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Winter: to blanket or not to blanket?

This is a discussion on Winter: to blanket or not to blanket? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Do clydesdales need blankets
  • To blanket or not to blanket a horse in winter

 
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    12-30-2009, 01:12 PM
  #11
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by LolHorse    
My personal opionion is let your horse first grow a coat, if you have a skinny horse you should defently blanket them. If you have an older horse, check everyday to see if the shiver (top of hindquarters) if they are then put a blanket on them, and they should be fine. (Actully you should do this with everyhorse).
If your horse has no shealter in the pasture, then at night when it gets really cold and or windy put the horse in a stall.
Shivering horse, blanket. No shivers, no blanket. I've only had one horse out of 9 that needed a blanket. Ours have a run in shed and several tree wind-breaks. They will generally chose to stand out in the weather with their butts to the wind rather than go into shelter.
     
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    12-30-2009, 02:08 PM
  #12
Showing
I have an older gelding (21) who's in great shape, a 5yr old fat miniature mare who's pregnant, a fat 8yr old Paint Clydesdale gelding, and a Welsh stallion in good shape who's 5. However, we only have two blankets and they're normal horse size. I've never noticed any shivering unless the temperature goes below 0, in which case I would blanket my senior gelding and buy blankets for the welsh and mini. The Paint Clydesdale is too dangerous to try to get a blanket on him. In the case of below 0 temps, is it fair to blanket the other three and leave the Paint Clydesdale unblanketed? I'm telling you, there is no way to get a blanket on that horse
     
    12-30-2009, 02:19 PM
  #13
Started
I don't blanket in the winter unless the horse fully needs it. Where I board, April has her own turnout with a shelter and if the weather is really cold/wet/windy the horses are brought in until the storm passes. I don't show in the winter so I let nature take its course with hair growing.
     
    12-30-2009, 03:02 PM
  #14
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
I have an older gelding (21) who's in great shape, a 5yr old fat miniature mare who's pregnant, a fat 8yr old Paint Clydesdale gelding, and a Welsh stallion in good shape who's 5. However, we only have two blankets and they're normal horse size. I've never noticed any shivering unless the temperature goes below 0, in which case I would blanket my senior gelding and buy blankets for the welsh and mini. The Paint Clydesdale is too dangerous to try to get a blanket on him. In the case of below 0 temps, is it fair to blanket the other three and leave the Paint Clydesdale unblanketed? I'm telling you, there is no way to get a blanket on that horse
I blanketed only one horse and at the time had 3. The others just didn't need it.
     
    12-30-2009, 03:25 PM
  #15
Green Broke
We never blanket unless necessary. We keep adequete blankets on hand, and the horses are inspected daily to ensure they're keeping a good weight and not shivering. The only horse in our herd of 8 who wears a blanket is my Arab mare because she simply doesn't grow a proper winter coat. Last winter, it was so cold that the pony was losing weight and shivering, so she promptly got a blanket and more feed.

We only have a tree line. The horses do fine. It's what they're used to. The tree line is extremely thick and full of spruce trees and they always manage to find the best spots out of the wind and soggy weather. Wild horses make do with a lot less, and they're not locked into tiny paddocks. They have 10 acres of trees and corners, as well as the pasture being surrounded by brush on the outside of the fence. Until we have a problem or a horse comes knocking on the front door, I really dislike people who would have the nerve to call our situation abusive or neglectful. They have 24/7 hay and water, and we have not had a single instance of illness, nor any horse coming into spring any lighter then when they went into winter. We start in fall building an insulating layer of fat on our herd, so that every horse is roughly 50-100lbs heavier going into winter then the shape we kept them in summer. We moniter them constantly and ensure any horse having difficulty is blanketed and given more feed.

It works for us and our horses, and I quite frankly think they're healthier this way. Even when we have a wet snow and they get damp, you will not find a horse shivering in our pastures. The coat is designed to protect, and as they're eating hay faster then they can burn it, they are always warm.
     
    12-30-2009, 04:03 PM
  #16
Trained
Now that I body clipped my mare (because she sweats alot when she's worked, and it takes forever to cool and dry her off), so she is blanketed at night, and will have a sheet on during the day, when I get a new one; when it's really 'warm' she won't have a blanket on at all during the day.

The two other horses I take care of, aren't blanketed at all, and I never see them have any issues; they have a barn they have free access too, and get plenty of food. They are a pain to dry off, but they aren't being ridden, so I won't body clip them at all.

This is a first ever, I've blanketed (or body clipped) a horse during the winter, as I grew up in MN and never had a need too; they didn't sweat in the winter during their workouts...
     
    12-30-2009, 04:46 PM
  #17
Yearling
My two big horses have shelter, woods, and cows to keep them warm and I don't ride them so I don't blanket. My minis also have a large stall there free to go into and a big barn for them as well. Plus, minis are hardy little things with a furry coat so they have no need to be blanketed
     
    12-31-2009, 02:26 PM
  #18
Weanling
My girl is body clipped, and because I live in Alberta, and she lives in a paddock, I blanket her up the wazoo.

She has a fleecey, a liner and a winter blanket with hood on at all times. She does well and looks very snuggly.
     
    12-31-2009, 02:33 PM
  #19
Weanling
My horses are out 24/7 with shelter, hay, and water all the time. If it is cold we go check everybody, but unless someone is shivering or loosing weight we don't get worried. My sister's MFT doesn't grow a very good coat, but she goes in the shelter with all the other horses so she normally is ok anyways. If anybody needs a blanket they get it, b ut they have been out all their lives so it is normally not an issue.
     
    12-31-2009, 02:51 PM
  #20
Green Broke
I blanket for several reasons:

1) My horses (2 TB's and a TB/Draft) get quite cold in the winter and often shiver

2) I ride (as much as I can, don't have an indoor) in the winter and it can be quite dangerous if they get very sweaty

3) It's easier to brush shorter coats

4) They are always show-ready
     

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