Winter Time delemas - Page 2
 
 

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Winter Time delemas

This is a discussion on Winter Time delemas within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How to defluff a winter jacket
  • How to defluff horses coats

View Poll Results: Blanket or No blanket?
No I let him/her grow his own winter coat. 12 60.00%
Blanket. Always blanket. There's no other way 5 25.00%
I sometimes blanket. If it's below zero 0 0%
I use a sheet to keep the wind off 0 0%
I'll blanket when I feel like it. 0 0%
Other (comment below) 3 15.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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    02-22-2013, 06:02 PM
  #11
Super Moderator
1. Since this "blanketing causes the winter coat not to grow!" thing is a huge pet peeve of mine, a "short" PSA:
Blanketing does not take anything away as far as thickness or thinness of winter hair is concerned. Blanketing DOES "de-fluff" a winter coat so that's why it's important to, when blanketing, replace hair pile with fill - ie blanketing appropriately for the weather (no lightweight blankets in freezing weather, etc).
The hair coat of a blanketed horse in winter will look sleeker than that of an unblanketed horse but that's just because the sleeker horse is not "fluffing" to make him/herself warmer. Put a blanketed horse out without a blanket for an hour and he/she will very quickly fluff up and look like his/her unblanketed herdmates, coat thickness-wise.


2. I, in the past, blanketed my mare extensively. Last winter I even clipped her - therefore, she has a large selection of blankets that she used regularly! Haha
This winter, she's been recuperating from an injury and I've been more financially capable of handling feeding her as much hay as she needs to stay warm, so I've been letting her go "naked" a lot of the winter.
She does get blanketed when it rains or is excessively windy. She's 28 and has some medical problems that are exacerbated by becoming chilled, therefore (since she's more likely to stand out n the wind and rain than she is to head to the shed for cover) in cases where she's in danger of becoming chilled (rain/wind), I don't mess around.

I do believe that it's "better" for most young horses with healthy immune systems, plenty of hay, and a run-in shed capable of containing all the horses in the pasture, to go blanket-less during the winter. But I think as long as blankets are thoughtfully thought out (blanketing appropriately for the temperature, checking to make the horse doesn't become too hot, checing to make sure they aren't too cold, etc) horses can do well with them, no matter the circumstances.
     
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    02-22-2013, 06:14 PM
  #12
Weanling
No blankets.
Just plenty 'o hay, their natural coats, some trees to run under, and each other to keep company.
Hopefully I am not missing anything, but grooming doesn't take any longer in winter that I can tell; really truly, less it seems- since my husband warned me he was told over brushing a wintercoat will pull too much hair out. Now I brush enough to put the saddle on. And my poor tolerant girl, I grab so much winter woolie when I saddle her... yank here, yank there.. whoopsy, sorry girl! :P
     
    02-22-2013, 06:19 PM
  #13
Trained
Aires is part wooly mammoth and convinced that we live in Antarctica, so with his 4" overcoat and at least double coat (I swear it's a triple when he starts shedding out), I don't see a point in blanketing...especially since we live in (northern) Arizona.
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    02-22-2013, 06:21 PM
  #14
Banned
I have 3 horses I only blanket my 26 year old mare she wears a heavy weight 400 grams fiber fill. When it was at its coldest she had on two blankets heavy weight and a medium weight blanket. She doesnt hold her weigh well when left with no blanket this winter has been tough with lots of 30 below zero nights. Plus we have had alot bitter cold wind chills to go with the 30 below. My geldings have done ok with just their hair coats for protection both were shivering on those real cold days.
     
    02-22-2013, 06:27 PM
  #15
Weanling
My guy is bodyclipped, so he's pretty heavily blanketed. However, I do agree that most horses don't need blankets and would be happier without them.
     
    02-22-2013, 06:33 PM
  #16
Foal
I blanket because I give him a trace clip. He's a hairy yak and I have to clip to ride or I spend hours drying out
     
    02-22-2013, 06:39 PM
  #17
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpark    
Only if my horse gets wet.

Horses can fluff and flatten their coats depending on the weather conditions, blanketing takes that ability away. Unless you are able to have a few different weights of blanket and switch them out a couple times a day, I wouldnt do it. If you have a heavy blanket on for cold temps and the horse is comfortable, then the temp goes up by 20 degrees but you can't get out to the barn for a few hours? Your horse would cook.

My mares are out in temps between -50 to +35 all year with no issues. The odd horse that is incapable of growing a winter coat, is sick, old, clipped, or kept in a very small corral needs one.
This is my point of view too, and I'm located up north beside Alaska.

I blanketed a mare this winter for the first time as she was very thin with not much coat. Despite veterinary visits and medication she ended up passing away regardless.

However, I've been meaning to make a post about riding an indoor arena and then turning back out without blanketing... good idea, terrible idea...?
     

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