Should I Blanket?
 
 

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Should I Blanket?

This is a discussion on Should I Blanket? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Is keeping a blanket on a horse outside in pouring rain abuse?
  • Keeping horse blanket on in the rain

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    01-10-2013, 09:05 PM
  #1
Foal
Should I Blanket?

So I live in NE Iowa, so we have some pretty harsh winters here. We just had a blizzard about three and a half weeks ago and I stalled all three of my horses because of the weather. Lately it's been warming up and the snow is melting, but now it's suppose to get really cold again, and my older horse won't let my new horse inside the building. The horse has a good winter coat, it's really thick, but with it being wet and cold and windy he's a little cold. So I was wondering would it be worth getting a blanket now or should I just wait it out till next year or seven at all. The other horses don't have blankets. And there's not a good tree in the pasture and not much of a place for wind break. Also if I do get a blanket what weight should I get?
     
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    01-10-2013, 10:27 PM
  #2
Weanling
If you think how horses live out in the wild, they don't get blankets when it gets cold. I don't blanket my horses for any reason unless they start to shiver. Just make sure they have a lot of hay to eat. Digestion of hay makes heat, that makes them warm. Just check them often. Its best not to put anything on them, as it flattens their coat. Then you will have to keep them blanketed.
     
    01-10-2013, 10:38 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemare    
If you think how horses live out in the wild, they don't get blankets when it gets cold. I don't blanket my horses for any reason unless they start to shiver. Just make sure they have a lot of hay to eat. Digestion of hay makes heat, that makes them warm. Just check them often. Its best not to put anything on them, as it flattens their coat. Then you will have to keep them blanketed.
That's what I was always told. I was just wondering if it would help, but I don't think I will. The horse will survive, if he gets to cold he'll just challenge the older guy. I think I just needed someone to say that to me. So thanks, he will just stay unblanketed like the other two.
     
    01-11-2013, 09:15 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Running Whisper    
The horse will survive, if he gets to cold he'll just challenge the older guy.
Don't count on that. My horse that is 4th in the herd order was also last in the order at the Seller's.

They had beatch of a mare that would NEVER let Joker have shelter in the barn. There was more than ample room for four horses but she would guard that door so Joker would be outside in the pouring cold rain until he started shivering.

To make matters worse, this horse's winter coat is slicker than some horses summer coats, so it didn't take much for him to get cold. The lady would have to get the B-horse out of the doorway, bring Joker in and lock him in a stall until he warmed up.

It's your judgement call by all means. My point is to never assume a horse lower in the herd order will find to get in the barn if it's cold. To the contrary, it will stand outside and shiver itself to death because that is how "Survival of the Fittest" works
     
    01-11-2013, 09:30 AM
  #5
Foal
Well he's got a pretty solid coat on him, and if he would get cold the mare will come out by him because I think that they recently changed leadership to where the mare is boss not my old guy. And if he get terrible I can always put him in the other part of the barn that is stalled. He just hates the stall and it causes more problems than good.
     
    01-11-2013, 03:03 PM
  #6
Foal
If you do want to blanket him get an insulated rain sheet(100-150g fill). That will give him a wind break, stop the rain but still light enough not to flatten his hair so it will still "work" to keep him warm
     
    01-12-2013, 11:24 AM
  #7
Foal
Horses keep warm by three things mostly: 1.)thick winter coat in which the hairs stand on end, insulating the horse, 2.) eating hay 3.) moving

If we blanket them, it flattens those hairs and can actually make them colder. When we stall them, they can't move. If we don't provide enough hay, they cannot thermo-regulate themselves.

Feed more hay and provide some sort of shelter, and most should do just fine. The only time I will blanket is if one gets wet (which flattens the hair) and they start shivering. I will bring them in the barn and blanket them until they warm up. Other than that, I don't blanket!

Casie
www.thenaturallyhealthyhorse.com
     
    01-12-2013, 12:01 PM
  #8
Trained
As long as the horse has shelter from the wind there is no need to blanket. It is proven that blanket your horse can actually make them colder as it flattens their hair. They actually hold their hair up in ( is it seven?) different lenghts depending on the weather.
     
    01-12-2013, 12:38 PM
  #9
Showing
My barn has three sides in the pasture so a horse can always get out of the wind if it doesn't want to go in. At a huge racing stable in Manitoba there were Step shelters in each paddock. If viewed from the top they looked like steps. Four stout posts were driven in about 8 feet apart and boarded in. It was also partially roofed. It didn't matter which direction the wind came from there was protection.
     
    01-12-2013, 12:38 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Rains here 9 months out of the year and yes I blanket. One probably would not need it if it didn't rain but the other is a harder keeper and does not get a winter coat, so he needs it anyway. Oh and we don't have a run in so they come in every night in the winter.
     

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