When to take blankets off? - Page 2

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When to take blankets off?

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  • What temp in spring does it need to be to take off horses blankets?
  • Should I take my horse's turn out blanket off during the day even if its below freezing?

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    02-03-2011, 12:36 AM
Equus magazine disagrees with you. I'll try and find the article and repost.
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    02-03-2011, 01:40 AM
Originally Posted by Wallaby    
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. :)
Excellent advice!
    02-03-2011, 03:51 AM
My horses are in blankets most of winter but they are outside 24/7

I mainly use synthetics and each horse has a range of rugs based on the over night/daytime lows...

IN late autumn - rainsheet usually, then I move to the 100gram or jute, then they go to the 220 or even 300gram if clipped... and then reverse out...

I usually leave the covered till not only the temperature is in the double figures consistantly but also when the rain stops...

I had to put my 100 gram covers (Equivalent of a jute lined canvas) on in the middle of summer twic last week as we had some freak cyclones...

As a rule - if they sweat they are WAY too hot...

This is in NZ and is pretty standard... have a look around and see what everyone else does... Im lucky as although I don't live where my horse does the lady who owns the rpoperty will change my horse with hers if the weather suddenly clear up etc
    02-03-2011, 04:28 PM
I start out in september-ish with a rainsheet, and then when the nights start getting cold and the snow comes i`ll switch to his winter blanket until about april when things start to warm up I will go back to a rainsheet until june-ish. It really depends on your area, and what time of the year it starts getting really cold or really warm, or how cold your winters are.
    02-03-2011, 10:33 PM
This is the first winter that my daughter's paint has been in a stall instead of a pasture and he lost a lot of weight. We waited until the winter coat really grew in, then we put a medium weight blanket on him. He needed something to help maintain his weight, because no amount of senior food and hay/alfalfa combo was adding the weight. We've had an on again/off again winter, some nights dipping down into the teens, while the days can easily be in the 40's. I was worried about him getting too warm, but where he's kept there is still quite a breeze coming off of the mountains. I'll probably take his blanket off when the ground dries up enough for him to go back into the pasture during the day, by that time the weather should be more consistent.
    02-04-2011, 01:14 AM
It's a nice thought that horses shouldn't need blankets since wild ones don't. However, we keep horses in places where wild herds wouldn't naturally migrate. For instance, we have wild horses in Oregon, but they live in the dry areas. Horses deal much better with cold than they do with wet. Where I live people have to blanket their horses in the winter or at least bring them inside to dry out their coats at night. Otherwise the horses get terrible rain rot. Even horses that have shelters in their pastures but don't stay under them enough can suffer. I met a lady who had a horse with a shelter but she didn't blanket and the horse preferred to be out of the shelter. The horse got rain rot so bad the skin sloughed off of her entire back and she had a huge open area for many months. It had to be treated for a year and she will never be rideable again.
    02-05-2011, 03:11 AM
Green Broke
My horse is clipped so I have a blanket on her unless it's warm enough where she doesn't need one. My husband and I check the weather a few hours before we leave the barn to know what it will be like later on.
    02-06-2011, 04:45 PM
I'm going to disagree with most of you, and say that you can't really judge what blanket to use by temp. My mare is a tb/qh/welsh/belgian, and she pretty much has a fully developed pony winter coat (you know, the insanely thick and adorable, yet sooo annoying ones) by October. It's usually in the 60s during the day in October where I live. So she got a low trace clip so she wouldn't over heat when I rode her. Now, you can't even tell she was clipped she's so hairy. But anyway, once it gets below 40 at night, she starts getting blanketed. I show in the winter, so a huge winter coat definitely doesn't help earn points with the judges. Once its consistently below 38 or so, she gets a midweight. We've had a pretty cold winter this year- day temps between 15 and 30, night temps between 5 (windchill) and 30 depending on the day temp. So she's had her super-heavy heavy weight on all winter.

I'd bring her in at the warmest point of the day when it was about 30, and she would be obviously shivering and cold under her blanket. She's only 7, super healthy, and very fat (that's just the way she's built, and she's on almost no grain and unfortunately, since she's field kept, almost 24/7 hay) There is absolutely no reason she should be that cold, but she is. We have a 14 year old gelding who wears a midweight all winter and doesn't have a super thick coat, and the cold has never bothered him.

So my point in writing that whole novel is that blanketing really shouldn't be judged by temperature IMO. A lot of you don't even blanket your horses in the winter, and I know if I didn't blanket my mare she would pretty much freeze to death and be incredibly uncomfortable all winter. You also can't really judge when to take blankets off, because it really does just depend.

** Please don't bash me for saying that my horse needs to be blanketed in the winter. I'm not trying to be rude when I say this, but I know my horse better than you. If your horse can stand the cold comfortably, you're very lucky. You save tons of money. My horse, however, is not comfortable without being heavily blanketed, whether you choose to believe me or not.
    02-06-2011, 05:55 PM
The only time I blanket is when it's below 30 degrees and rain/sleet/snowing. Or if it gets into the single degrees. I agree, it really depends on the horse and if they are outside 24/7 or in a dry, wind free stall....... I think a lot of us blanket because it makes us feel better that our horses are all nice and warm...not because they really need it....

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