Attn Midwesterners: To Blanket or Not?

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Attn Midwesterners: To Blanket or Not?

This is a discussion on Attn Midwesterners: To Blanket or Not? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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    10-24-2008, 10:18 AM
Attn Midwesterners: To Blanket or Not?

Hello! I'm from No. Virginia, a moderate climate, where I never blanketed my horses. Here in SE Iowa, the weather is harsher. I don't want to clip if I don't have to--I'm a weekend rider and only exercise my horse moderately. Do you guys put on turnout blankets when your horses go out? I always heard that a blanket will flatten the natural coat and possibly make the horse colder in the long run. Any ideas?

(I should introduce myself. I just bought a new horse--my fifth in my life. He is a true black, 15.3 hh, thoroughbred gentleman. I have a hunter/jumper background, but this boy is for trails, teaching my teenage boys and a little jumping and beginning dressage. Nice to be here!)
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    10-24-2008, 10:28 AM
We don't blanket ours here is southern Kansas and it gets pretty cold.
Welcome to the forum by the way
    10-24-2008, 10:40 AM
Welcome to the Forum! I was born and raised an Iowegan! I grew up in SW Iowa. We never blanketed our horses. They were on 24/7 turnout with the barn open for shelter when they wanted it.

IMO a blanket keeps the horse's nautral defences from working for the horse. The horse won't grow as thick of a winter coat if it's wearing a blanket.
    10-24-2008, 10:50 AM
I'm in IL. We don't blanket here. Heck, the horses have free choice of being inside or outside but they almost never go inside.
    10-24-2008, 11:01 AM
It really depends on your situation. I am in Minnesota and although I have never blanketed my thoroughbred even though he was on 24/7 pasture, he had at that time total access to a shelter. He always had hay and heated water.
Now we just moved and so he has not kept his weight up so he is a little skinny for starting the winter out and it has been very wet and cold here and he is not high in the pecking order so the shelter is not always open for him at the worst of times.
I was waiting to see though and finnally one day my BO called and said he was shivering so I went and put the turnout sheet (waterproof of course)on him.
You just have to listen to your horse.Is he out all day and night? Is the barn heated if he is stalled?
    10-24-2008, 09:17 PM
Thanks for the replies. Mojo does have access to a walkin shed, along with the other horses in his field. He is the low man in the pecking order, but the barn owner says they do not keep him out. He's plump enough after spending the summer on a weight-gain diet. But he does have a fine haircoat and seems thin-skinned. I guess I'm remembering unclipped horses sweating under their blankets. Still undecided, but leaning towards no blanket unless conditions become very harsh, sleety, etc. But in that case, I hope the horses will be brought in...
Thanks so much everyone for your input!
    10-26-2008, 04:25 PM
Up here in Northern Indiana it can get pretty cold, especially since the stables is less than a mile from Lake Michigan!
If it gets super cold and blizzard-y the horses get to stay in and paddock groups take turns ruining our indoor arena. Lol
But if the weather is decent they go out. They don't have shelters, so we put blankets on the ones who barely grow a coat, the ones that colic when the temperature changes, and the ones that shiver even though they have a full coat. I put one on all of mine because if they got wet it would make them colder, and I'm not always there to bring them in if they start to shiver and get cold. Especially my warmblood mares. My geldings (qh and standardbred) get the thickest coat, so I don't worry too much about them.
I'd say we really don't start blanketing any of them until around Jan. Into Feb. And stop around early march.
    10-26-2008, 04:32 PM
I live in MN and I don't blanket... as long as they have access to some wind block and are of good weight they should be fine. I will only blanket after I bathe for a show or in the fall to keep the winter hair off for shows... but it sure doesnt take long for them to grow it in.
    10-26-2008, 08:48 PM
I'm from Upper Michigan and it gets really cold here...I've never blanketed. They have the option to go inside (there are two of them) and they choose to stay outside.

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