To blanket or not?
I am not sure if I should be blanketing my horse for the winter or not.
I don't believe he was ever blanketed in the past (I've had him since Jan, and he was a wooly beast when I got him).
I live in WI and we have fairly harsh winters, but he is in his stall from 5:30 pm to 5:30 am every day.
I haven't blanketed my horses in the past, but maybe I should have?
wow. I'm in the exact same situation, down to the new wooly beast in January!
I have a sheet on right now and will soon be upgrading to a midweight. I've never done this before so I'm winging it. I also have a liner so I can sort of work with the 3 and come up with a variety of weights.
It's tough to figure all this out, especially since everyone does it differently. I'm sort of thinking I'll have to clip later when winter gets going but that's only if I need to.
Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!
(I don't know about you, but it does seem like winter has decided to head in early)
When you blanket to mash down the guard hairs. I am a firm believer in letting a horse be a horse. Only blanket horses that need it ... old, thin horses that otherwise would be shivering. I live on the bitter cold plains of SD where we don't have trees to block the bitter winds, just flat prairie as far as the eyes can see. Our wind chills and actual temps makes me wonder why my ancestors ever stayed after surviving our harsh winters. I DO NOT blanket my horses :)
Wow, you even live in WI.
Yes, it's supposed to freeze tonight!! Uncool. :(
Congrats on your wooly beast!
I go with either.
I lived in the UP (MI). We never blanketed our horses (except I remember tying on a fleece blanket with baleing twine when it was severely cold for a week or so (Mom wasn't too happy about that one). Other than that they grew really thick coats.
Then I lived in WA. I thought with the mild weather on the west coast no prob. Wrong, the winters aren't too cold but very wet. Guess what, constant rain also presses down guard hairs making for very shivery miserable horses. So I bought a simple rain sheet and my girl was great.
I am now in KY. I tried going the no blanket route last year but the weather is too crazy. It can go from dry and 60's to wet and 40's in a single day. So all my girls have a blanket. My pregnant girls wear a midweight and my other girls wear a simple waterproof sheet. It is difficult in the fall and spring as I have to sometimes take them all off in the am feeding and put them back on at pm feeding. That's simply part of the joy of owning horses.
I think the biggest difference is not the cold but the wet. If you live in a dry, cold area, horses will be fine but I'd recommend a blanket in a wet, cold area. Are they going to die without it... probably not if they are healthy and well fed... but for me it's the knowledge that I won't have muddy, shivering, and miserable looking horses when I go to feed that made the decision.
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