Blanketing horse: yes or no?
I did have one 2 years back on my yearling (just got her, she was stalled 24/7 (no kidding) for 6 months, so no fur, of course). Didn't have any last year (because I was boarding and noone could take it off in morning). This year they are at my place, so I'm still in thinking mode... So... WHAT'S YOUR OPINION ON BLANKETING?
I prefer not to because if you do it you have to keep doing it...if I lived up in The Great White North, I probably would though. And I'm sure there are probably some very lean breeds that need it more than others.
I don't....... mostly because we don't have enough winter in my area to worry over.
Even if we have a frosty night.....mine has access to their barn-stalls, so I leave it up to them to decide if they want to come in or not.
The only horse I blanket (on colder nights) is our 29 y/o TB. It is pretty mild here, but I don't want him burning any extra calories. He's a hard keeper, but I love him to death, so he gets whatever he needs!
i do because i show my horse and he needs to keep a nice coat (hes black so i dont want any sun bleaching!)
I live in one of the coldest winter climates you can get, and want to still have horses :)
I only blanket if a horse seems to individually need it, and then I limit the use as much as possible so that it doesn't become necessary all winter. My horses tend to need blanketing more in November if ever. We have a 19 year old gelding who chooses that time to shed all the way out before growing in his winter coat. My stallion had not yet grown a good winter coat this November, so was miserable and had a blanket on at night for a few weeks.
This time of year, the horses have adjusted and really started to get their nice winter coats (although they will get thicker yet), so I will only blanket if one of them really seems to struggle during a cold snap. I try to increase hay intake though rather than go to the blanket because if you are not very careful about removing blankets, brushing out coats, airing out blankets, etc., blanketing can actually take away some of the insulating ability the horses' coats naturally have.
We have had 30 degree F below zero cold snaps and not needed to blanket our horses. Their barns are also not heated unless there is a health emergency...so they act only as a wind/snow block. We just increase hay & sometimes grain during cold snaps to make up for calories burned to stay warm.
My vote is no blanketing in general, but yes blanket based on individual need.
Also, I do use sheets during show season to keep coats nice and clean.
I'm a big fan of blankets and sheets. We get a ton of rain here in WA State, so I like my boy to stay dry. He's also a roll-a-holic, so he stays a little less muddy with a blanket. I also rotate and clean my blankets very frequently, so he doesn't get rubbed spots or funky smells. =)
I blanket my tb mare - only because she's outside 24/7 with a lean to, and its been getting pretty cold, even during the day when the suns out, and last year she lost a lot of weight during the winter even with being inside, so I dont want her standing around shivering and burning more calories then she should. She's gets fed twice a day, and has a round bale in the field, but I still don't want her standing around in the cold shivering all day and night.
Yup, all of our guys get slinkies, sheets, blankets, and hoods.
Sure thing.....all my horses are fully rugged from tip to toe. We have a chestnut, that if you keeped rugged will get liver chestnut dapples under his stomach. As mell said, its to keep their coat shiny, and not to let them get a sun bleached coat. So yeh a rug... :P
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