Which winter blanket?

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Which winter blanket?

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    05-01-2012, 12:13 AM
Which winter blanket?

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.
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    05-01-2012, 05:19 AM
Green Broke
Just to clarify for you, the denier number has nothing to do with how much fill is in the blanket. It is for how resistant the shell is to rips and tears.

How is her turnout? Is she with other horses that bite? If her blanket is not likely to get ripped or torn, you should be ok with a lower number. Of the 3 you asked about, the 1200 has 300 grams of fill. The other two have 350. I don't know or think that 50 grams would make that much difference.

Personally, I would not blanket her except for extreme cold snaps. I feel that blankets can hinder their natural ability to withstand the cold. I definitely would take it off when putting her inside. That's just my opinions.

Depending on if her turnout has things to rip or snag, any of the three would do just fine.
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    05-01-2012, 08:27 AM
I live in a similar climate to you. THese are all medium weight fill, I think there are some available with more fill. But, THis is what I usually get. Personally, I would go with the higher denier-the last one, but I always go to the strongest possible blanket. I also always have a back up, just in case something happens mid winter...you may need something to put on her. That is the disadvantage to blanketing. Once you start, you have to stick with it. I use a lightweight one in the spring and fall, and use the one like you have shown only in the coldest winter months. I know that some of the extremely frigid windy days (we are on top of a hill) we layer the lightweight and the medium. We have some that are out 24/7, including very light coated TB's, and they are fine with shelter and this blanket combo. My draft never needs layering.....the TB's do.
    05-01-2012, 08:29 AM
If your horse (or other horses in field) is the blanket ripper I'd get the toughest one (2100). I checked it out and 350 gr of insulate sounds like quite a bit, and should be enough to keep her warm.
    05-01-2012, 08:46 AM
350 fill is a loooot.. OP just be careful she doesn't sweat with all that fill between her and those warm winter mornings (though that won't be for a while.)

Also I got 1200D and some punk in the pasture ripped it.. so I'd go for something higher and less prone to ripping. Blankets are protecting your investment!

Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
If your horse (or other horses in field) is the blanket ripper I'd get the toughest one (2100). I checked it out and 350 gr of insulate sounds like quite a bit, and should be enough to keep her warm.
    05-01-2012, 08:49 AM
^^ I have 600D for 5 winters already (cheapy Saxon). Besides couple small holes here and there I just sewed myself both blankets still go strong. BUT thankfully the worst abuse is rolling on ground and scratching butts on pine tree.
    05-01-2012, 08:51 AM
I stand corrected-200 grams is medium, 300-350 is considered heavy. I use the 300-350. And some of the TB's do get double blanketed on the really frigid windy days.
    05-01-2012, 09:50 AM
Green Broke
My favorite is the Saxon 1200d with 300g fill. My horse only wore it for two months as I got her in January but she was the lowest in her paddock and after a wash it looks brand new. I left it on her 24/7 (she's outside 24/7 also) with the exception of brushing/working daily. She never got sweaty under it even when it would get close to 40 during the day. I highly recommend the Saxon brand, I have read bad reviews on the Tough-1 brand so I personally wouldn't buy that.

I currently have a blanket liner with a waterproof sheet for right now and really for this fall I will just be buying another Saxon with 150-200 fill as the liner with sheet doesn't seem to keep her that warm.
    05-01-2012, 09:58 AM
I have a Saxon too, probably 6-7 yrs. Old and still in good shape. I've also had a Wrangler that I think fits really well and it's about the same age. Last year I bought a Defender, didn't fit well-too short on the sides and too many belly straps. Check on ebay for used blankets, I just bought another wrangler in very good condition for about $25. It only needs a washing to look like brand new.
    05-01-2012, 10:23 AM
THIS Weatherbeeta Orican Freestyle T/O Blanket 360G - Statelinetack.com

Is my absolute favorite blanket. The wither pads seem to help keep the blanket from looking like its choking the horse when they put their heads down to eat. A huge pet peeve of mine as I run around pulling blankets back. I've never had one rip, my Tough 1 blankets have all ripped, lost buckles and straps. I do have an older (8 years old) Saxon pony size blanket that's held up nicely but this one takes the cake for fit.
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