should I blanket him?

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should I blanket him?

This is a discussion on should I blanket him? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

View Poll Results: Should I Banket Him?
Yes 19 57.58%
No 14 42.42%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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    12-31-2009, 12:23 AM
Question should I blanket him?

Hello! I was wondering if I should blanket my ottb. He is 34 yrs old and problably hasn't had ablanket since his racing days(if he ever raced, he has a tatoo so I just assume...). I haven't blanketed him in the past(only about 2 years) but I recently learned his age so now I am not sure. He has unlimited hay, I believe he gets some senior feed, a run-in and some woods, and cows and his pasture buddy to cuddle with. It get moderatly cold here, more just snow and wind then actual cold temps. If I do need to blanket him, what kind of blanket do you suggest? Here is a picture of him from last week...
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    12-31-2009, 12:29 AM
Green Broke
HOLY SMOKES! That hrose is 34 yeaRS OLD???? I've heard of ponys being that old but not ottb. First I want to say, he looks GREAT and super healthy!
I would blanket him if he's that old, it will help him get through the winter. As or the kind of blanket? It depends on how cold it is out on certain days and stuff like that. But you might wanna get somebody else to help you with blanketing help :P
    12-31-2009, 01:20 AM
Yeah I've been blessed with pretty long living horses:). My old horse that died a couple of years ago was somewhere betweeen 25 and 40, then there this old man. I didn't realize how old he was till a couple of months ago(looked up his tatoo) and then I instisted he be put out to pasture!! When my horse died I went and wraped my arms around him and he just layed his head on my back like he was hugging me.
    12-31-2009, 01:38 AM
I spoil my girls and always blanket them when it gets around 40 degrees.
Saxon has really nice blankets.
    12-31-2009, 01:53 AM
Being that he is so old if he were my horse I would ... better safe then sorry
    12-31-2009, 03:21 AM
Okay, so I should blanket him. Just a turnout or what?
    12-31-2009, 03:29 AM
For my TB I have Weatherbeeta blankets and they fit him great..I'm very happy with them and recommend the brand to anybody.
Since it sounds like he's been okay up until now..unless you've noticed excessive weight loss in the winter, a lightweight turnout would probably do the job. Maybe you could just pick up a liner for extra chilly nights if you want..that's pretty much what I do
I have the Landa and Tristar liners, both by Weatherbeeta. :)

Good luck with your old guy! As others said, he looks awesome for his age!
    12-31-2009, 01:21 PM
    12-31-2009, 01:29 PM
I've always heard that as long as they have a wind break and shelter, plenty to eat, they are better without a blanket. Horse's hair stands up in the cold and traps heat between the hairs. When you put a blanket on them, it takes away this function. The only time I blanket my guys is when it drops below 50 and rains. Digesting hay generates heat for them so if you make sure he has food 24/7 and can actually chew well enough to digest it, he should be fine. He has a good winter coat on him. If you do blanket him, make sure it's a good, heavy winter one. A sheet would be worse than nothing as it wouldn't provide any heat and it would take away his ability to develop heat in his winter coat.

He looks great!
    12-31-2009, 01:32 PM
Sorry I'm going to buck the trend. I don't think you should blanket him at all. What does his age have to do with anything? Or maybe this would be a better way to put it - If he was 10, based on his condition, would you blanket him? I wouldn't.

He looks to be in great shape with a wonderful thick furry coat to keep him warm. A blanket is going to smooth that coat out and take away his natural insulation. The free choice hay is providing him with all the fiber he needs to keep himself nice and warm. Not sure where you live, but I live in MN and my horses (even my 30 yo) are outside all the time and are as happy as can be.

I just don't think that age in and of itself is something to take into consideration when blanketing. However, due to his age, I would make sure you give him a once over several times a week. Run your hands over his body to check his body condition score. I wouldn't want him any lower than a 5 at his age. The biggest problem with winter weather and healthy older horses is their thick coats can obscure weight loss for quite awhile. If you keep an eye on that and catch it right away you should need any blanketing.

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