blanketing dos and donts? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Klassic Superstar
  • 1 Post By blue eyed pony
  • 3 Post By equiniphile
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-01-2012, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northern California
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blanketing dos and donts?

I have a three yr old filly she was stabled during rough weather until I brought her home two years ago and last winter she didn't seem to handle being out in all the weather. We have well built non scary shelters and she was in them often, but my mustang gelding wasn't and she stays pretty close to him. She seemed wet and shivery all winter and I felt soo bad for I put her on half alfalfa and half alfalfa grass ( I only feed grss and oat hay and their pastures all year round). This year I think I want to blanket her. Her coat is fluffy but not thick and compared to my mustang she still looks slick. I have only had mustangs that grow awesome coats so I have never blanketed a horse through a season and I don't know the dos and dont to it. Please help me out.

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post #2 of 7 Old 11-01-2012, 04:40 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Sounds like a light sheet will do her just fine.

measure her and go from there, Amigo makes really nice sheets that come in nice colors and a great price. Those blankets are amazing!

make sure not to wash it when it gets dirty, my boss who I love deearly washed all her blankets about 20 times a year if not more nad wonders why they suddenly are no longer water proof!

If your gelding starts to play woth the filly's blnkets tabasco souce ina spray bottle over the blanket should do the trick! On the non rainy days take it off so she can roll and get the itchies out ;)

Good luck!
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-01-2012, 04:55 PM
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Firstly, find out what rug size your horse actually takes. A rug too big or too small will rub and cause issues. Then, find out what rug SHAPE best fits your horse. Something with a flatter topline? Curvy topline? Cut for a laid back shoulder or a straight one? My boy has a rug that I adore for him because it's actually cut for his upright shoulder, so it sits really well on him and doesn't rub.

Once you've done all that, start with a basic waterproof shell. Canvas is great because it breathes, but it also weighs a lot, especially when wet. Synthetic is light but [and I don't care what the rug companies have to say about it, I haven't found any claims to the contrary to be actually TRUE] it doesn't breathe. My 2yo TB is in a canvas that's only very lightly lined with a woven wool layer and she does well in that - mind you we are coming into summer now so soon both of mine will just be in cottons.

Depending on your horse you might find that just a shell is enough - keeps them dry and cuts wind chill factor - or you might need something with fill. Start with a light fill and work your way up. You'll find that even if your horse needs a heavy rug in winter, it's nice to have lighter ones as well so that you can transition her in and out of rugs without giving her the shock of her life! A shell is also brilliant for those spring and fall days where it's too warm to put something heavy on, but it's raining and it will be cold at night, so you HAVE to put something waterproof on so you're not rugging a wet horse in the evening.

I've been rugging every winter for the past 4 years solid, out of total necessity because some of the horses we have had have been the type that you can't keep weight on if they're cold no matter how much you feed them. In fact with my current gelding it's a case of better slightly too warm than slightly too cold, because he loses a heap of weight if he's stressy and for some reason the cold really freaks him out. With the TB filly, she doesn't need heavies [or rugs for that matter] full stop - I'm just rugging to try to keep her coat nice, because she's chestnut, and I hate the colour chestnuts go when they bleach out.

With the leg straps, you do up one leg strap, then slip the other between that and the leg it's around, clipping it up so that the straps are crossed. That way if the rug slips it's not going to cut off circulation or cause sores, and it's not going to slip all the way around. Make sure the opening of the clip is towards the horse's body because some horses can figure out how to undo them the other way round.

Belly straps/crossover surcingles should be snug enough that it's physically impossible to get a hoof caught in them, and the chest straps should be done up so that there's some room for the shoulder to move but not too loose or the rug will slip back and cause rubs [and possibly sores].

Rugs with shoulder gussets are best, I have found. Rugs without rub like you wouldn't believe. I'm not a fan of the weatherbeeta forward gusseted design although my boss has a ton of rugs with said feature and none of her horses have shoulder rubs so it can't be that bad. I'm just not into it.

Rump and shoulder darts are excellent when your horse is just "that" shape, but if they're in the wrong place or are the wrong size for your horse, then they cause problems.

Mostly, above all, make sure your rugs FIT, aren't too heavy or too light, and don't leak! It's worth paying for quality, too, because usually a quality rug will last longer than cheap rubbish - although I have a rug that's seen 5 or 6 winters now that cost $60 [very very cheap for a waterproof in Aus] and it's still going strong, not faded. Over the years my horses have wrecked 2 straps and the neck part so I converted it into a standard neck [it was a combo] and then retired it to the spare pile, but it's definitely a tough old thing.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-01-2012, 04:57 PM
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Make sure you remove it daily and take a few seconds to check her over for any wounds or blanket rubs.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-01-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northern California
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Thanks! All great information! I know how to fit and put on a blanket. But I have some questions. Can I put it on if she's already wet or should I dry her first? I plan on only putting it on her during the bad storms to block rain and wind. It gets really windy here. Will blanketing her on occasion through her into shock or confuse her body? And should I consider just a shell or is a rug/ filling important for what I want?

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post #6 of 7 Old 11-01-2012, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Depends on who you talk to.

The past two professional riders I have worked for have put them on wet horses with no issues for years. I don't like rugging a wet horse... I have a cooler which I use to dry them off, or put on underneath if I don't have time. Some people put an old bathroom towel on underneath the rug, and it will slip out once the horse is dry. You'll find it in the pasture somewhere, probably soaking wet.

I don't know, re the really foul weather, because here in my little section of Aus we don't really get any REALLY foul weather... although a friend of mine got a horse back from lease mid-winter, and the lessee rugs, and the friend doesn't, so horse went from heavies to naked overnight. She was fine, sprung a really good coat within a few days. My boy, you can't rug and then not rug. It really depends on the horse.

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post #7 of 7 Old 11-01-2012, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northern California
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I'll just have to keep an eye on her and see how she does. Here in Northern California we can have 48 degree days with out a cloud in the sky and the next day its 20 degree flash flooding with 15 mph winds. The worst though is when its about 30 degrees and non stop constant heavy rain for a week and a half with off and on strong wind. Those are the times I worry about my filly when I go out and she soaking wet shaking. =\

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