Tell me all about winter blanketing!
   

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Tell me all about winter blanketing!

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        10-01-2013, 07:39 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    Tell me all about winter blanketing!

    I think I need to get my QH a winter blanket or two. He is skinny (was in poor weight when I bought him recently) and winter is fast approaching. There is snow on the mountains already and we have very long, cold winters. I've never had to blanket a horse before as my drafty crosses stay fat even through our long -40 winters haha.

    I've tried to do an internet search but nothing is very helpful :p

    So what do I need to know?? As I said, our winters generally seem to hover around maybe -15ish to -20*C (5*F) but do dip to -40*C (-40*F) for weeks on end.

    I guess I should probably get a couple different weight blankets but what weights and when do I need to switch them up? I guess I could just get one blanket (what weight though?) and then get a liner as well? Hood or not? I do know I want waterproof/breathable but don't know much besides that.

    My other question is regarding use of an indoor arena in the winter - for my fatties, would it be good enough to ride them indoors and then turn them back out without blankets AFTER they are thoroughly dry? Or should they also be blanketed all winter if I'm going to be riding inside a couple times a week?
         
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        10-01-2013, 07:57 PM
      #2
    Yearling
    You didn't post your actual state so some ideas. 1. Our barn puts on sheets when the temps are a continuous 40F and start blanketing, most of us in heavy weight blankets, at 20F. All of our horses are stalled at night with doors closed so it is actually 10 degrees warmer inside the barn even in fairly high winds. The early sheeting for us is more a matter of convenience to keep coats short and easier to clean/dry as many of us show all winter. Some of the horses do have naturally very short "winter" coats so for them blanketing is important even with the increased hay rations the horses get in the winter.

    2. If you allow your horses to develop a winter coat, maybe not sheet or blanket before say 30, it allows you to possibly use a lighter weight blanket...medium vice heavy. What is important is that the horse stays dry. If you are turning out the blanket, no matter the weight, should be waterproof.

    3. At the lowest temps you are indicating, and thinking a windy night outside, I would use a heavyweight no matter the coat length. Wind takes away body heat. Now, others will say allow the winter coat to develop and let nature take its course, leaving the horse unblanketed, unless the horse is elderly, ill or thin and is having difficulties.

    4. As for indoor riding and then turnout, again, depends on the horse. Making sure the horse is 100% dry is imperative. If they are used to being turned out and again, the wind is "normal" for your usual unblanketed status, I wouldn't worry about it. If you are worried about sweating, do a hunter style clip or chest line clip but then you would want to have at least a lightweight blanket.

    5. As for swap times, it depends. There really isn't one set of standards that says, when it hits this temp change to this weight blanket or else. Let the horse tell you. If you blanket too heavy too soon you'll find the horse sweats underneath...that would obviously tell you to switch to a lighter blanket or remove it entirely. Understand that as you sheet and blanket, you inhibit the coat length as the horse's body doesn't register such a difference in the temp change.
         
        10-01-2013, 08:04 PM
      #3
    Weanling
    Thanks for the reply! I'm in Canada, right up beside Alaska.

    Could I do this once it reaches like -15*C (5*F) .... or should I start sooner...? I mean, it's already getting down below 30*F some nights. My guy isn't losing weight but I haven't managed to get him picking up yet either.

    Shedrow 600D Ripstop Turnout W/ Gusset | BLS2011 | Greenhawk

    With this underneath for the really cold periods? (plus maybe a hood):

    Shedrow Elite 420D Liner | BLS4008 | Greenhawk

    Otherwise I could get the 600D blanket AND this 1200D one.... though I bet the liner + 600D would be just as good

    http://greenhawk.com/wdItemDesc.asp?...ricSKU=BLS0158


    That's sort of what I figured about the indoor/turnout. Might consider doing a clip plus light blanket. I don't think I know anyone else who does but it seems like a good option.
         
        10-01-2013, 08:12 PM
      #4
    Yearling
    I can't see why those two wouldn't work. The 600D with 300gm fiberfill is a decent medium weight blanket and if you add that blanket liner you can easily go to a heavyweight feeling.

    Since I can only guess at Canadian winters :) I have to leave the hood to your judgement as to whether or not one is needed. Even in our coldest and snowiest times, very few of us use hoods, either for barn use or turnout, even in higher winds. Again, damp conditions vs dry would be my thought.
         
        10-01-2013, 08:27 PM
      #5
    Yearling
    Addendum...I missed the edit period. In our barn, we only sheet/blanket when the temps are consistent at our pre-determined (call it pre-paranoid :) ) temps, but, consistent means the temps are at the low point for a period of at least 4 hours. For example, a few weeks back we had a cold front move through and a couple of nights the temps got down to about 36F. Below our normal sheeting temp but no one sheeted as that low was only present for an hour or two.

    Let the horse tell you. If the horse looks comfortable try to delay the blanketing as long as possible in order to let the coat develop. If the weight is staying steady rather than gaining on the current rations that were previously allowing a weight gain, you could blanket a little sooner but again, keep an eye out for sweating. Being the paranoid type I am, temps below 30 even for a couple of hours would make me at least sheet. That is just a hair too low for my comfort :)
         
        10-01-2013, 08:43 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    So just to help you the 600d or 1200d has nothing to do with how warm it will be but how it will hold up. I will never buy anything less than 1200d as it just rips too easily. Pay the money for high quality it will pay for itself in no time. I'm currently looking at paying nearly $200 for a new heavyweight blanket with hood and that is on the cheap end of good quality.

    My horse has already been in her medium weight with her sheet on many many times. I'm in Minnesota. If it's below 50 she needs a sheet, below 40 and her medium weight unless its raining then she needs a medium below 55. You will have to learn what your horse needs. Mine is a tubby arab but she is also older and we suspect she cannot keep herself warm anymore. I've already needed to put her quarter blanket on during workouts in the early mornings.
         
        10-01-2013, 08:55 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poppy1356    
    So just to help you the 600d or 1200d has nothing to do with how warm it will be but how it will hold up. I will never buy anything less than 1200d as it just rips too easily. Pay the money for high quality it will pay for itself in no time. I'm currently looking at paying nearly $200 for a new heavyweight blanket with hood and that is on the cheap end of good quality.

    My horse has already been in her medium weight with her sheet on many many times. I'm in Minnesota. If it's below 50 she needs a sheet, below 40 and her medium weight unless its raining then she needs a medium below 55. You will have to learn what your horse needs. Mine is a tubby arab but she is also older and we suspect she cannot keep herself warm anymore. I've already needed to put her quarter blanket on during workouts in the early mornings.
    ah really! Okay. I thought it was warmth... how do I know what's warmer?

    I really don't think my other two need anything, and Chilkoot doesn't seem to be cold yet (and I'm still hoping he'll get a bit more of a natural winter coat so I wouldn't want to start blanketing him yet). He might still gain some weight as I've JUST brought him in and started feeding all sorts of fatty goodies each day (he's the first horse I've had who hasn't been helped by just being out on pasture... guess I've been spoilt)

    Thanks for the help everyone
         
        10-01-2013, 08:57 PM
      #8
    Yearling
    The D rating is the outside shell of the blanket/sheet. The higher the number the more rip resistant. The warmth level is in the polyfill. 100-200gm is considered lightweight...300gm medium and 400gm or more is considered heavyweight (just from general observation of different ypes and styles of blankets). Blankets like Baker blankets, which have been around for longer than I can remember, don't have a polyfill but their blanket is extremely warm...just not "poofy." The warmth is in the fabric and tight weave.

    When I looked up the blanket you listed it is listed as 300gm polyfill. Just went back and looked..the liner is listed as 180gm polyfill.
         
        10-01-2013, 09:25 PM
      #9
    Banned
    I have two skinny horses that iam going to blanket this winter I use heavy weight 1200 denier blankets. Wont buy 600 denier they rip to easly.

    Its also getting into the 30s here at night havent put blankets on or sheets yet. I try and let them grow a good winter coat before I blanket.
         
        10-01-2013, 09:57 PM
      #10
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tlkng1    
    The D rating is the outside shell of the blanket/sheet. The higher the number the more rip resistant. The warmth level is in the polyfill. 100-200gm is considered lightweight...300gm medium and 400gm or more is considered heavyweight (just from general observation of different ypes and styles of blankets). Blankets like Baker blankets, which have been around for longer than I can remember, don't have a polyfill but their blanket is extremely warm...just not "poofy." The warmth is in the fabric and tight weave.

    When I looked up the blanket you listed it is listed as 300gm polyfill. Just went back and looked..the liner is listed as 180gm polyfill.

    Okay so I could buy the 1200D blanket as it has 300gm fill... thus having a medium weight blanket. Then when it's really cold out I could add the liner for a total of 480 fill. When it starts getting "warm" out (say -10*C or 14*F) could I pull his blanket completely or will his hair be so smooshed down that he'll need to at least have a lightweight blanket on?
         

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