Cold weather riding, keeping horse warm?

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Cold weather riding, keeping horse warm?

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    10-29-2012, 09:27 AM
Green Broke
Cold weather riding, keeping horse warm?

So this is sort of a spin off of my other thread (My horse is a princess....*sigh*) about my little princess but now I have a question. Wanted more opinions so I put it here rather than in tack as it's also more of a general question.

The other day she was shivering while I was tacking up outside. It was about 40 degrees with a very light wind. The sun was going down but that is going to be common now with winter. So all in all not really cold for what we will see in the coming months. I plan on riding all through the winter. The only thing that will stop me is when it is far too cold for me to be outside long, which is about a -20 to -30 windchill. Oh and no indoor.

So since she was already shivering in these *warm* temps, should I be using a quarter sheet or something while riding when it gets really cold?

Obviously riding would warm her up but when it gets really snowy we wont be doing anything past a walk because of the danger of slipping. So because she will still shiver after walking forever will she stay warm enough?

She's blanketed pretty much all the time now. Only when it gets close to 50 during the day will it come off for a few hours.

I should also add that yesterday when I got to the barn she and her two buddies were running around like dingbats and she had her blanket on but when I caught her she was not hot under the blanket.

Sorry for the novel, and thank you for any opinions.
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    10-29-2012, 11:47 AM
I would use a quarter sheet for her. If she gets fussy or too warm with it you can always wrap it around yourself!

It's 50 outside but rainy (hurricane sandy is comin!). I got to work just to find out that they were closed but hey couldn't figure out how to put the message up! I went to my horse and he was cold and shivering (he was dry and sheeted) so I stuck a cooler on him until he dried, put him in his heavy blanket and left him as a much happier horse in a stall with hay.
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    10-29-2012, 11:52 AM
Green Broke
Ok so now what would be the best type? Just fleece or something that is waterproof on top for when it's snowing?
    10-29-2012, 11:54 AM
I'd go with a waterproof one just in case but a wool or fleece one would do if you don't plan to ride in rain or active snowfall.

I don't ride when it's actively raining or snowing so I have two wool ones. If the snow is on the ground that's fine but if its still coming down I don't ride since I don't like the feel of rain or snow :) it doesn't take much to make my horse cold so I usually opt for covering him up.
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    10-29-2012, 12:12 PM
Green Broke
So where do I find these sheets? I only found a few at smartpak but they are pricey. I paid less for my winter blankets then those things cost. And since I have a nice super short back arab do I have to go to pony size?
    10-29-2012, 12:20 PM
Here is some idk if they are good quality as I don't own a horse to try them out but there are some cheaper ones here than on SmartPak

Shop for Quarter and Exercise Sheets to Warm Up a Horse’s Muscles- on Equestrian Collections | EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM
    10-29-2012, 12:24 PM
Pretty much any tack shop. Search for quarter sheet, exercise rug, exercise sheet.

Dover should have some. Your local tack shop should too.

I use horse size on my little Arab and it works out well. I can just steal more of it for myself!
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    10-29-2012, 12:35 PM
Green Broke
L2R those are much cheaper than smartpak and I'm very tempted to get the Christmas one just so I can giggle the whole ride as my horse is pissed at me lol.

I think I might wait until the next auction and see if they have any as it *shouldn't* get cold enough for one until after November.
    10-29-2012, 05:43 PM
Educate me? If you're going to be riding outside all winter long, why is your horse blanketed now? I would think that being blanketed would prevent her from growing a good hair coat and THAT would be very useful in keeping her warm. Do you show? It's been into the 40's and blowing down here and none of our horses are shivering....but then we don't blanket unless it's going to be extremely cold and wet at the same time.
    10-29-2012, 05:53 PM
Originally Posted by HagonNag    
Educate me? If you're going to be riding outside all winter long, why is your horse blanketed now? I would think that being blanketed would prevent her from growing a good hair coat and THAT would be very useful in keeping her warm. Do you show? It's been into the 40's and blowing down here and none of our horses are shivering....but then we don't blanket unless it's going to be extremely cold and wet at the same time.
Just responding about my particular horse.

My horse doesn't grow much of a winter coat. I don't know why, but he doesn't. He has about a 1/2 inch of fur, maybe a little more, and that is positively FUZZY for him. He tends to grow just enough hair to take a long time to dry. I haven't clipped him this year. When it drops into the 40's, my horse is uncomfortable. I visited him earlier to bring him inside for the hurricane and it was very rainy, about 51 degrees. He was under shelter, dry under his rain sheet, and he was *shivering*. He doesn't eat nearly as much as normal when he's cold (side note: Why don't the shelters at any barn I've been at have hay feeders? The hay and the shelter are always separate!) He's also a hair overweight (I figure in the winter a little too fat is better than a little too skinny). I brought him in, warmed him up and left him inside a much happier horse - bundled up in a thicker blanket with a neck.

He loves his blankie.

I don't consider him to be "normal" in that regard - he has no tolerance for cold and really hates the wet. He normally lives outside 24/7, but the barn is new (new as in just finished a few days ago with lots of finishing touches still going on), and he was jus so much happier inside with his blankie and hay net that I let him be.

Why he doesn't grow much winter coat, I have no idea. I tried waiting longer this year to start regularly sheeting him and he did not grow any more fur than he did last year. Maybe it's his breed/breeding (SE Arabian), maybe it's something else. I blanket him because he's a happier horse with the blankets on and I really don't mind providing them. If he was comfortable without, I'd leave him nekkid.

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