winter blanketing or no winter blanketing? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
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Question winter blanketing or no winter blanketing?

okay, so I've gotten a lot of opposing views on whether or not to blanket in the winter. i would just like to know if i should.

well the only reason, to be completely honest, that i would like to blanket my mare is because i have found an incredibly cute pink one and she's my baby so i want to do everything i can for her. its my first winter with her, and i want to make sure she's as comfortable as possible. she as well as our other horses and donkeys are going to be in the pasture this winter with 24/7 barn access. they are able to walk in and out freely. there's also straw & scrap hay that we will lay down in there for bedding. but really does a horse that has a good winter coat, is healthy, and has a place to get out of the cold need a blanket? i'm sure she doesn't NEED one, but would it be nicer for her if i put one on her? I've heard that it prevents them from getting their winter coat. but if she already has it will it remain!? it won't harm her if i put one on unnecessarily will it?

i'm a winter blanket dummie.....

put your knowledge upon me!!

btw just added a picture so you guys would tell me how cute she is (;
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Your horse will grow a great woolie coat that will protect her all winter. As long as she can bum up against a solid wall, she'll do well with the cold. Be sure she has plenty of hay if the temps really drop. At -35 mine eat about 30 lbs of hay each or free access to a big round bale. Even tho you feel cold don't blanket her or she will overheat and dehydrate. Besides, if she doesn't try to rip it off, the others will as it will be a source of amusement. She will lift her hair to trap warm air or flatten it when too warm. A blanket takes away her ability to do this.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 09:25 PM
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Tbh, I'm so bored of these threads But it comes with the season change. Look around the forum, you will find lots of helpful threads that target all kinds of blanketing pros and cons.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 09:40 PM
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Okay so - blanketing basics:

Healthy Horses Adapt.

Blanket a healthy horse regularly, it'll grow less of a winter coat because nature will tell it it is already warm.

Put a blanket on top of a thick winter coat - your horse may well sweat. Or rip the thing off because she's uncomfortable.

Your horse shivers, loses weight and seems generally unhappy in cold weather - your horse needs a blanket.

Your horse will not be locked in a stall, and she will be turned out with other horses - other horses have a tendency to pull and yank on horse blankets that are on their pasture mates. Blankets in the pasture can be a real safety hazard, especially if you have a destructive horse.

You don't mention if your cute blanket is a turnout blanket or a stable blanket - but stable blankets are NOT waterproof, and turning a horse out in a blanket that is not waterproof is a big no-go.

Personally, I don't blanket unless it gets unreasonably, unusually cold.

I would wait and see how she does, you don't have much to gain from blanketing her if she is healthy. If she's shivering or seems unhappy, then go ahead and blanket her.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 09:41 PM
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My thoughts on blankets:
They're one of those downhill slide things. You get one blanket, start blanketing your horse, your horse gets used to it and becomes a big baby about not being blanketed, blanket gets ripped, you end buying another one, then you decide that maybe you should get one of each weight so the next thing you know-you have 3 blankets and one ripped one, then one of the new ones gets ripped, etc etc etc.

It won't necessarily hurt your mare if you're blanketing correcting depending on the weather. Look up "blanketing chart" using Google for more info on that. If you aren't blanketing correctly, aka you're doing something dumb like using a light weight blanket in 20 degree weather, or something similar, you can certainly harm your horse and cause her to become colder than she would have otherwise.

Some people believe that blanketing will help stop the winter coat from growing in. Personally, I completely do not believe that. It certainly helps the coat lay down flat so it looks like there's less hair, but if you leave the horse unblanketed on a kinda cold day after blanketing him/her for quite a while, your horse will suddenly have a normal (for him or her) winter coat, once the hair fluffs up. My mare has a winter coat similar to that of a yak and her hair still gets to be 5 inches long, and thick, all over her body, even though she's blanketed 24/7 during the winter.
A blanket will not cause your horse to loose her winter coat either. Only being put under lights and having her body "tricked" into thinking it's spring, or having it be spring, will do that.

My criteria for blanketing is:
Age of the horse (older, 20+year old, horses, yes. Young healthy horses, no.)
Condition of the horse (skinny, any age horse=blanket, fat younger than 20 horse= no blanket)
Availability of shelter (no shelter at all=blanket, shelter+young healthy horse=no)

Personally, if I were you, I'd save my money and and see how she does this winter without a blanket. If you find that she seems uncomfortable, then start considering a blanket appropriate for your climate. I bet though that she'll be fine. :)

Also, she is very very cute. :)

Good luck! I totally get the "but this blanket is so cute!!" thing.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 09:52 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Yes, the mare is very cute-& she'd look adorable in her pink blanket. Is it necessary-probably not. Do I have blankets- Yes, but I only put them on on very cold nights-around 20 degress or less-my horses are 19 & 20, the Arab is not fat, my little mare is a bit chunky. But if I'm out riding & come home at dusk & they are wet-I blanket, feed & come out later when they are dry & take it off if it's a "normal" night.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 10:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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My philocify (butchered spelling! LOL) is if they grow a good coat and don't need one why blanket?
Don't fix somethin that don't need fixin
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