I'm looking for a new winter blanket for Chilly. She doesn't grow a thick coat at all, maybe a little longer then 1/4 inch. She'll hopefully be bred this winter too and I'm hoping to get a blanket that will help keep her warm and keep the extra calories instead of burning them off in the cold weather.
I live in Michigan. Our weather starts getting cooler in mid-October (50ish degrees) And will drop into the 30's overnight. By December it's usually snowing, weather is around 34 degrees and 20 at night. February tends to be our coldest month and is usually below 25 degrees during the day and can drop close to 0 at night. By march it starts to warm up back into the 30's and April usually is around 40-50 degrees.
I've been looking at the following blankets but I don't quite understand their "grading" scale for the filling of the blanket. 600, 1200, 1680, 2100 etc. Where should I draw the line on deciding between one blanket and another?
The previous blanket I have has a tear in it and is a 1200 fill. It's waterproof and always keeps her dry. Even if she's been outside for 5 days of rain/snow, it's never soaked through. I take it off on the "warmer/sunny" days and let it dry out and let her breathe so she doesn't gets blanket rubs. Which she never has.
I have numerous Tough-1 products and they all hold up very well and seem very nicely made. Plus they are affordable. I love how the neck goes higher up on the horse. I'm considering a hood for her as well...
Which of the following blankets would you choose for my circumstances?
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Tough-1 Polar 1200 Denier Nylon Turnout Blanket
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Tough-1 Polar 1680 Denier Nylon Turnout Blanket
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Tough-1 Polar 2100 Denier Nylon Turnout Blanket
Should I get a blanket liner as well for added warmth? Should I get a heavier blanket for winter and a lighter one for fall/spring? She goes into winter 100 pounds over-weight (which I do like) and she'll come out of winter about 50 pounds under my ideal weight. Even with our mild winter this past year she still came out on the thinner side. (Ok, Ok, Ok, what most people would call "normal" considering I like my horses more on the plump side)
When she foals, it'll be around mid-March (if she conceived this past breeding) So what should I do when the foal is here? Don't blanket her?
She'll be stalled at night when the weather is bad. I do take her blanket off while she's in her stall. She'll be getting 3-4 flakes at both morning and night feedings (high quality 2nd cutting alfalfa) and she'll be switched over to a mare and foal grain probably in December-ish.
Thanks for all your opinions.