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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

     
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        12-31-2009, 02:22 PM
      #21
    Weanling
    I always blanket. I ride all year round, and I dislike having a huge furryball to brush out when I need to ride. My horse has thin skin, and he dislikes the cold, very much! Lol Where I board right now, it's about 65* in the barn.. so even if I didn't blanket, he wouldn't grow a coat.. and then for him to be put outside- he would be cold. At my barn, they put the blankets on in the morning, and remove them when they come in from turnout.
    That being said, my horse has had blankets on since early September. During the summer he wears a fly sheet, then fall time he goes into his turnout sheet without fill, then we add a lightweight, then we take off the sheet/ lightweight and put on his medium weight, and then like now(middle of winterish) he's in his heavy weight. Springtime comes, and we reverse the cycle. He is pretty much always covered.
    That being said, I don't see the point in putting a blanket on if they have already grown a full coat? All that you would be doing is flattening their hair and making them cold..
         
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        01-05-2010, 06:30 AM
      #22
    Foal
    Dougie doesn't get rugged at all. He's a Highland pony, he is actually designed to withstand the conidtions he lives in [the Highlands of Scotland conviently!] If a horse needs rugged, by all means rug them. Our old horse was very old, didn't have much weight and was a bit of a sissy in bad weather, so he got rugged. Dougal honestly doesn't need it. Even in the worst of our weather, he's still snug as a bug. Gotta love 'em natives.
    We do have a rug we can put on him if he ever does need it, which is unlikely, and he also has a sweat rug.
         
        01-05-2010, 06:42 AM
      #23
    Foal
    I live in NC an it hardly gets below freezing here. We put our horses out during the day and in their stalls at night. I usually blanket my show horse, but I keep lights on her as well to keep her from growing a winter coat so she will be ready when show season comes around. However, I havent showed her all year because she had a baby at her side so I have not blanketed her at all this winter but she is fine with our weather conditions here. Now, if I lived somewhere where its cold all of the time I would blanket her everyday. But where im at, there is no need for all that extra coverage. So I guess it depends on what you want to do with your horse and the weather conditions.
         
        01-05-2010, 07:23 AM
      #24
    Weanling
    I live in Connecticut and the barn where I board is on a hill. It is below 10 degrees and usually quite windy. Before I bought my arab mare, she was turned out with just a run in and never blanketed. I expected her to grow a shaggy, fluffy winter coat so I waited until after Thanksgiving to see if she would grow an adequate coat. For some reason it never happened, despite proper food, coat supplements and being unblanketed. She has really fine silky hair, and the only place she seemed to get a little extra hair was her face and aound her shoulder. By that time, she wore a Lite blanket for a couple of weeks and now I keep her in a medium weight with 220g of fill. If its really windy I through a neck cover on. I've never seen her shiver but her ears have gotten chilly if I let her be naked for a day. I worry about rubs and such. I just ordered a Heavy-weight because I think Jan-Feb is going to be nasty in these parts. I do see horses with nice, thick coats that I think would'nt require blanketing. I guess it's individual. If you can debate whether or not to clip, you might be ok without a blanket, as for me, she'd be truly buzz cut if I clipped her!
         
        01-05-2010, 12:02 PM
      #25
    Banned
    Well both my horses are different. Ginger being she's still gaining weight she's had a sheet since october. I didn't want her loosing any weight. Luna is pretty fat and in good condition so she got her sheet starting in nov. Once the temps started to drop to the 35s luna kept just her sheet and ginger got her medium weight. Once they drop under 30 both get heavyweights. 25 and under they get their sheets under their heavys. I don't have in and outs but when I did before I moved here they both stayed in when it was nasty or cold out. Now when it snows or is windy when I just put them out to do their stalls they stand and stare at me untill I let them back in. They are both thoroughbreds and are both very spoiled lol.

    Every horse is diff. It depends on breed and prefrence to the horse and the owner. This topic of discussion will never die because every one does it differently. Where you live has a factor in it too. If your by the water, by woods, etc etc. Its gotton down to 4 degrees here on long island. My girls come in at night and as long as the snow is flat and not too high, and there is no wind, they go out. But always come in at night. Its too cold and they don't have shelter outside. I close my barn up and they have lots of shavings . They both lay down at night. So they are pretty comfy.

    Once it starts to warm up to 40 again I usually put their mediums on for a few days as long as they arent sweating to let them get used to the new weather, don't want them getting sick. Then just a sheet untill its over 50. Every horse is diff and when I take my girls' blankets off they look at me and sniff at the blanket as if they are telling me to put it back on haha.

    So really its to each their own .
         
        01-05-2010, 05:15 PM
      #26
    Showing
    It really depends. I generally try to avoid blanketing at all cost. If I'm riding all winter and my horse is really hairy, then I will clip and blanket which is a pain because now you run into having to fix the blanket all the time.
    If he's not to hairy, then I will just take the time to cool down and not blanket. I will blanket as well if it's really cold like -40 then I will blanket as well until it warms up.
         
        01-05-2010, 06:54 PM
      #27
    Showing
    I live in northeast Ohio, and the temperature gets pretty low. This week it's supposed to be about 20F all week long, and yesterday it was in the single digits, so I blanketed my senior. The thing I don't like about blanketing is it makes their hair lay really flat.....and then they get really cold when you take it off. This morning, I had to get up at 5:30 to go to school and didn't have time to take his blanket off in the morning, when it was up to 25F, and now it's cold again so he's probably cold from the temp change, as the blanket stays the same temperature
         
        01-06-2010, 01:55 PM
      #28
    Foal
    I only blanket when theres going to be a really cold night or rain
         
        01-06-2010, 02:45 PM
      #29
    Foal
    Some of our horses have rugs, others don't. Some have two in extreme conditions. (Like now, theres over a foot of snow.) My pony doesn't need one because her coat is thick and lets just say she's not exactly skinny.

    The ones with finer hair and a more trim body usually have a rug or two.
    Strangely enough the ponys are mostly OK, it's the horses that seem to suffer. If you feel their ears and they are cold, then they need a blanket. But be careful, don't blanket unless necassery.
         

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