Is unnecessary blanketing some sort of craze? - Page 10
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Talk

Is unnecessary blanketing some sort of craze?

This is a discussion on Is unnecessary blanketing some sort of craze? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

    Like Tree98Likes

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        10-09-2012, 11:02 AM
      #91
    Foal
    I blanket - while I agree that most horses can take a lot of cold if they are dry and out of the wind, but I live in Canada and it seems that its always either wet and cold - wet hair does not fluff and insulate or there is a killer wind that cuts through their coat. The one study I read years ago found that an adult horse that is shivering needs 60% more calories to maintain their body condition (nevermind growing if young stock). Now the study was done by a feed company but even if 60% is exaggerated, my feed bill is high enough as it is - blankets are cheaper in the long run.
    In an interesting twist to think about, I knew a couple of horses over the years that were quite miserable in the spring because it would warm up faster then they could shed. One we had to clip because she was getting heat stroke - in her case it would have been much pleasanter for all involved to simply remove a blanket than clip a sweaty, cranky mare.
    NBEventer likes this.
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        10-09-2012, 11:06 AM
      #92
    Green Broke
    I will say that small ponies tend to do well with the winter weather. We have a little Welsh pony in our school that gets a huge fluffy coat. He doesn't get anything but hay. He gets 3 - 4 flakes of hay a day. He is a chubby monkey with a big fluffy coat and hair to spare. Meanwhile the rest of the horses are bundled up in heavy blankets and get their hay and feed upped for the winter.

    Our pony doesn't let go of his winter coat either though. I have to body clip him in the spring.

    Horses are funny creatures. Even when I have had horses that lived outside all winter I blanket them. It just makes everyone happier in the end.
         
        10-09-2012, 11:24 AM
      #93
    Yearling
    I live in Massachusetts and have always used blankets....for 50 years now. My current horse that I've owned for 11 years does not grow much hair in the winter, so it's a nylon sheet when it's below 55 degrees, and winter blanket when it's below 40 degrees.
         
        10-09-2012, 11:34 AM
      #94
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sherian    
    I blanket - while I agree that most horses can take a lot of cold if they are dry and out of the wind, but I live in Canada and it seems that its always either wet and cold - wet hair does not fluff and insulate or there is a killer wind that cuts through their coat. The one study I read years ago found that an adult horse that is shivering needs 60% more calories to maintain their body condition (nevermind growing if young stock). Now the study was done by a feed company but even if 60% is exaggerated, my feed bill is high enough as it is - blankets are cheaper in the long run.
    In an interesting twist to think about, I knew a couple of horses over the years that were quite miserable in the spring because it would warm up faster then they could shed. One we had to clip because she was getting heat stroke - in her case it would have been much pleasanter for all involved to simply remove a blanket than clip a sweaty, cranky mare.
    I definitely agree about the winters here.. I can be bundled up in a long sleeve shirt, a sweater, a winter coat, a pair of mittens.. wool socks and my winter riding boots, and still be numb. It's also usually wet and really windy. Not to mention that only one pasture has an actual shelter.. so the horses usually get brought in at night anyways and when it's too cold, each group has a turn being turned out in the arena with bundles of hay everywhere.

    While I agree that it's completely up to the owner, usually the owner's decision is based on their individual horse as well as the typical weather. I could name a few horses at my barn who would do fine outside with no winter blanket, due to having an abundance of body fat and being healthy.. yet there are also those (like my mare) who don't grow a nice winter coat and are more difficult to keep weight on even in the summer months.
    NBEventer likes this.
         
        10-09-2012, 12:06 PM
      #95
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by faye    

    If a horse is shivering then it is not coping and needs warming up and looking after.

    Personaly I do think you are being mean, verging on cruel perticularly as you know the horse is miserable and don't seem to give a ****
    That is your opinion, mine is that it is in no way cruel, and I think it is rude of you to say that Copperhead doesn't give a ****, there is nothing in the post that says that to me.

    We have been given the ability to shiver to warm ourselves up, horses shiver to warm themselves up, no need to run for a blanket everytime they shiver. Once again though the geographic disparity means that people often look at their own small area and think that everyone has the same conditions.

    There is a world of difference between a soaking wet horse standing out in the wind trying desperately to shiver itself warm, and a well covered dry horse shivering because of a temperature fluctuation.

    The term 'hay burner' is a great description for a lot of horses, it's just what mine are, they burn through a lot of hay to stoke the internal fires and keep them warm. This morning they look cold and damp, so it's time to start forking some hay to them, because they will need it, we have gone from 26*C to wet slushy snow in a week, none of us are really prepared for that sort of change Brrrrr, and yes I'm going to cruelly make them 'suffer' through the next couple of weeks while they toughen up, and nature catches up with herself.

    Again like Copperhead, anything that isn't coping after the adjustment period will have blankets, and I HATE this time of year, it is hard on all of us, but I don't baby them.
         
        10-09-2012, 12:16 PM
      #96
    Started
    With the crazy cost of hay here in the midwest, I won't be relying in extra hay to keep my horse warm. Unless, of course, I want to take out a second mortgage to pay the increased board fees for the extra hay.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    jaydee likes this.
         
        10-09-2012, 11:57 PM
      #97
    Yearling
    Oh, she's not miserable. My horse has a herd of about 10 horses who are in the same situation. Tons of hay, lots of shelter and water, and they are all very fat. If she shivers now and then, it won't kill her. She'll have her coat in very soon and she actually a bit overweight to begin with.

    I would care very much if she had no way to keep herself warm. If I hauled her, she would get a blanket for the trip. If I clipped her, she would get a blanket to stay warm. If she was a horse who didn't grow a thick coat, she would get a blanket. If she was ill or underweight, she would get a blanket.

    She has everything she needs to survive. This is the LEAST of the crazy weather we have seen. If she can't make it in this weather, I'd be very, very concerned. This is nothing compared to -40 degree weather my friend's horse go unblanketted in. It was 35 degrees out. Hardly scarey weather at all.

    I'm sorry that I don't pamper her like a pet. Shoot, I don't even pamper my pets that way. And I'm sorry that its considered cruel now not to do so. But this is the way I keep her, and she has thrived on it for several winters. I don't see a reason to change it.

    I guess my mare has more common sense than some horses, because she has never been pampered and knows where to stand to get out of the rain, wind or snow. She uses the lean-to when she doesn't want to get wet, regardless of if the whole herd is in there or not. No, she's not in the wild. But she's also never had someone bolt out and chase her down to toss a blanket on her because it reached 35 degrees.

    I do believe that they start depending on us to keep them warm and dry if we let them depend on us for it. They forget how to do this themselves because its done for them. Much like rehabbed wildlife. At the facility I volunteered for, we had to keep human contact with the animal at a minimum and had to keep feeding as naturally as we could for them, so they wouldn't start depending on humans and seeing them as a food source when set free.

    Taking the horse out of the wild doesn't kill its natural survival instinct. Taking away the need for survival does, however. My mare (along with any horse I've ever owned) knows how to take care of herself like her species has done for thousands of years without human help since she is given the supplies to do so. None of my horses were ever pampered in cold weather, and they all knew what to do. I like knowing that she doesn't need a human to keep her dry and warm. She can do it herself with the shelter that's provided.

    I think we humanize the horse too much. Its cold out, so the horse must be cold. What do humans do when its cold? We wear a coat, so we think our horses need one. No, not really. If you give the horse the things it naturally needs to keep itself warm, it will keep itself warm. It doesn't automatically become stupid because its behind a fence. It becomes stupid when humans do the work for them (ie: blanketting in 35 degree weather) for years and years and so when the human finally stops, they have no idea how to handle themselves.

    This, of course, does not go for the horses I mentioned aboved (underweight, ill, under developed winter coat, clipped or hauled horses etc.)
         
        10-10-2012, 12:09 AM
      #98
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Red Gate Farm    
    It gets to minus 40 up here and I don't blanket.

    Both horses are happy and healthy.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Copperhead    
    Oh, she's not miserable. My horse has a herd of about 10 horses who are in the same situation. Tons of hay, lots of shelter and water, and they are all very fat. If she shivers now and then, it won't kill her. She'll have her coat in very soon and she actually a bit overweight to begin with.

    I would care very much if she had no way to keep herself warm. If I hauled her, she would get a blanket for the trip. If I clipped her, she would get a blanket to stay warm. If she was a horse who didn't grow a thick coat, she would get a blanket. If she was ill or underweight, she would get a blanket.

    She has everything she needs to survive. This is the LEAST of the crazy weather we have seen. If she can't make it in this weather, I'd be very, very concerned. This is nothing compared to -40 degree weather my friend's horse go unblanketted in. It was 35 degrees out. Hardly scarey weather at all.

    I'm sorry that I don't pamper her like a pet. Shoot, I don't even pamper my pets that way. And I'm sorry that its considered cruel now not to do so. But this is the way I keep her, and she has thrived on it for several winters. I don't see a reason to change it.

    I guess my mare has more common sense than some horses, because she has never been pampered and knows where to stand to get out of the rain, wind or snow. She uses the lean-to when she doesn't want to get wet, regardless of if the whole herd is in there or not. No, she's not in the wild. But she's also never had someone bolt out and chase her down to toss a blanket on her because it reached 35 degrees.

    I do believe that they start depending on us to keep them warm and dry if we let them depend on us for it. They forget how to do this themselves because its done for them. Much like rehabbed wildlife. At the facility I volunteered for, we had to keep human contact with the animal at a minimum and had to keep feeding as naturally as we could for them, so they wouldn't start depending on humans and seeing them as a food source when set free.

    Taking the horse out of the wild doesn't kill its natural survival instinct. Taking away the need for survival does, however. My mare (along with any horse I've ever owned) knows how to take care of herself like her species has done for thousands of years without human help since she is given the supplies to do so. None of my horses were ever pampered in cold weather, and they all knew what to do. I like knowing that she doesn't need a human to keep her dry and warm. She can do it herself with the shelter that's provided.

    I think we humanize the horse too much. Its cold out, so the horse must be cold. What do humans do when its cold? We wear a coat, so we think our horses need one. No, not really. If you give the horse the things it naturally needs to keep itself warm, it will keep itself warm. It doesn't automatically become stupid because its behind a fence. It becomes stupid when humans do the work for them (ie: blanketting in 35 degree weather) for years and years and so when the human finally stops, they have no idea how to handle themselves.

    This, of course, does not go for the horses I mentioned aboved (underweight, ill, under developed winter coat, clipped or hauled horses etc.)
    You both beat me too it that's exactly what I was going to say, the horses are not domestic pets, they grow their coat thicker for the Alberta winter, maybe its because we have a dry cold.
         
        10-10-2012, 11:00 AM
      #99
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlueMonday    
    You both beat me too it that's exactly what I was going to say, the horses are not domestic pets, they grow their coat thicker for the Alberta winter, maybe its because we have a dry cold.
    actually, horses have become domesticated by humans, grain of any type is not a "natural" phenomenon either. Even my dogs grow a winter coat (triple coated aussies) and they are inside the house most of the time.

    However, back on topic. I will say again both blanketing and not blanketing is a personal horse owner choice. Neither is wrong. Clearly, the members who have posted state that they increase hay availability & their horses have shelters...this along with mother nature's switch to produce a winter coat is far from being cruel. A horse will expend a lot of energy keeping itself warm, as does deer, some dogs, birds, rabbits, squirrels, and any other animal that lives outdoors during winter months. If an owner chooses to blanket their horse, (or dog for that matter,) to decrease the amount of energy expended on keeping warm they are not silly or "babying" their animals. And yes, my horses are domesticated pets that happen to live outdoors....they are still horses at the end of the day who love their jobs, nicker for a scratch, a treat and sometimes play with their tails held high with just plain enjoyment of the moment!
         
        10-10-2012, 12:44 PM
      #100
    Trained
    Ughh, Eclipse has 666 posts
    egrogan likes this.
         

    Quick Reply
    Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
    Message:
    Options

    Register Now

    In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

    Already have a Horse Forum account?
    Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

    New to the Horse Forum?
    Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

    User Name:
    Password
    Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
    Password:
    Confirm Password:
    Email Address
    Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
    Email Address:

    Log-in

    Human Verification

    In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


    Old Thread Warning
    This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

    Thread Tools

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    Im on a foal drawing craze!! I need pictures of foals to draw!! PintoTess Horse Artwork 66 04-23-2011 09:58 PM



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:53 PM.


    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0