I just got a horse on a free lease, and I'm trying to decide how to blanket him for the rest of the winter. He's a Percheron/Paint cross, so he's pretty hardy. He hasn't been blanketed yet this year. He has a pretty decent winter coat - Not SUPER hairy, but I would say probably double the thickness of an average summer coat or so. Fairly plush. But his coat IS thin enough that I've had him for two weeks, worked him 5-6 times a week for 30-45 minutes walk/trot/canter and a bit of jumping, and he still hasn't broken a sweat. And this is after he hadn't been ridden for 3 months.
I was thinking of just getting him a turnout sheet to keep the wind/rain/snow off of him while he's outside, but I don't know for sure - this is the first horse I've been responsible for. 0_o I've also considered maybe a layered system - would it be possible to layer a fleece dress sheet under a waterproof turnout sheet? Would the fleece sheet hold up to turnout underneath the other sheet? I thought he could wear the fleece sheet inside when it's under 35 degrees or so, and then add the turnout sheet when he goes out. Opinions?
Also, does anybody have any of these turnout sheets?
My opinion is that he probably doesn't need one. It would be handy to have one for those really nasty days but if he is healthy and has access to hay 24/7 he would most likely be just fine without one.
If he hasn't been blanketed this winter, you probably really don't need to start; horses are pretty hardy, especially in the winter months.
I'm not going to go into whether or not he should be blanketed, but I'll just toss in my two cents on brands:
I got a Saxon turnout sheet for one of my guys and was very disatisfied. it fit him really funky..the drop is very short and gets twisted all around him very awkwardly..(this horse is built kind of bigger, and since your guy's a perch cross I can only assume it would be worse on him)
they fit smaller types of horses much better. there's a little arab at my stable with the same blanket and it fits him great.
I'm going to have to invest in a Weatherbeeta like my other guy has. I've thrown mine on him a few times and it just fits him so much better.
I really love the Weatherbeeta blankets. they fit both of my horses great, even though they're built pretty differently from each other. I haven't seen any damage at all to my horse's Weatherbeeta blankets even though he wears them quite often. so I'd definitely go with that.
good luck :)
If you do anything at all, they get coldest when they're soaked from the rain and it's cold and windy, so a turnout sheet is the most flexible. You don't have to worry about putting it on and taking it off as the weather changes to keep them from overheating.
What is the horses turnout/stall situation. Is he outside 24/7 in the elements? I would pick up a turnout waterproof sheet and that is it. No sense in spending money on more blankets you don't need. If he comes inside at night and in nasty weather then I wouldn't bother getting one at all. Use the sheet for icy rain/snow/sleet/high winds.
I really like the blankets from sstack.com. Good luck.
Weatherbeeta, Mcalester, and Scheiders are all good brands that fit well. Measure your horse from the center of his chest down along his side to the center of his tail for his size
I don't think he needs to be blanketed at all seeing as how he hasn't been up to this point.
However, if you do decide to blanket him, a turnout sheet would probably do more harm than good. A horse's body is kept warm by heat trapped in the fluffy hairs of his winter coat. If you put a sheet on him with no added warmth, it flattens his coat and doesn't allow for heat to be trapped next to the body; he might as well be walking around in his summer coat in the dead of winter. I'd probably go with a medium weight turnout to add protection and still keep him warm.
Here are my opinions on the brands:
I LOVE the Amigo blankets. My mare has had a full set of them for two winters now and she has actually not ripped them apart! They are very hardy blankets and stay on amazingly well. I would definitely recommend them
I also love Weatherbeeta blankets. The Orican line is really good. My other mare has had hers for (going on) 7 years and it only has a few minor repairs to be made
I also have a set of McAlisters blankets that I got for my new mare. In general, they're ok. I think they are kind of cheaply made though. But maybe I'm just used to the really nice Weatherbeetas. IDK. My only problem is that they sides are SHORT. Depends on how you want the blanket to fit but as a general rule, they don't go well with anything but slab-sided horses.
Jazz is out in a small run in the morning 9am - 1pm, then comes in for lunch, then goes back out in a grassy pasture from 2pm - 5pm.
He was blanketed last year, but this year his owner took his blankets for her other horse. I don't know what the stable's definition of 'bad weather' is as far as bringing the horses in - I know he's been out in the snow, because I caught him from the pasture when it was snowing and he was soaking wet. I also know he's been out when it's been really cold and windy. I don't think he's really cold, so I don't think I'll have to go with more than a turnout sheet - but I hate the thought of him standing outside in the wind and wet with snow, when I could buy him a wind breaker/"rain jacket" for less than $80. Does that make sense?
I REALLY like the way the Amigo is cut, especially around the shoulder, and it has a nice long drop. I'm probably going to go with that.
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