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Horses permanently rugged

This is a discussion on Horses permanently rugged within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Will a horse overheat in the summer with a slinky on
  • When should a horse be rugged

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    08-29-2012, 03:05 PM
  #21
Super Moderator
I am stunned. Five blankets on? Never in my life have I seen this. What a drag it must be to put them on or take them off. Must become a tangled mess by the end of the night.

Blankets in summer? The only blanket I have ever seen on in summer is a fly sheet.

Here it rains a lot in winter, cold miserable rain, just short of freezing. And windy.
But the horses know to go under the trees. Also, if you don't brush the long winter hair when it's wet, the water will roll off the surface "guard" hairs. YOu will see the kind of pointed "V"s that show how the water drips off their backs , keeping the under hair perfectly dry. If you try to tidy them up by brushing out that "v's" pattern when they are wet, you will ruin their duck coats. The water barrier will be broken and it will now go down to their skin and make them feel the cold as it evaporates.
If they are wet on top, dont' brush them. Don't put a blanket on top. Let them be.

They can even have snow on their legs, in clumps stuck to the fetlocks, and even on their rumps, but it does not melt becuase the insulation barrier is THAT good. Let it be.

(didn't someone get famous with that line? "Let it Be")
     
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    08-29-2012, 03:36 PM
  #22
Yearling
Over here, horses are never blanketed in the summer that I've ever seen. And it usually doesn't get that hot here.

Usually horses are blanketed in the winter and spring (depending on how cold the nights are). The most I've ever seen on a horse is two- a thicker one and then a thinner one. Not sure what the technical names would be.

I think that if a horse is worked in the winter and clipped, it should have at least a thin blanket on. However, if they grow a winter coat normally and you leave it, I think most horses are fine without one.

It's a shame that people over-blanket their horses in hot weather because they're scared of a little grooming.
     
    08-29-2012, 03:48 PM
  #23
Weanling
I think physically 5 rugs are counter productive.
Same theory as wearing several layers inside a decent sleeping bag, you insulate yourself against the heat, and will be colder.
One good rug, if needed, is good enough. If the horse has a good coat, a rug could even counteract the natural workings of that coat.

Plus, if someone stuffed me into 5 rugs; ie. 5 jackets on top of each other, I would scream.

I had a panic attack a couple weeks ago because it was snowing here in johannesburg, south africa, and I thought my horsies would freeze.
My vet was out, and gave me a good talking to: HUMANS get cold easy, animals... Not so much.
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    08-29-2012, 03:58 PM
  #24
Super Moderator
overheating

Horses can die from being overheated so the RSPCA should get involved - if its likely to cause death & sufffering its abuse.
We usually get a lot of snow in CT and sub zero temperatures so my horses are stabled at night so they have access to hay that isn't buried under a blizzard and water that isn't frozen solid - we have heated buckets in the barn but not in the outside troughs so I have to keep them ice free during the day by breaking and pouring boiling water on them as they go out all day
We try to ride for as long as possible and have to use a local indoor school once its not safe to use the trails so as soon as they get woolly and sweaty they get clipped which means rugs of some sort. They should only feel comfortably warm when you slide your hand underneath, not hot or clammy
None of my horses have much 'natural' left in them, it was all bred out many generations ago and 3 of them hardly get any winter coat at all but I still wouldn't be piling rugs/blankets on them over and above what they need to be just right
I can't even use flysheets on mine in the summer once the temperature goes up as they sweat and get really stressed by it so I can't imagine how a horse would cope with a thick rug on
In the UK where we rode all year round and clippped the horses lived out as much as the rain & mud would allow they wore thin waterproofs or thin rugs to keep them from having layers of mud to brush off every day as much as keeping them warm.
Horses that aren't in work and have thick coats are better off left just as they are if they have some shelter - constant rain is more debilitating than dry frost weather that's colder
tinyliny likes this.
     
    08-29-2012, 04:11 PM
  #25
Yearling
I have three blankets for my mare, a medium weight, rain sheet and a fly sheet. I only blanket her because after 7 to 5 C she'll shiver when wet. If we had a dry cold winter I wouldn't blanket, period, but we don't, we get wet with -10 to -20 C wind chill, and rarely does anything freeze over. She physically can't eat enough hay to stay warm. And fly sheet because she gets huge welts from horse flies, but that's different. I wouldn't blanket in the summer, and I don't put on a rain sheet unless it is under 10 C, which is only from November to March usually.
     
    08-29-2012, 04:49 PM
  #26
Trained
My herd in Germany consisted if Arabians, a senior TB, a warmblood and a couple of half Arabians. We had a cold spell with snow, about three weeks of -20C during the day with icy fog. None of them was blanketed, none if them came in the run in shed. The Arabs stood outside with snow, about 2" of it on their backs. The TB had a short but very thick coat. So did the Arabs. No runny noses, no coughing, nothing. All very happy and healthy.

I personally think people who blanket for their own convenience should sell the horse and get a motorcycle.
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    08-29-2012, 04:52 PM
  #27
Started
Wow! I can't believe people would do that. Well, I can, it's just really hard.

The only thing I've ever put on a horse in the summer was a Slinky sheet or stable sheet. It was for my very loud appy, and only the night before a show.

I'm considering balnketing/rugging my project horse this winter, but only because I'm going to be riding her a lot. And I still haven't decided if I will or not.
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    08-29-2012, 05:54 PM
  #28
Trained
This is interesting. I didnt realize "over-rugging" was an iissue. Can't people see a sweaty horse and realize its too hot?

I have 1 blanket for my mare. She wears it when its 25 farenheit or below and raining/sleeting/snowing/very windy. If its a nice 25 degree sunny, no wind day. The blanket comes off. The only reason she gets blanketed is because she doesnt grow a thick coat. Its maybe 1/2 inch long.

We have a Curly that never needs to be blanketed. They have been said to withstand -40 degrees Farenheit.
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    08-29-2012, 06:12 PM
  #29
Foal
I agree I see no point in blanketing if your horse has the ability grow its own coat but of course being in TX we have very mild winters with very little to no snow. I usually never blanket even if its raining but if I go and see them shivering I will bring them in and let them dry off and warm up. If it is snowing since we get so little I put their waterproof turn out on to keep them from getting to cold. I've tried a fly sheet for my allergic mare but it would make her sweat and more itchy.
     
    08-29-2012, 06:44 PM
  #30
Started
I've actually never heard of this! It's awful! I'm much like everyone else - Can't they see sweat, and comprehend that they are doing no good?

Diamond and Oats have all of one blanket. A good thick one for when it a. Snows, or b. Gets below 40F. They go out in their big blankies, come in at night, and the blankets go off for a really good curry and brushing. They go back on for the cold nights, even if they didn't have them during the day, because it's pretty much -35F 24/7 here at night in the Winter. But they come off every day to be curried, and get all the itchies out, and leave them off for about an hour before they go back on.

Now Cowboy - he has 2 blankets, and a neck/hood. But both of his blankets together only make up about one of Diamond or Oats' blankets. The reason he is dressed up in head/neck sheets is because he shows, and isn't allowed to grow big hair ;) But he still gets his curry time. The blankets are never on 24/7, and I have never seen sweat or itching.
     

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