Thinking about buying a blanket

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Thinking about buying a blanket

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    09-17-2011, 09:29 AM
Thinking about buying a blanket

I have never blanketed my horse. He always grows a good winters coat, and I rarely see him shiver from the cold. But, I have also been boarding at a barn where I had access to a stall if I thought he was getting to cold. Now he is on private property, and there is no barn available, so if I go out and he is shivering, or seems cold, there would be nothing I could do for him. So I want to get a blanket to have at the barn so I am not stuck in a bad situation.

What weight blanket should I buy? I will probably only use it in the rain or snow, since he never seems cold in dry weather. I have heard that a blanket can press down the winter coat and make it less effective. If that is true then I can't get just get a light weight blanket to keep him dry and count on his hair to do the rest. Our average low temperature is 28 F. We usually get at least one or two good snows.
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    09-17-2011, 02:16 PM
During the winter I use a variety of light to heavy weight blankets. I would suggest getting something light weight with a nylon lining as your first blanket. As long as it is waterproof, wind resistant, material it really helps out a lot and your horse doesn't need much more than that. I use heavy weight blankets on our older horses and hard keepers. And rarely a medium weight. Our easier keepers get a light weight just to keep the wind and weather off of them.
    09-17-2011, 02:43 PM
For me it depends on the age of the horse, older horses seem to need more blanket than young ones do, their body condition at the time, thinner horses need more blanket, and how long do I think they'll need to be blanketed? A good waterproof blanket will still get wet after 2 or 3 days of steady rain or if snow just lays on it, so I always have 2 blankets handy. Since I've been at this for years I now have 2 or 3 blankets/sheets for each horse and swap them around as needed. I start out with a light weight Turn Out sheet, then go to a medium Turn Out blanket then to a Heavy weight one. Sometimes I layer, for instance the lightweight gets wet, but it's not raining right now and there's a breeze, so I put the medium weight one on and toss the lightweight one over top to let it dry. Later I might run out and take the medium one off if it's not below 30 F. Or if it's 40 F now but supposed to get down to 28 F tonight, I'll toss the medium one over top of the lightweight one so I can pull it in the morning before work but leave the light one if it's going to be say 35 with a bit of wind.

The main thing to remember is, dry and cold is one thing but wet and cold with or without wind is when you need to blanket. A bitter wind like we get here in OK can make me blanket heavier that I would just for the temp. Especially if there's no way for him to get away from it.
    09-17-2011, 02:52 PM
In my opinion, if you're going to buy a sheet per spotz's recommendation, buy a medium or heavyweight as well (depending on your horse's needs). The reason being that a horse's coat will stand up, trapping a layer of air around him to keep himself warm. When you put a sheet on him, while it keeps him dry, his hair can't stand up. When it's flat, he loses his ability to insulte himself. So, when it's really cold, leaving him blanketless is better than using a sheet. But when it's rainy and cold, a heavier blanket would be a better option than just a sheet.
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    09-17-2011, 03:14 PM
I'm not talking about using a sheet. I have blanket that are 180 g filler, 280 g filler, and over 300 g filler. I am talking about a lighter weight blanket not a sheet. I don't use turnout sheets unless they have another liner under them or stable blanket.
    09-18-2011, 12:27 AM
Thanks for the info guys. Any particular brands to look for or avoid?
    09-18-2011, 02:50 AM
I have had several kensington blankets for over eight years now and only two of them have very small holes in them. State line tack sells them and they are hunter green in the picture. It's a good tough blanket. It just has the wool lining which is the only thing I'm not fond of.
    09-18-2011, 06:56 AM
Originally Posted by Sophie19    
What weight blanket should I buy? I will probably only use it in the rain or snow, since he never seems cold in dry weather.
You hit the nail on the head. A wet horse is a cold horse when it's around freezing, especially in the wind. It sounds like your weather is similar to what we have in this area of NC, and I suggest using a waterproof rain sheet instead of a blanket. It will keep your horse dry, trap the body heat, block the wind, and you don't have to worry about your horse overheating under it.
Whatever you decide, don't let your horse get too warm (or sweat) under the cover. That's an environment (dark, damp, no air flow) that fungus and bacteria love and you'll encourage skin problems. When in doubt, being a little cold is better than being too warm.

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