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Blanket question

This is a discussion on Blanket question within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    11-27-2010, 08:02 PM
Most horses will do just fine without a blanket. We don't get uber cold winters here but there are times that it reaches the negatives before the wind chill; I have never blanketed any of my horses and they all do fine. One of the most important things you can do for your horse in the winter time is to make sure he has constant access to forage. A decent quality grass hay would work fine for that as it will keep his guts working and that helps to keep him warmer.
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    11-27-2010, 11:29 PM
You either have to go all in, or don't blanket at all. A too light blanket will only serve to squash the hair underneath and lower the insulating power of the horse's coat.

With an unblanketed horse, you must provide three things. 24/7 access to fresh drinking water, a waterproof/windproof shelter big enough for ALL the horses and 24/7 forage. Grains are un-necessary as horses heat themselves through fermentation of the forage in their gut. If a horse needs a weight booster in the winter and you have no option to bring him inside at night and blanket him during the day, feed beet pulp or rice bran.

With a blanketed horse, you must be sure the horse has adequate blanketing to make up for not having a coat. On my horse who is shaved, this means when it gets below 0F he needs two heavy fill blankets (about 500-550g fill total) and a hood. With a blanketed horse out during the day shelter is not needed, but it is nice and they need to be fed 1-2 times during the day, access to water is also nice, but if they are only out for a few hours they can drink when they are inside. With a horse out 24/7 they still need a shelter, water and hay.

Good luck!

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