Blanketing / Rugging pros and cons - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 24 Old 03-05-2013, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Blanketing / Rugging pros and cons

I'm writing up a class for my students on blanketing. In the interest of educating the next generation with the welfare of the horse in mind, and with the understanding that most of my students are very new to horses, my instruction being the first for many of them, would the wise care to share some facts and experience they have picked up along the way?
I plan on presenting the difference in weights and deniers, from rain sheets up to heavy blankets.
How to measure your horse to buy the correct size blanket
The fact that you don't need to blanket as long as the horse has adequate shelter, but once you start you can't stop until it warms up
The myth that it keeps their coat shorter. That the coat is affected by daylight hours and nutrition.
How to safely put a blanket on and remove a blanket.

Any other myths? Misconceptions? What is the most important thing you think a new horse owner should know about blankets? What have you seen other horse owners do that you wish you could talk to them about? Feel free to correct any misinformation here, thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 24 Old 03-05-2013, 04:43 PM
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Making sure it fits and doesnt rub the horses hair off. Ajusting the straps snug enough so they don't get a leg caught up in it. If putting a blanket on a outside horse make sure its a turnout blanket not a stable blanket. I blanket my horses when were getting a bad storm in winter. They have no shelter in their corrals so to help them survive I put on blankets. I perfer the turnouts to be 1200 denier or more wont waste money on 600 denier blankets they don't hold up as good.
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post #3 of 24 Old 03-12-2013, 11:49 AM
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My horse wears a blanket 24/7 in the winter. He does not grow in a thick winter coat and will shiver at 45 if its windy... With my horse I can just through the blanket up and way I want, and he dosent care but with other horses I fold it up and set it on them and unfold it slowly.
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post #4 of 24 Old 03-12-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessa7707 View Post
The fact that you don't need to blanket as long as the horse has adequate shelter, but once you start you can't stop until it warms up
I disagree with part of this. With horses, you cannot make blanket statements like this. Some horses don't grow thick enough coats to keep them warm. Older horses sometimes need the blanket to keep from shivering weight off - some younger horses too.

For example, my horse's winter coat is so thin that shed most of it out within a week of the first day I saw him shedding. Right now he has some fuzzier left on his head and legs but his body is, and has been, almost at summer coat length. He visibly shivers if left in the low 40's without some covering. Sure he won't die from shivering but why let him be miserable just because "he won't die", you know?

Additional things to point out would be how to tell if a horse is cold and needs more covering or if the horse is too hot. The different cuts of blanket and options (high neck, hug style, bellyband etc).

How to waterproof, washing instructions, repair, storage, about liners and weights of the blankets and what they mean.
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-12-2013, 12:46 PM
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Blanketing is a huge pain in the a**. You cannot have just one blanket. You must have different weights for different temps. You cannot go by a chart but rather what your horse tells you he needs for what temp.

Just had some girl at the barn put a winter blanket on her very furry horse when it was 40 degrees and sunny to help shed her out!!!! No kidding, she really did that. And the blanket doesn't fit right and it has a giant duct tape patch....
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post #6 of 24 Old 03-12-2013, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by poppy1356 View Post
Blanketing is a huge pain in the a**. You cannot have just one blanket. You must have different weights for different temps. You cannot go by a chart but rather what your horse tells you he needs for what temp.

Just had some girl at the barn put a winter blanket on her very furry horse when it was 40 degrees and sunny to help shed her out!!!! No kidding, she really did that. And the blanket doesn't fit right and it has a giant duct tape patch....
I think once you have a wardrobe established and you know the horse you can make a little chart specific to that horse. When I was BM I had all my boarders who had strong opinions about what blankets their horse should wear and when. We then made a standardized chart that people could opt in on or provide their own. If a horse seemed to have different needs than the general list, we made one for that horse. Never had issues with it. It was definitely a lot of extra work though! Blanketing and unblanketing 40-45 horses twice a day was no joke.
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-12-2013, 12:56 PM
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Oh I'm referring to those charts on like smartpak and such. Every horse is different and you really can't go by a chart. It also depends if its windy or sunny or cloudy or whathaveyou for what blanket my girl gets.

I hate blanketing and I swear my next horse will be an easy keeper that turns into a wooly mammoth in the winter.
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-12-2013, 01:07 PM
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Blankets have their place. I keep 4 blankets and a very old canvas sheet, for 3 horses. They were put away washed and clean and are stored neatly Right now, they all have a layer of dust on them. I do not routinely use blankets on my horses. They have stalls for the winter but they get extra turnout in the Fall and early Winter to put on a good coat.
For show horses who are clipped in the winter to enable easy clipping/show grooming, a blanket is a necessity of life. For those who do not clip, you don't need them.
If you horse won't grow a decent coat you are blanketing too early/too often OR your Vet needs to examine and diagnose the problem.
Still, I will keep them as long as I keep horses. If one gets ill I can keep him warm.
Also, my Arab's winter coat ("Corporal, 1982-2009. RIP) was thick, but my QH's coat (Ro Go Bar, 1982-2009, RIP) was never heavy, but adequate--henever shivered. That might be what you are seeing. =D

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Last edited by Corporal; 03-12-2013 at 01:11 PM.
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post #9 of 24 Old 03-12-2013, 01:09 PM
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In my experience, many people are not careful enough that their horse doesn't get too warm under a blanket. Not only is overhearing much worse than being cold, the warm, humid, airless and sunless environment under a blanket is a breeding ground for all types of skin problems.
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post #10 of 24 Old 03-12-2013, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Corporal View Post
Blankets have their place. I keep 4 blankets and a very old canvas sheet, for 3 horses. They were put away washed and clean and are stored neatly Right now, they all have a layer of dust on them. I do not routinely use blankets on my horses. They have stalls for the winter but they get extra turnout in the Fall and early Winter to put on a good coat.
For show horses who are clipped in the winter to enable easy clipping/show grooming, a blanket is a necessity of life. For those who do not clip, you don't need them.
If you horse won't grow a decent coat you are blanketing too early/too often OR your Vet needs to examine and diagnose the problem.
Still, I will keep them as long as I keep horses. If one gets ill I can keep him warm.
Also, my Arab's winter coat ("Corporal, 1982-2009. RIP) was thick, but my QH's coat (Ro Go Bar, 1982-2009, RIP) was never heavy, but adequate--henever shivered. That might be what you are seeing. =D
For my horse, he doesn't have a medical issue. I delayed blanketing him at all until November and he was barely fuzzy at all. He was incredibly grumpy at being cold though, but not shivering so I let him be. I've done it for two winters now and no change.

A couple of old fart horses drop tons of weight if left uncovered. There's twice as many on the same farm that do just fine naked.

I'm just saying that you can't say all horses x or y - just like you can't say all horses should wear shoes.
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