Will this blanket be to heavy?
My gelding has never been blanketed his entire life (he's 12 and has only had one previous owner) and grows a pretty thick winter coat. At his previous home he had a tiny shed to walk into if he needed, but our pastures don't have a shelter for them (they are out during the day and stalled at night), and even if we did theres about 15 horses in the geldings herd and he's towards he bottom of the pecking order, so he'd probably be kicked out of the shelter regardless lol. I'm thinking about blanketing him just to keep the wind off of him and to keep him dry...not to mention he is 90% white so itll keep him cleaner too.
I was given this blanket by my grandma to see if it'd fit him, but I'm not sure if it'd be too heavy since he gets so fuzzy
Big D Products - #54 MAGNUM BLANKET
Would that be okay or should I just go out and buy a light waterproof sheet? In the Chicago area, winter can get pretty brutal at times so it'd just ease my mind if he had something on...
I'm a little north of you (Southern Mi, about two hours from Chicago)
I use heavyweight blankets (380 gram fill) and haven't had a problem. But I don't blanket until weather is bad, bad. Like 20's-30's, rainy/snowy weather. So not until mid-november-ish. I give them adequate time to grow a good winter coat...which grows due to amount of sunlight in the day...not dropping temperatures.
Horses are very resilient, just make sure whatever you get is waterproof. A wet blanket is by far worse then no blanket.
unusually warm days (35 & up & sunny) I will take blankets off. And i always check my horses over for rubs/cuts whatever every day, and take their blankets off once a week (or more) to check their over all condition. I know some people that blanket all winter and cant figure out why their horse is skin and bones come spring...
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It gets chilly up there! I wouldn't blanket until around 30-40 degrees unless you see him shivering. Most horses can tolerate the cold pretty well. Unless he's underweight at the moment, he shouldn't need much of anything because you stated he has never been blanketed before. Well, he's still here! I am EXTREMELY paranoid(just ask anyone that knows me in real life) about my horses being uncomfortable...but 99% of the time I'm being just that, paranoid.
The only thing you need to worry about is if he gets wet. When they're wet and the wind is significant, he'll get cold very easily. If you get him a sheet or blanket, make sure it's waterproof!
That rug looks like it would be fine.
Just ensure you take it off when it gets warm. I usually use a bit less fill but 300g is pretty standard.
I'd steer away from rain sheets. They are good for keeping a horse dry in warmish weather but they flatten the hair when means the horse can't keep warm naturally (and they don't help much with warming), so if you're rugging in the cold then make sure there is some fill!
I use heavy weight blankets and hoods. Sometimes sleazys too but that's more to keep them clean than anything - My horses are out and in the public eye a lot, even more so now with my new job, and I like to keep them looking like they came out of a show barn instead of the muddy pasture they actually reside in, lol.
I take it off if it gets too warm. I am actually blanketting them at night now. it's to the point where I wake up to frost but by eleven or so it's scorching again...This time of year sucks. lol
Now comparing it to other peoples blankets at the barn its pretty light weight...I threw it on him today since it was soooooo windy and in high 30's-low 40s and even colder at night. Plus there's a chance of rain all week and its a PAIN waiting for his fuzzy coat to dry in order to saddle him up and ride. I had a boarder recommend I put another blanket on top, or a light one underneath this winter when it gets colder. What would you recommend?
I read up online how to properly fit and adjust a blanket and it seems to fit him well! I had a couple other people look at it for me just to be sure. I have the belly straps so they're not tight, but not loose...I can fit my hand between his belly and the straps and there is no rubbing, same with his hind straps. I walked him around and it and it isn't restricting movement so it looks like I got lucky with a free blanket that fits! Plus he looks awfully cute if I do say so myself :)
(I know his feet look a tad long...they're a constant battle. He has barely any heel and has a long toe. Plus his feet turn out causing them to splay because of the way he distributes his weight, making them look even worse. We're working on them)
I would not add any other blanket unless he needs it. This will be perfectly fine.
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Just make sure he gets to grow that good winter coat and he'll be fine- my parents live in the mountains in Colorado and we're talking temps hovering around zero and the horses still do fine with very little shelter and no blankets because they're built for it.
As I read, "My gelding has never been blanketed his entire life and grows a pretty thick winter coat", my instincts are to let 'Mother Nature' continue to do the awesome job she's been doing all along! If he's that young, healthy, never been blanketed and grows a thick winter coat, then he's probably going to do great! We humans tend to shiver and worry when we see our horses out in such weather, but I'll give an example as to why I'm adamant (unless vet recommended) not to blanket - I have 3 mares, age 20-22, and we live in a frigid, snowy, (7" today, but will get 3 ft. at times!), climate. There are always 1 or 2 girls who are 'kicked out' and standing with 3/4 of their bodies in weather that would make one cringe! They get good plentiful hay, and are brushed every single day (when dry of course) which brings out their natural oils- I still marvel (once again today!) at seeing them out in sleet/snowstorms/freezing rain eating hay nonchalantly.... I say give nature a chance, and give him plenty of hay along with regular brushings - stand back and watch, and you may be quite surprised! :)
I typically don't blanket in the winter, only the fall and spring when their coats are short and we get rain and cold temps with wind. Once they have a thick winter coat and the snow starts in cold weather, they handle it really well. Our horses have been out in -50 wind chill (-15 air temp) with thick winter coats and did fine. The snow would stand on their back and you could just brush it off. Pretty well insulated! If you blanket too much you risk overheating them, even in cold weather as well as it can short change the growth of their hair coat. Light triggers it but how cold it is affects it too. Let mother nature handle most of it. He does look good in blue though. :-).
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