Blanketing while wet? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-04-2011, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Blanketing while wet?

So, I know that horses use their fat to keep warm, or so I've been told, but my pony is pretty thin right now (We're working with the vet to change that) and I don't want him to freeze. All three of my horses have shelters but the wind and rain combined end up with no place to truely aviod getting wet. Anyway, when I got home from school today my poor little guy was pretty wet and was pretty cold when I touched his coat. *They are all use to being blanketed- I'm one of THOSE owners (the ones who overreact and think they're horses will freeze at 50 degrees or below because I freeze then)-* So, I blanketed him and the other boys just cause its supposed to get around 30 degrees tonight with on and off rain.
But I was wondering, does blanketing them when they are ALREADY wet help them keep warm or make it harder for them to dry off? (Please don't say that I don't need to blanket them, I know that they would probably do just fine- it's just my personal preference to cover them)
Thanks for any answers!

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post #2 of 13 Old 11-04-2011, 09:02 PM
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I was always told that blanketing while wet makes it harder for them to get dry.

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-04-2011, 10:04 PM
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Yeh. I think it makes it hard for the hair to dry and without the loft of dry hair, they cannot stay warm. They don't stay warm from fat, like a seal does, but they do burn more calories to stay warm., but it's the thick fur that provides insulation more than fat.
Some people say that blankets push the hair down and take out the natural loft of the hair, certainly over the back and whither area it would. So, some say blankets make horses colder. I don't know it true or not.

We don't blanket at all. When we get back from a ride if the hrose is sweaty, I towel dry as best I can and then they go out in th pasture, damp . And they are out 24/7. As long as the wind isn't blowing too much they are ok. IF it's really blowing, I try to get them a bit drier, and let them hang out with a wool coooler on for an hour.

This blanketting thing is always a headache. My friend asked me to look in on her horse while she is gone . At her barn all horses are blanketted, even though they, too, live in paddocks with run ins only. So, during the day, the poor horse is sweating under the heavy blanket and I suppose more than warm at night, assuming he isn't still wet from the day sweat.

I cannot convince her that he will be fine in his run in without a blanket up to 20 degrees f or maybe less, if not too windy. But, they all do it, so she does not want to be left out.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-04-2011, 10:18 PM
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My understanding has always been that you do not blanket wet if you can avoid it. It traps the moisture between your horse's coat/skin and the blanket, which does not do the horse any favors in terms of comfort or warmth. If you've ever put a baseball cap or helmet on over wet hair, think about how your hair still felt damp later in the day after you took the hat off - it's like that.

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-04-2011, 10:27 PM
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We never blanket when wet. In my understanding/experience it makes them colder. We use a cooler and while the cooler is on we lift up random parts and rub rub rub with a towel (sometimes more than 1 if needed).

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post #6 of 13 Old 11-05-2011, 06:26 AM
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If you are set on blanketing them, just towel them off and blanket them. The dampness will be wicked away within a few hours. When it's wet+cold+windy having a cover to keep your horse drier and protect from the evaporation of the wind will more than offset being damp for a few hours under the blanket/sheet.

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post #7 of 13 Old 11-05-2011, 08:13 AM
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One bad thing that I've heard about blanketing when wet, the horse can get something similar to rain rot. The moisture can't evaporate and helps bacteria grow on the skin. It's the same if the horse sweats under the blanket. I don't think it's called blanket rot but I can't remember the term.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-05-2011, 08:26 AM
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We've been told by numerous barn owners, rescue organizations, trainers and instructors NEVER EVER to blanket when wet.

I never really asked why, just figured that since everyone we know was SO sure it was a bad idea, that they must have their reasons.

And don't worry about being one of "those" who blanket their horses....I do, too. It is my preference and that's just the way it is. I have ALWAYS blanketed my horses, but now that we have moved them high up in the mountains where it is colder and windier, at least now I have a reason. Lol.

Seriously....some blanket some don't. And some on here probably do but don't want to admit it.

Last edited by Beauseant; 11-05-2011 at 08:31 AM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-05-2011, 12:01 PM
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I've heard that if you stick straw between them and the blanket, it helps them dry out. The straw will suck out the moisture, and when it dries it looses its stick and falls off. Never tried it, but I might have to this winter with the spastic weather here...

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post #10 of 13 Old 11-05-2011, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I've heard similar things to what you guys have been saying- just wanted to see if anyone knew why and if it was true. :)

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