I'm fairly new to horse ownership, even though I have about 9 years of experience with horses. I'm not sure if I need a winter blanket for my horse. I live in New Jersey, and so far our winter has not been that harsh. My horse is a Quarter Horse. His fur isn't that thick this year. I feel kinda stupid asking this . Do I need a winter blanket?
I don't blanket our horses and its been pretty cold in the 20's at night. I was always told if they aren't shivering then there is no need to blanket. I do keep them eating which I think is essential in cold weather. They have access to hay 24/7. It did seem it took them longer to put on a winter coat this year, not sure if it was the warmish fall or what but they did finally fluff up.
Yeah, keep him well-fed (he'll use up that energy keeping himself warm) and he should be fine. You may need a blanket for him later if...you get an early spring and he loses his winter coat...then you get a cold snap with chilly rain combo. He won't have the natural blanket on him to keep him warm through the cold rain.
I'm not sure about the weather in NJ but we've had damp nights around here that get's down into the low 30's. We've also had a couple of frost already but my two have yet to even go into their stalls.
What I mean by that is......
Even on a frosty night, when I come in from work around midnight, I find them out in the field, either grazing or napping.
I do throw them a little extra hay on a night like that but blankets?...Nope.... I figure if the cold aint bothering them enough for them to get-in out of it, I'm not going to worry over it much.
Besides that, one of mine sleeps laying down with all 4 legs tucked-up under him. Even if it got real cold, I'd be reluctant to strap a blanket on him, for fear of hindering his movement.
I'd be more apt to stall mine, than blanket them.
I would blanket him. We use weatherbeeta. They work nicely. You want something with a higher denier so that it will not be ripped up easily. I have found that 1200 D ussually last nicely. Make sure that if he is going to be turned out in the blanket, you get a turnout blanket that is water proof and not a stable blanket. I'm not sure about the weather in New Jersey, but they have all kind of different wieghts, etc.