To blanket or not to blanket?

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To blanket or not to blanket?

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    10-17-2010, 11:10 PM
To blanket or not to blanket?

I've been debating whether or not to get my 6 month old a blanket this winter. Since winters here in colorado can be pretty bad depending on where you are. She does have a stall and a run at the moment but we might be moving her to a pasture with a shelter and a few other horses. So I was wondering what do you all do with your babies in the winter?
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    10-17-2010, 11:38 PM
Our winters don't get quite as cold down here usually but all my horses go without a blanket from my weanlings to my retirees and none of them has ever had an issue. So long as they have something to block the wind for them and get out of the rain if you have any, then I wouldn't worry about her.
    10-17-2010, 11:41 PM
Well until I got my current horse, last year, I never blanketed; but because she had a rough time getting overheated in the winter while I worked her, I body clipped, and blanketed her. That was last year, and I am hoping because she is used to being worked 'hard' on a regular basis, she won't get so overheated this winter. She's the only horse I have EVER blanketed in the winter (I was in AZ last year, but grew up in the frigid north, of MN).

I am in the Denver area, and from what I hear winter isn't 'hardcore' like where I came from in MN. I hope not, cause I really want to keep my girl in shape but don't want to have to blanket her all year either, hahaha!

I guess that doesn't really answer your question, other than where I grew up, and we NEVER blanketed.
    10-18-2010, 04:30 PM
I'm in Michigan and our winters can be brutal. I never blanketed my 7 year old Paint and I'm not planning on blanketing my 14 yo QH mare either. There is a shelter she can go into if she feels she needs to, plus there is another mare in the pasture with her that they can stand together for warmth if needed.

I worked at a horse rescue that blanketed all their horses once the temperatures reached 40. Those horses had a ton of skin issues going on under those blankets.

I'm not a horse expert by any means, but I think it's healthier for them not to be blanketed if they don't need to be. Now, if I had an older horse with issues, I might consider it.
    10-18-2010, 04:35 PM
I live way up north in Canada and we can get temperatures 30 below zero and we don't blanket. The horses are very fury, fat and healthy. The only one I will blanket is the 30 yr old mare because her hair is thinning out and she tends to shiver. If the horse has adequate shelter and is in good physical condition you shouldn't need a blanket unless you clip. Blankets actually flatten the hair, which makes it harder for a horse to hold it's heat since the folicles are surpressed. Just my opinion.
    10-18-2010, 04:43 PM
I've blanketed Starlite for the past two years - the first year I pretty much had to, we were in a bad boarding situation (I know that's a shocker) and she wasn't being fed (we obviously started feeding her ourselves), had no shelter and they had a really weird thing with bringing horses in - they'd bring them in for like a week at a time even if it was nice out and leave them out if it was nasty, it was odd but that's how I started blanketed. Last year we blanketed Starlite because we had the blanket and all the horses at the barn are blanketed so figured why not. Dream has SUCH a heavy winter coat we wanted to avoid that. A year later, now, not sure about Dream but I'm pretty sure my mom isn't blanketing her...but Starlite will NOT be blanketed. It's so nice to not have to worry about getting up to the barn if it's nice to get it off then back on at night, etc.

If you have your horses home and they have a run in and you can give them all the hay they can eat, I see no reason to blanket. If you are boarding, I guess there are two ways to look at it - 1. You don't have to worry if your horse can't get in the shelter, you know they will be warm, etc. and 2. If it rains ALOT and they can't get in the shelter, will they get wet under the blanket after so much rainfall? What if it gets warm and they start sweating, will anyone take their blanket off?

I find myself much more comfortable boarding and not blanketing my horse, it's less worry and I have enough worries boarding that subtracting one is really nice.

I have a question, I hope the OP doesn't mind - I don't want to hi-jack the thread but I'm wondering if you blanket a baby, will it mess with their winter coat in following winters or will they adapt as they normally would regardless of previous years blanketed?
    10-18-2010, 05:24 PM
Green Broke
Just as a question....wouldnt it be better to leave her unblanketed this year and next since she wont be doing any work so that she has a chance to grow a good solid winter coat twice before any blanketing takes place?

I am no blanket just asking as a general question....
    10-18-2010, 06:54 PM
Thanks for the advice and velvet and kmdstar those are both questions i'd like to know the answer to too.
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    10-18-2010, 07:03 PM
Thanks for the advice and velvet and kmdstar those are both questions i'd like to know the answer to too.
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    10-18-2010, 07:06 PM
Green Broke
Sorry....didnt realize kmdstar and I asked the same question...oops! Hopefully someone will come along and answer :)

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