07-10-2012, 10:26 AM
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This might get a bit lengthy. Blanketing is a personal choice that everyone makes on their own observations of their horse’s coat growth and what kind of riding they do in the winter. I have a quarter paint and a Belgian that are both left naked in the winter. They are on an acre of pasture full of trees bushes and a run in shed if they need. I’ve seen more horses than I care to count get tangled up in their blankets or get stuck on things when they’re blanketed and on turn out 24/7. If I see them shivering then I’ll throw a sheet on them for a day, two at most but both grow such amazingly thick coats I’ve only had to blanket my QP once. I have blankets of all fill variations for them if they need them but they never do. In the winter I mainly trail ride and I almost always ride bareback so it’s nice to have a fuzzy horse for some extra warmth. If you do blanket just be sure to check to make sure they’re not sweating underneath it if you leave it on them all the time. I know people who don’t blanket because it only covers about a third of the horse, it leaves the stomach neck head and legs vulnerable to the cold and that because the blanket keeps the core of the body warm the horse won’t grow a coat to accommodate the rest of the body that isn’t covered and all the added extras you can get to keep the head and legs covered make a horse look awkward and uncomfortable. I’m a keep a horse as close to its natural habitat as possible and intervene when needed kind of owner so if I can keep them healthy without human aids that’s what I aim for. Every horse is different so watch her coat growth and blanket if she needs it.