is available (I only have one blanket destroyer. It's a personal challenge for him to try to unbuckle or pull it off)

The other mistake people make is not buying a heavy enough blanket or not using a layering system. When my family has to help me do chores, they absolutely hate how complicated my system is. For all different seasons, I have at least 8 different blankets per horse, ranging from Lycra sheet to 500g fill heavy winter. Plus different neck rugs and hoods. Each type of blanket has a different color so I can just list the layers by color instead of having to describe the style or fill level. I can put 3-4 blankets on and not have anyone sweat even if they are galloping back and forth in the pasture. They are comfortable and this is a benefit of layering.

I'm sure not many people would need as complicated a system as I have. I do though because it can be -20 or much lower, not including windchill factor, and the horses still need to go out for at least a few hours. Leaving a 50 degree barn for -20 is a huge change in temperature and they need protection whether they have a winter coat or not.

Sorry for rambling on and getting a little off topic.
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    04-01-2012, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the info CCH. Unfortunately both of my mares have normal crossed double buckle belly bands which is what was making me nervous. I guess I'll wait a couple more weeks and hope it warms up some so they don't need them anyways :/
    04-02-2012, 11:38 AM
Pregnant mares should be keep "naked" halter, no blanket!

Super Nova

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