I was at a horse place the other day and was looking to see how much blankets were and there were like a million different kinds. Are they all necessary? I have other pets and I know some of the stuff they try to sell you is completely unnecessary so i'm trying to keep that in mind. I live where it gets pretty cold in the winter and it snows like half the year. I have no idea so any advice would be extremely helpful, thanks!
I think fly sheets can be necessary. I didn't have one last summer for my horse, but she was really bothered by the flies (didn't help that the barn didn't do anything about the flies ) So for this summer, i'm getting her a really good one.
Flies are not a problem where I am, but I do have plenty of sheets to keep the sun off and the coat nice for show season. I use a slinky also. I don't put that on full time though (I probably should), but only after the bath, before the show.
In the winter (we get snow and cold weather), I try to avoid blankets, and let the coat does what it is meant to do, but when temps drop here (to about 20 below zero), and the horses are shivering, I put on a good thick blanket with a good amount of fill, that is water resistant nylon on the outside. Some of our horses never need a blanket, even at 20 below, but I tend to baby a bit in that weather. :) I try to have a good warm blanket on hand for each horse, plus one, so that I can rotate the blankets, and air out/dry out/ clean the one not in use.
When looking for a turnout sheet, look for a high rip resistance. Don't skimp on a few dollars when you have a choice between a rip-stop material and something else.
I had a light summer turnout and a heavy winter turnout for my horses, and I think it's well worth the money.
I bought a heavy duty material blanket to throw on top fo my winter one to keep it from getting beaten up in the paddock, the material was heavy plastic weave stuff.. almost like the weave stuff you see on outdoor furnature.
Thanks everyone, especially for the links, those look like really nice blankets. Would you guys/gals suggest getting blankets from online or a tack shop or something? Or doesn't it matter. For the summer one, whats the point, besides to keep flies off or protect a light colored horse? Is it to keep them from cutting them on wire or something little like that.
When I went in to look at blankets I was flippin out because I thought I would need all of them, ahhhhhh :) thanks.
A sheet is also good for darker colored horses for 2 reasons that I can think of. 1. A lighter colored sheet will help reflect the light and keep them cooler and 2, the sun tends to bleach horses. Most people use a sheet in the summer if they show the horse.
I bought my winter blanket at a store, but I like shopping online better. I get thousands of choices, and when I find one I like, I can look for reviews and for the best price.
It kind of depends on your horse and where you keep it. My horse isn't body clipped but I still have a heavier blanket for colder days. What I've heard is that stalled horses actually have a harder time keeping warm because they can't move around or huddle for warmth. I also have a thinner sheet for days when it's a little chilly but too warm for the thicker blanket. Not a huge necessity but makes me feel better. :) I buy all of my blankets in the "turnout" style and always buy something that's at least 1000Denier (that will measure how strong it is). The 600 D stuff just tears too easily, especially when they start playing! And stable blankets usually aren't strong enough to handle that kind of wear and tear. Most places are having some great deals on blankets right now. I bought a Saxon on horse.com for like, $70 and it's lasted a while now.
As far as fly sheets, coolers, etc? I would say probably not a necessity. I only use a cooler at shows. None of the horses at my barn even own a fly sheet (but everyone goes through gallons of fly spray a year!)