How much fill should I get in a winter turnout? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-15-2012, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NY
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How much fill should I get in a winter turnout?

Okay so here's my horses situation. My horse is usually not blanketed at all during the winter and he lives outside all winter( with a good shelter of course). This year I brought my horse to university with me, which is two hours away and it's significantly colder there. I got a call from the barn owner saying that it was -2 degrees last night my horse was shivering so the barn owner brought him inside so he could dry and warm up. Unfortunately that hard part is I'm home for winter break and with work it's really hard getting up there. She suggested I get him a blanket for when it's that cold. However I'm a little worried because he has a full winter coat and I don't want him to be sweating under a blanket. So I'm wondering how much fill to get in a blanket to keep my horse warm and dry when it's below zero and windy but not too warm that it will make him sweat? Anyone else have this issue? What do you do?
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-16-2012, 05:17 PM
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Shivering is a warming mechanism. Since your horse likely has a full winter coat, blanketing can cause him to overheat or even sweat along his back. You will find that when he gets too warm, he'll get itchy and then will roll. A blanket doesn't last very long then. I used to have to wait for a bus in bitterly cold weather. I'd start shivering, then even more so, then suddenly I'd stop shivering as I was toasty warm. I learned to let it happen and not suppress it as so many people do.
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-16-2012, 06:17 PM
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I agree. If he has a good coat and shelter, I would not blanket him especially since you are not there to monitor. The most important thing in this situation is that he can get out of the wind and rain/snow when he wants to. A blanket will also interfere with the natural lift of his fur that helps him to control his body temperature.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-16-2012, 08:58 PM
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If I shiver I keep shivering more and more until I get to the warmer place, drink something hot, or put more cloth on. I NEVER quit shivering just because I do it, just feel more miserable with time.

Personally if your horse shivers I'd put a medium weight blanket on or at least a waterproof sheet to protect from the wind and snow (especially if it doesn't stay in shelter). BTW my cheap Saxon blankets ($40/new) last my mares for the 5th winter already.

Can you pay extra to the BO to take on/off the blanket and do little brushing when it's off? That would be ideal.
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