Do horse blankets work? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 46 Old 02-14-2012, 09:18 PM
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Even being wet is not the worst thing that ever happened. I mean, in the wild they get wet and the wind blows. But if the horse can move around, eat and find a wind break, it will usually be fine (as long as it is not clipped)
The horses usually have rather long "guard" hairs that kind of clump together and form a point that channels the water to drip off their sides, and the water does't go under the guard hairs to the under coat, which stays pretty dry. If you brush them while they are wet on the guard hairs, you have broken the seal, in a sense, and now water will go to the under layer and make the skin wet.
If I bring Mac up from the field to ride and he is wet, I brush only the area where the saddle pad will go , so as not to disturb the guard hairs that are channeling the water off his back and rump. He looks really filthy when I ride him out, but under the filth, he is dry.
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post #12 of 46 Old 02-14-2012, 09:22 PM
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i live in ND my boys are outside and have a barn to get into but when i ride them hard and i dont want them to get cold we out blankets on or if its super cold. just depends i have 2 blankets for each horse a nice one and then some less nice for when we clean the nice ones.
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post #13 of 46 Old 02-14-2012, 09:31 PM
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Like Tiny said the hair makes the difference.

I have found down here for some reason they get humped up and shiver...where before I would never think about it. I really do think it has to do with the drastic change of temps here. They have a hard time adjusting.

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post #14 of 46 Old 02-14-2012, 10:27 PM
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It completely depends on the horse.

The majority of the horses at the barn don't wear blankets, but a handful do including my own.

Sunny wears one because we are in the south, and she drops weight like crazy in the winter. In the south, at least here in AL, it is 80 F one day and 15 F with wind chill the next. Because of this, Sunny's poor coat gets extremely confused. When winter first came in she sad a nice fluffy coat. Then the bipolar weather came about, and BAM! She shed every bit of it out. She's as sleek as a summer pony right now, which is all good and dandy on the warm days which are 75% of the time, but on the crazy nights when it gets below 30 F she gets a blanket.

Even when she does have a decent winter coat(like she did last year), she still drops weight in the cold. This is the first year I've blanketed her and, guess what? No weight loss.

So to Joe, my horse is not clipped, is not under lights all day, and has free choice hay but she still needs a blanket.

The other horses who get blankets are either clipped or very elderly and can't spare the precious calories on keeping warm or they drop weight.

So like I said, it entirely depends on the horse. Many horses get by with their nice, fluffy winter woolies. But some can't, and a blanket may be in their best interest.
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Last edited by Sunny; 02-14-2012 at 10:30 PM.
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post #15 of 46 Old 02-14-2012, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
Even when she does have a decent winter coat(like she did last year), she still drops weight in the cold. This is the first year I've blanketed her and, guess what? No weight loss.
Same, though I'm hoping next winter he won't need anything as he is getting fitter he'll be able to handle rain and cold in the same breath.

But right now, he gets a sheet on to keep him dry when it's 30 out otherwise he's bare.

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post #16 of 46 Old 02-15-2012, 07:36 AM
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A few ideas :)

We delay sheeting until the night time temp drops below 40 for more than 4 hours. We the blanket when the outside temp goes down to 20 for the same range of hours. The temp inside a barn usually ranges from 5-10 degrees warmer than the temps outside. I admit I prefer the sheeting and then blanketing for two reasons outside of warmth. One is that it keeps them cleaner and two, the horses are being worked on a daily basis and early sheeting/blanketing keeps the coat from coming in too thick (you will still get some winter coat) which reduces the drying time of sweat after a workout without having to do clipping.

Horses will grow a winter is a natural thing for them. If you don't sheet/blanket at all, the theory is that on a healthy animal (any animal for that matter) the coat they grow will be enough to keep them warm. There was always an old saying that if you pay attention to the thickness of an animal's coat as it comes in for the winter, you will get an idea of how cold the winter will be, well, I think the prediction was off this year as some horses I know have enough hair for three.

I grew up in Connecticut and when I had horses there (early to mid 80s) we didn't blanket unless it was near blizzard conditions, or we turned out in snow, and even then the barn owner was always mumbling..."paranoid teenage girls afraid the horsie will get cold...." (Think 60+ years old, gruff, tough, been around horses 1000 years type :) )
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post #17 of 46 Old 02-15-2012, 07:56 AM
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I put blankets on when it's cold and very windy. They really appreciate it.

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post #18 of 46 Old 02-15-2012, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
I put blankets on when it's cold and very windy. They really appreciate it.
Uh huh... do they tell you that?
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post #19 of 46 Old 02-15-2012, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by NorthernMama View Post
Uh huh... do they tell you that?

They probably act a whole lot happier and have more in a way I'm sure they do.
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post #20 of 46 Old 02-15-2012, 06:42 PM
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When a horse stops shivering after you blanket them, yes, it's safe to assume they appreciate it.

ETA: There is a mare at the barn that starts shivering when it gets below 40 F (and she isn't clipped or stalled). So when the temp drops she gets a blanket. However, that would probably cause heat stroke among a high number of horses who have their winter woolies. Horses are individuals. I wish that people in both the anti-blanket and in the over-blanket groups would realize that.
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Last edited by Sunny; 02-15-2012 at 06:46 PM.
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