To blanket or not to blanket? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question To blanket or not to blanket?

I have a 9yr old arab mare who is about 100 lbs overweight with a decent coat, has a small shelter and also has a large herd to help keep her warm but I have never lived where it snowed until now so I am new to blanketing in the winter. We just got our first snow today. What typical guidelines should I use when deciding when or if I should blanket my mare. And what should I look for when buying a blanket. Also how should I measure my mare for blanket size? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 02:56 PM
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Is she shivering and COLD? I only blanket a miserable, shivering, cold horse or one that can't afford to lose an ounce of weight.

An overweight horse with a herd that doesn't run her off and shelter, probably doesn't need a blanket.
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post #3 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 03:01 PM
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Try to pick the brand of blanket you want first because sometimes you have to measure a specific way depending on the blanket. The store will have a measuring page. When looking for a blanket you want a turnout blanket. Stable blankets are NOT waterproof. Denier refers to how strong the outer fabric is (the higher it is the less likely it will get ripped) and the fill determines how thick it is. My Arab doesn't grow much coat and I tend to clip so I go for heavier, full neck blankets.

Dry her off before putting the blanket on.

If she starts losing weight, shivers a lot or often or seems generally miserable, I would blanket. If it is windy or rainy (that slushy stuff) or with a big freeze coming, I would blanket.
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post #4 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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She doesnt act cold at all, and a few of the other mares run her off but she also has her couple of buddies that she sticks close to. Kinda like cliques is high school lol she could definitely afford to lose a few pounds as she is def overweight for her size. She is 14.2hh and 1100 lbs, pony height with horse weight lol she looks like a rolly polly. The shelter is not the best as we are in the middle of building a barn and they have a small portion of that along with a few trees though not many. I have never lived where it snowed so this is the first time I have had to worry about it. She was also a bottle baby, who spent her first winter indoors and her last owner spoiled her ridiculously and blanketed her but I doubt out of need. She has a nice thick winter coat. I figured she should be fine but its nice to hear what other people think since I have no experience in blanketing. Thanks again!!!!
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post #5 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 03:12 PM
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If you blanket you will flatten her guard hairs down and she will have to be blanketed all the time. I live where we can get really cold and don't blanket unless they winter hard.
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post #6 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 03:20 PM
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She will be fine. Eating keeps them warm. Unless she is shivering there is nothing to worry about. When they shiver they will lose weight really fast.
Don't know where your from, but where we live it gets darn cold, and I have never had an issue.
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post #7 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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I am in central oregon near mt. Bachelor. It doesnt get as cold as some places I've heard of but I've been warned of 6ft snow all winter long and we had our first snow this morning which was at least a couple inches. This is my first winter here and I am not sure quite what to expect but knowing when to blanket is very helpful. Thanks again! I appreciate all the quick responses :)
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post #8 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 03:38 PM
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She weighs 300 lbs more than my 14.1 arab. I really don't think she needs a blanket. And if she is overweight, shivering could do some good.
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post #9 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 03:39 PM
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If she always manages to get her fair share of hay and they have access to drinking water all the time then she'll probably be fine left as she is especially if she can get into a shelter
You could always buy a lightweight waterproof rug - not expensive - as an emergency stand by if she does look shivery.
The thing with the coat fluffing up is an automatic response to the skin feeling cold and the body trying to keep a barrier between it and the elements. The moment you remove the rug the response will be triggered and the hair fluff up again.
Back in early history when all horse living in cold climates had coats like an Exmoor pony it worked but a lot of todays horses have had that bred out of them so you just need to be vigilant.
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post #10 of 21 Old 10-22-2012, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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she is free fed grass hay and loose mineral with a selenium block, so she always has access to food and water (the water troughs are all installed with heaters to keep the water from freezing as well). And like I said she is overweight as well. 14.2hh and 1100 lbs. Plus she has a nice thick, healthy coat. Her coat is one of the things I love about her. Its is so thick and shiny, and obviously well taken care of (not fuzzy from worms either). She is a rescue but not because she was abused or neglected, she was overly spoiled and when her owner became sick, her husband started feeding and he overfed, Im surprised she didnt founder. She has alot of issues due to her past life but that's another topic for the training section which is where Im headed after here LoL Her old owner blanketed her but I don't think it was out of need, like I said she was overly spoiled. Im all for more natural ways of doing things. People humanize animals far too often. Again another thread LoL Sorry Im good at going off on tangents lol Thanks for all of the advice everyone and I am definitely agreeing on the side of no blanket unless she starts shivering alot or dropping too much weight then its off to the local blanket lady to see if she can`t recommend a brand, size, and thickness that works well in this area :) You guys have been awesome, I am ecited to be a part of the forum. Fair warning I have lots of questions :)
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