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Blanketing Poll

This is a discussion on Blanketing Poll within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Keep the horse blanket on when it's 25 mph cold wind blows

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    12-09-2013, 11:22 PM
  #21
Yearling
I don't blanket my guy, he maintains a good weight and gets a bit chunky in winter, he also gets a nice thick winter coat on him. I think blankets are necessary for some depending on age and breed though. I do have a blanket I keep in my basement encase the ice age hits lol I doubt he will ever need it, but having it makes me feel better just encase we ever go from nice mild weather to subzero weather overnight haha
     
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    12-10-2013, 04:59 AM
  #22
Weanling
I don't blanket my horse, he's fine with his hair.

Where I live there is no snow in winter (I'm not even trying to talk about degrees, I don't understand if you guys talk about celsius or fahrenheit or both) but I know that in mountain areas, with deep snow and cold wind, the horses are turned free all winter without blankets and without problems.
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    12-10-2013, 08:32 AM
  #23
Yearling
I do not blanket my horses as I do not want to hinder their natural ability to grow a coat. This year is the first year I am even considering blanketing a horse, and I'm trying to wait it out as long as possible. A few years ago our QH would barely grow a coat, and well, we let him tough it out. Every year after, his coat got better and better. I think if we would've blanketed him that year, we would've totally trashed his winter coat. As for the horse this year, she grew a nice coat, but she is still cold. I found her shivering one morning, so soon she is getting her own blanket (bye bye savings!). It depends on the horse for me, and I really try to lean towards no blanket
     
    12-17-2013, 01:21 PM
  #24
Weanling
My horse is unclipped, on full turnout. He is scared of his run in for unknown reasons and will not use it. His field is on a hill (there are flat spots for him near the bottom) and its the windiest place on the property. He gets a waterproof medium weight blanket during freezing rain but that's about it.
     
    12-25-2013, 09:37 PM
  #25
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by goneriding    
Do they have shelter? Are they healthy? Do they have hay and water? I am not saying blankets should never be used, there are exceptions. But in general, I think blanketing can do more harm than good.
Exactly.

There are exceptions to every rule, but I don't blanket any of my horses. If they were thin, or didn't have a half decent coat due to age, I might worry and evaluate the best blanket for them. The only times I have used a blanket are on my filly who was born in a February snow storm, for the first week of her life. Then my gelding after giving him a bath for a show.

There is no reason to fault you for using a blanket, but if you are using one, use the right one. But I wouldn't use one for a average, healthy animal. My horses have seen their share of temps below zero, but as long as they are dry and have food they are happy campers. If it is wet and cold, they'll spend a good bit of it in their shelters. If they don't get that, I'd bring them in the arena to dry off. Horses are tough cookies if they adorn what nature has given them.
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    12-25-2013, 09:46 PM
  #26
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagaitin    
6 below zero tonight

Honestly, six below isn't bad. We had four days of twenty below last week and my horses were perfectly fine with it. They weren't shivering or moving slower, they were being their normal selves and acted just fine.
IMO I don't blanket. I'm not a huge fan - but I will sometimes.
Like when I show my horses I will blanket them.
With my white horse especially I blanket him when I haul, because the aluminum rubs on on him and he turns a silvery greyish ugly color that doesn't come out!!
     
    12-25-2013, 10:03 PM
  #27
Green Broke
I think a large part of a horses "freshness" when it's cold is more than spunk, they simply enjoy the weather. I know when I get cold I get pretty lethargic :P
     
    12-25-2013, 10:18 PM
  #28
Showing
Granted, we don't have winters that are as bitter down here as some other folks deal with but it's not unheard of for us to have overnight lows well below zero. Where we get in trouble is with the wind chill. Since the wind almost always blows here, it's the wind chills that get you.

Now, having said that, I don't even own a blanket. All my horses have 24/7 access to hay and a place to get out of the wind and the worst of the elements. None of them have ever seemed any worse for wear.
     
    12-30-2013, 11:20 AM
  #29
Started
None of ours are blanketed.

In the winter it's usually 40s in the day and below freezing at night. Ours grow nice coats.

However, we have a run-in barn, and the two lowest on the pecking order don't always get in, so we bought a turnout sheet for each to put on when we know it's going to snow, sleet, or be a really cold rain. They have no fill, but they're waterproof and windproof. They have helped so much because now we don't have to go outside and towel dry freezing horses!
     
    12-30-2013, 11:51 AM
  #30
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagaitin    
Not sure why a medium weight would not work for a horse with a coat, butů I do have much to learn.
This is one of the biggest misunderstandings when it comes to blanketing.

For a human, if you are a little bit cold, you just put on a little jacket. So they think if a horse is just a little bit cold, that they only need a little bit of a blanket. WRONG.

You have to understand how a horse keeps themselves warm. When the temp is around 40 to 50*F, the horse is neutral. They don't have to exert extra energy to stay warm, or to cool themselves. When the temp drops lower then that, they "puff" up their hair coat to create air pockets around their body. The colder it gets, the puffier they will look.

As long as they are in good health, are DRY, and have access to windbreak, most horses are just fine in any temperature.

I live in North Dakota. Just last week, the "feels like" temperature with the air temp and wind chill was -50 below zero. Yesterday, the warmest it got all day was 1*F. I don't even own a blanket. But my horses are healthy and they have access to food/water 24/7 and access to windbreak. They live outside all the time. They are fine.

Anyway, getting back to the fact that you are putting a medium weight blanket on your horse ...... When you put that blanket on their back, you are SQUASHING down all their hair. They can no longer "puff up" their hair to make air pockets. With below zero temps, I wouldn't think that medium weight blanket would be enough. And now you've just done more harm than good, because you've taken away his natural ability to regulate his own body temp by squashing all his hair down with the wrong weight blanket.

I also see horse owners who have WET and shivering cold horses and what do they do? Throw a blanket on without drying the horse off first. Again, does more harm than good if you don't dry your horse off before blanketing them.

And another point that horse owners often get wrong. They think that a horse needs to be warm and TOASTY under their blanket. WRONG. If you put your hand under your horse's blanket, it should be neither warm nor cold. It should be neutral. If it is too warm, your horse will start sweating, and then we have the same issue of a WET horse. What happens if you get sweaty under your clothes while out in the cold? You start to get chilled. Same with the horse.

I have no problem if a person chooses to blanket their unclipped horse. But do your research FIRST so you don't end up inadvertently harming your horse.
     

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