When to take blankets off?

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When to take blankets off?

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  • What to do if a horse does not grow a winter coat and shivers
  • At what temp can i replace my horses winter blanket with a sheet

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    02-01-2011, 10:24 PM
When to take blankets off?

It's the first year we blanketed our horses all winter. I don't know what is the right time to take their blankets off. I don't want it to be really cold one day, because my horse is a chincoteague pony and from being on the cold island she can grow her winter coat in a matter of a day instead of weeks, and her winter coat to puff out in the middle of showing in april. When is the right time to take their blankets off completly?
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    02-01-2011, 10:33 PM
How cold does it get there? Cause really we shouldnt blanket horses unless there shivering constantly,sick,under weight... if you blanket them to soon their hair wont grow and also when there cold there hair stands up to keep the heat in and when the blanket is on they can't do that
    02-01-2011, 10:53 PM
Green Broke
^^ Agreed. If your horse doesn't need a blanket they shouldn't have one.
I actually don't put blankets on my horses until it gets below minus 20 (canada terms lol) and only if they are shivering.
Right now my Arab is the only one of my girls that needs one. My Fjord mare can stand out in minus 35 and her tail doesn't even shiver so I don't bother putting one on her.

It's also a good idea (though I know it's an incredible pain) to check the weather charts regularly & only put the blanket on when the temperatures are going to dip down & then take it off again so that the hair can still stand up naturally.
    02-01-2011, 11:12 PM
My gelding was skinny at the beginning of winter, which is why I blanketed him, although I would have rather not. He is now at an adequate weight but doesn't have the winter coat he needs, so I have to keep him blanketed more often than I'd like. I take the blanket off on sunny days, because he will literally start sweating when the sun is beaming down on him and getting "soaked up" in the blanket, even if it's cold out. If you stick your hand under your horse's blanket down by their chest or up on their shoulders, you can feel their temperature under the blanket and see if they are too warm, or if they're "just right".
    02-01-2011, 11:27 PM
How cold does it get where you are?
    02-01-2011, 11:31 PM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by xXEventerXx    
how cold does it get there? Cause really we shouldnt blanket horses unless there shivering constantly,sick,under weight... if you blanket them to soon their hair wont grow and also when there cold there hair stands up to keep the heat in and when the blanket is on they can't do that
This is all mostly true, but it's really not going to hurt the horse if he or she is appropriately blanketed (so not sweaty, ever, etc) and they perfectly healthy. There is nothing wrong with blanketing, as long as you do it properly, ie heavyweight blanket when it's REALLY cold, medium when it's sorta cold, light weight when it's not too bad and doubling up if it's extremely extremely cold.
Also, the blanket doesn't stop the hair from growing, it just slicks it down and makes it look less long. It's the amount of light the horse receives during the winter that determine how much winter coat grows in. So, a horse in natural light, even blanketed, will grow a full winter coat under the blanket, the hair will just be laid down and appear short. If that same horse is under lights all winter, he or she may not grow any extra coat at all if it gets a full 12 hours of light a day.

And, the thing with the hair laying down is why you want to blanket appropriately. You are making up for their hair laying down by blanketing them, so it's a terrible idea to put a lightweight, no fill, blanket on a horse in thirty degree (F) weather because you've just laid down the hair and not added any warmth. But a medium weight blanket would be just fine to put on in thirty degree weather since the blanket has enough fill to replace the lost hair mass.

Hopefully that all makes sense. :)

To the OP: When it's above 45 degrees (F) and sunny while being about 35 at night, I take my mare's blanket off. But, as soon as it drops below that, or it gets rainy/windy, her blanket goes right back on.
Once the real spring hits and she starts shedding, I generally take her blanket off and leave it off. However, I will still put it on if the temperature drops below 40 or if it starts raining cold rain.
Hopefully that helps answer your question. :)
    02-01-2011, 11:38 PM
Green Broke
Personaly my young pony was rugged up to the eyeballs at the slightest hint of a drop in temperature. This was because no way on earth was I sending a freshly clipped horse for breaking, he is sharp enough as it is, I needed the fine coat on him for the winter shows so I preserved his summer coat. It was a choice between clipping or preserving!
It did mean that he has had to be heavily rugged all winter though and will continue to be until summer.

Pride and harvey my 2 old boys were rugged up when it realy started to get cold, they grew massive coats but as they are very old I rugged them too. They will e rugged untill the weather gets to be in doubloe positive numers!
    02-01-2011, 11:40 PM
My Tb has like barely any hair, but in the winter I ONLY blanket him when it gets below -30 or if he has been shivering over half an hour
    02-02-2011, 11:29 PM
TB's actually develop thicker skin in winter, hence the coat doesn't have to grow as thick as other breeds.
    02-02-2011, 11:35 PM
I don't believe TB develop thicker ''skin" in the winter, either they have thick or thin skin they don't develop it.

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