To use a rain sheet or not to?

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To use a rain sheet or not to?

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  • Does a rain sheet keep a horse warm
  • Leaving rain sheet on horse

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    10-06-2009, 11:03 PM
To use a rain sheet or not to?

We live in Alberta, Canada where we get very cold winters. This is my 1st winter with my new horse. I have been told that a winter blanket on ahorse can really affect their winter coat that helps to keep them warm by flattening their coat. Today it rained quite a bit around here so my horse is quite wet (he has a shelter but chose not to use it). I am concerned for him a it is a bit chilly out. I do not own a rain sheet but I am wondering if I should purchase one?! Should I be putting one on him? He is getting his winter coat and is already quite fuzzy. If I put a rain sheet on him will it flatten his winter coat and hinder him during the winter? I was not planning on putting a blanket on him over winter as he has gone through winters in the past without one. If I do get him one what size should I get...he is a standarbred gelding who stands 15.3 hands.

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    10-07-2009, 12:26 AM
If he has been through similar winters without a rug he should be fine.
I havnt heard of rugs making them colder because of flattening hair though.
If you were to get a rug i'd suggest either a canvas rug (must be lined) or a doona/NZ type rug, such as the weatherbeeta ones. I can't give any advice on sizing cause im not sure how you measure rugs over there.
    10-07-2009, 09:46 PM
I would definitely make every effort to keep your horse's body dry in Canada. A dry horse can do very well in cold weather with his own coat, but if he's soaking wet, he'll have a lot more trouble regulating his temperature. An uninsulated rain sheet will not keep his winter coat from growing. It will just keep him dry and allow his body to do what it needs to do.
    10-07-2009, 09:50 PM
Green Broke
I always blanket in the winter(and it is considerably warmer down here!) because when we work the horses out and they sweat, it takes a long time for the horse to dry, and they can get a chill. I would use a rain sheet. I really like Rider's Internatinal, and Horsewear Ireland products.
    10-08-2009, 09:00 AM
I always blanket in the winter. I use a nice warm winter blanket and over that I put my rain sheet. I use the double blanket so I can keep the warmer winter blanket dry and clean. I have a number of rain sheets. They are easy to wash and if they get a rip I can have it repaired for easier then his heavy winter rug.
Right now, the rainy season all horses wear rain sheets and they don't stop wearing them until next spring.
We keep the barn at about 38 degrees all winter so they can wear their rugs inside but outside during the day it can get down to almost 0 F.
    10-08-2009, 11:47 AM
I always blanket- even if they chose to stand outside in the rain they are dry under their blanket :)
    10-08-2009, 12:17 PM
Putting a blanket on them won't make them colder, but if you blanket, you need to continue to blanket.
The way a horse keeps warm is with his hair and keeping his winter coat puffed up. The blanket will flatten the hair and he will need to use the blanket to stay warm. Diesel has gone winters of below zeros without a blanket, but since I want to continue to ride all winter (Similar to what stormy mentioned) I blanket. Also because it has been a cold and WET winter I blanket because that makes it difficult for him to stay warm also.
    10-08-2009, 02:37 PM
I would definitely try to keep your horse dry and use a rain sheet. This will keep him dry and help him maintain his body temperature. If you are going to do this, you should continue to blanket thereafter. Most horses are best kept in the enviornment closest to their natural state. As long as he has a shelter he should be okay.
    10-08-2009, 04:16 PM
I agree with the others.

I started last year with a rain blanket for my horses (after 3 years without) and I was also told that it would flatten their fur. But I started late when they had already a nice winter coat (it was a dry autumn here), and I'm going to use the rain blankets this winter too! They were actually quite happy about the blankets, one had never been blanketed in her life (and she is the one that is often kept "out in the cold" because the other one doesn't want her in the shelter) but she immediately found out that the rain blanket was quite nice and kept her dry.

I also prefer to put on a rain coat over my woollen sweater when I'm out in the rain
    10-08-2009, 04:42 PM
Alberta gets really cold. Way below you know ;) I would go to a local tack shop and ask the staff what they recommend for blankets and rainsheets and whatnot. They know the weather better than people on here.

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