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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I live in north Texas, we rarely drop below 20 so I've never needed a blanket on my horses. However, this year, I've got a new kid, an Arabian that is still a tad underweight and way under muscled. He's got what I think he considers to be his winter coat on right now, and it's less fluffy than my Shire's summer coat. With his weight and breed, I just don't think he's going to fare particularly well through the winter with his own coat so I'm looking into purchasing supplemental warmth for him. They do not have great shelter in the pasture. It shares a fence line with the barn wall and has a nice cluster of trees on that side, but now that winter is coming, I don't know that that will be enough. I had been planning on just getting a turnout sheet (no fill) to block the wind and rain. Would you guys think that would be enough for him or would he benefit from something with a fill? Also, when would you blanket him, just in the rain or high winds, or even still weather below a certain temperature?

I've worked at fancy barns that show year round, and therefore blanket anytime weather is below 60, but he doesn't need to be sleek and glossy all winter, so I just don't know when he would really need a sheet on. Other than him shivering, how to I tell if he is cold?

I also have questions on fit. He's 72" from center chest to center tail, but this is the thin version of him, he is currently gaining weight and muscle, it's just a slow process. Would I be okay to get him one a size or two larger than his measurement so that it would still fit when he's got some more mass to him and/or I could put another blanket or fill under it or do I really want it to fit him "just right" from the get go? If we want to go with something a little larger, how much space would I need to leave room to add a liner?

Any other blanketing advise, favorite brands? I'm all ears.
 

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Horse Blankets and Fly Sheets from Schneider's Saddlery

They have the best blankets for the best money that I've found anywhere. They also seem to fit Arabs better than any other brand I've tried. They stand behind their products, too.

I wouldn't go more than a 74 if you buy him larger than he needs. Too much bigger can cause all kinds of fit problems and rubs. If you go with a waterproof turnout sheet, then look at all their blanket liners to go under the sheet, they have several.

My favorite turnout: StormShield® 1680D EURO EXTREME Turnout Sheet in Turnout Sheets at Schneider Saddlery

And my favorite liner: Adjusta-Fit® V-FREE
 

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Buying a bigger size depends on how undermuscled and underweight he is and where he falls in your 72 measurement.

Otherwise, I completely agree with DCA. In all my years working with Arabs and part Arabs of all sizes and types, no other brand has fit better than the Schneider's blankets. I don't even consider other brands anymore after my own trial and error with my current horse. I love the options they have, the quality and durability, the very reasonable pricing, and wonderful customer service.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whoo hoo, and this is why I ask forums for answers. I have never even heard of Schneider's for turn outs. They are cheaper than even the poorest of Horsewear Ireland's turnouts, tons of features, and comes in burgundy, which is definitely his best color.

Trying to find a recent picture of the boy to show his muscle definition, or lack there of, but I'm not finding anything, I tend to delete pictures that show his scrawny bony build. His back is filling in nicely, his backbone isn't raised above his muscling from the withers to the hips, rib cage is not visibly showing, but easy to feel. His rump is quite A-shaped, and his shoulders are just bone. There is quite a dip from his point of shoulder to his chest, and if you run your hand across his shoulder you'll feel every bone. He's on good hay now and getting regular exercise, so I expect him to continue building those muscles up to where they belong. Since the shoulder and butt are the contact points of the rug I feel they might make a difference. Also, how much additional space does the liner take up, if we need to add one when it gets even colder, would it affect the fit of the rug or is it fairly thin? (when I layer, I find my top layers need to be larger than my normal clothes to fit over fleece or plush bottom layers). For $40 I might as well get one now and earn free shipping than pay for shipping now, and then again if I need a liner, unless when he builds muscle and the liner would make it too small. I would want the liner in the same size as the blanket, right, so either 72 or 74 in both?
 

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He's not looking too bad at all. Agree he could still use some weight and muscles but really, he's not looking too angular. I'd actually go with the 72 for both turnout and liner, the liner isn't all that thick. I don't buy the fleece or any other liner because hay and stuff tend to get stuck in them. The quilted one is pretty slick and stuff doesn't cling too much. The turnouts are generously cut and even if he fills all the way out, I don't think your boy will need a 74 this year. 72 is a pretty normal size for a full grown, well fleshed Arab, so I'd be pretty comfortable buying that size for him.
 

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If you're ever in the market for a Sleazy hood, the Schneider's are the best in price and quality of any other hood out there. Unfortunately, I have horses who seem to have a knack for destroying their sleazies right before a show and I have to buy the NFL tough ones from Robinhoods. $$$$$$$$$ OUCH! I had one gelding who destroyed 3 just at US Nationals, 10 day show!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
72 is a pretty normal size for a full grown, well fleshed Arab, so I'd be pretty comfortable buying that size for him.
Nice to hear. I had looked up how to measure for a rug yesterday and the site had a quick guide that said a horse his size (just under 14.2hh) would typically be around 66, and they had 72 in there for 16hh horses.

I thought he'd be on the smaller side, since he's so narrow and was a little concerned with my results, but it's nice to hear that's a typical measurement for Arabs.
 

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A good waterproof rain sheet is adequate. What he will need protection from is cold rain and wind because Arabians don't have a goodly amount of waxy dander to keep them waterproof. Desert horses, right? As long as you don't have those conditions he'll be fine without the sheet. A sheet or blankets prevents the horse from fluffing his hair so it can make the horse colder as his body moisture gets trapped underneath. I've had Arabians and cold weather like you can't imagine and the only time, once in 10 years, was a light blanket necessary and only for one day.
 

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The problems we run into in OK and TX is, 80F one day and 32F for highs the next, mostly with a LOT of wind and frequently with cold rain and/or snow and ice. This far south it isn't unusual for the horses to get hardly any winter hair coat, most of my Arabs stay pretty slick year round. If they are also thin on top of it, they drop weight overnight. I've ridden in my T-shirt sleeves on Christmas day and then bundled like the Michelin man on New Year's when it was minus 6F or -21 C.

I've been caring for horses in this weather for over 10 years and I've done a lot of experimenting on what it takes to keep them warm. Lots of round bales, sheets, liners, blankets and I put mine in the barn when it's inclement.
 

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Nice to hear. I had looked up how to measure for a rug yesterday and the site had a quick guide that said a horse his size (just under 14.2hh) would typically be around 66, and they had 72 in there for 16hh horses.

I thought he'd be on the smaller side, since he's so narrow and was a little concerned with my results, but it's nice to hear that's a typical measurement for Arabs.
72 isn't unusual, and at 14.2, I would think he'd be between a 70-72 depending on how deep his chest is and how long in the back. My long yearlings wear the 66's around here. They also only measure from the center of chest to point of the buttock, not all the way to center tail, that might account for a good deal of the difference in sizing.
 

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Well, DcA for to it first. I who everything she said. Stick with a 72. It's very unlikely he'll "hulk out" and fit well in a 74.

I will add that I have the quilted liner and I've been extremely pleased with its performance. I personally use the bellyband and closed front on all my blankets (except one because there was no equivalent option) because I have a Houdini horse who can undo buckles, surcingles, and snaps if he can reach them.

Their sleazies are great. I've had the pullover and zip up styles and found the pullover to work best. The zip up pulled and collected more hair in and around the zipper. I did really like their all season sleazy hood until my horse Houdini'd it and stretched the life out of one eye hole.
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I can tell you that mine is 14.3hh and wears a 68. He's average for an Arab (neither stocky nor super petite). A friend has a 14.1/14.2hh mare who measured a 64.5-65, but my 68 is just slightly too big. Mine measures almost dead on at 68 (67 3/4) I believe. Definitely order based on what you measure, not what the chart suggests.
 

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I have the quilted liners and just about every weight turnout they have, my horses all like different stuff. I use closed front, belly bands most but I even have one who can get her way out of THAT! I've gotten to where I rarely put a blanket or sheet on her, she's just made it plain that she doesn't really like them. She also is one of the horses I have who actually does grow a hair coat, so she probably didn't need one as often as I was putting her in it. They let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So DcA, since you are close to my climate with very similar horses, what temperatures do you typically rug in (rainy weather below xx temps, dry weather with a wind chill below xx) and what temperatures would you add the liner in?

I went ahead and ordered the schniders rug, but unfortunately, we are supposed to have our first freeze Tuesday night, with a chance of rain and 24mph winds, and it won't be in by then, so the munchkin will be spending the night in a stall.
 

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So DcA, since you are close to my climate with very similar horses, what temperatures do you typically rug in (rainy weather below xx temps, dry weather with a wind chill below xx) and what temperatures would you add the liner in?

I went ahead and ordered the schniders rug, but unfortunately, we are supposed to have our first freeze Tuesday night, with a chance of rain and 24mph winds, and it won't be in by then, so the munchkin will be spending the night in a stall.
I have a barn, so I avoid rugging as much as I can. In winter if it gets wet out, rain/sleet/snow/ice, I toss them into a stall until it's over with. If it's clear but really cold and no wind, I'll let them out to munch on a round bale. If anyone starts shivering or if they're one of the ones without a good winter coat, I'll start with a wind sheet at about 35. About 30 I put on a lightweight blanket, and below 25 I'll do the lightweight blanket plus liner (if no wind). Once we get into the 20's with a windchill, I get out the mid weight, and 10 with wind gets them a heavyweight or mid with a liner. Pretty much once it gets THAT ugly out, they go into their barn with their heated buckets and a good stash of hay to keep them out of the wind and keep them warm.

An old trainer once told me, "Cold and dry, they're fine. Cold and windy, they can start to lose body heat because the wind disturbs the hair that keeps the body heat in, cold and wet they need shelter, cold, wet and windy, they shelter." A blanket can be considered shelter because it breaks the wind and, if it's waterproof, it will stop the wet.

We're supposed to get our first hard freeze (yay! kills flies and the colts who've been waiting can go be gelded) on Weds morning but our temps are supposed to start dropping like a rock tonight. At midnight we're expecting wind and rain as the cold front comes in and it will be down to about 36, with a low of 30 expected for Tues morning. Pretty much from now til spring, I'll start bringing them in at night and out in the morning. Our days will be mostly between 50 & 65 F, and our nights down to 32 or below, so with that much fluctuation I bring them in.
 
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