I know no one wants to think about this because this means the good weather is leaving and the cold is coming :( but when do you start to put blankets on your horses? Also, when do you take them off? :) I know a lot of people don't like to put blankets on their horses but in my lifestyle it is much easier;D thanks!
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So if cold (below 20) holds off until the horses in the barn have their winter coats, I don't blanket until about 15 and that's only sheets when windy on the young ones and mid-weights on the seniors. If it goes 65 to 20 overnight (totally normal here) and nobody is furry, they all get mid or heavy weights.
Once it's really Winter and everyone is furry, the youngsters get sheets on windy/drizzly days and the Seniors pretty much live in midweights (the seniors are all 25+ and cannot afford to lose an ounce). Youngsters don't get a midweight until it's below zero or if they are shivering.
I live in Michigan and it's usually pretty mild here in the winter compared to other places in the country, but we can get some really cold weather, too. When I was growing up, every quarter horse my family ever owned grew a long fuzzy coat in the winter and stayed as fat and happy as they were in the summer. I never had to blanket a horse.
Then I got a thoroughbred! :lol: His "winter coat" is about 3/4 of an inch long and he will just stand around and shiver without a turnout. I start blanketing him when the temperature drops into the 30s which is usually sometime in November. He wears a 100g lightweight turnout most of the time. If we have a cold snap or get a bunch of snow, he wears a heavier 300g turnout. The weather starts warming up in mid March and he is usually blanketless by April.
Totally depends, and I do the blanket dance all winter - ie, running to the barn to switch, add or remove.
I'd prefer not to blanket until it's about freezing point. However you get the odd night that's pretty cold, and is out of the blue, as they don't have a winter coat yet, I would put on a light weight blanket for that night.
Then remove the next day. I want him to get his winter coat as much as possible, but I don't want him shivering. Then you get the warmer days, and it's just a pain, running back and forth to the barn, blankets off, on, dance around.
I'm in MN. Clementine is a big thick half draft with a nice wooly winter coat and doesn't get blanketed. Yukon is a small light boned two year old filly, and thus this winter I will blanket if it gets to 20 or lower. (With that rate she might just be blanketed all winter..)
In all honesty if I had my horses on my own property, when it gets 20 below or worse I'd blanket Clem, too. But she never seems to mind, and will be out in the middle of the pasture (not bothering with the shelter) when it's 30 below and windy. But, it'd make ME feel better. As far as I know she's not been blanketed in her entire life and has ALWAYS been on pasture - and three winters ago we had PLENTY of nights that reached -45 with a nasty windchill.
If I bought a horse out of state that wasn't accustomed to our winters, I would blanket when it got to maybe 20. Really it all depends on the horse's needs and what they're used to.
We can have harsh winters here in ND. We don't blanket ours. They're outside 24/7 and only have trees for shelter. We have hay available for them at all times.
If a horse is young, has health issues or is old, I can see using a blanket to help them out. If there is a cold snap and they are wet, a blanket would help too.
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The horses under lights start wearing them full time sometime in mid-late September, and stop wearing them full time whenever it's warm enough. This year it was June. :-| They'll get a light blanket or sheet on colder-than-average summer nights as well.
Horses that grow fur usually start being blanketed (with a rain sheet) sometime in october. Whenever the weather gets yucky and starts raining a lot. They'll wear them in varying weights until April or May. Usually when it's in the mid-high 50's consistently.
I guess I'll be the weird overly protective horse mom. I blanket when it gets under 50 if my horse is outside and its raining. If it isn't raining I blanket when it gets down past 40. She doesn't grow much winter coat and seems to like her blankets.
I'm in the mountains of NH and I don't blanket. They have a big run in shed and free choice hay once it gets cold. -20F is not an unusual temp and the snow is heavy and wet.
When the seasons change the temps can swing 60 degrees in 24 hours. I'd have to have several different blankets for each horse and few backups because they would be perpetually wet.
My 38 yr old isn't phased by the weather in the least. She actually prefers the temps under 45.
My horse starts to get a stable sheet on at night when it gets to be about 10C or so, then a 100g turnout when it's maybe 5C outside during the day and not sunny. I start using a medium stable blanket at 0C and a medium weight turnout when it's around -5C, especially if it's windy. These temperatures usually start to come right after he has been clipped for the winter so blanketing is important for him.
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