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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Does Blanketing keep horse's from growing winter coat?? He's got some winter coat but it's pretty thin short. He's been blanketed for a while, he gets cold an shivers

I've tried leaving him without a blanket and he shivers even at 40 degrees. So he's in a medium weigh,t with a neck cover that's also medium weight. During the day I take neck cover off. He's not kept in a heated barn.

If the prediction for winter is correct it's gonna be very cold, an snowy. A picture of him looking pretty slick for this time of year. Picture is from a week or so ago, but he hasn't changed coat wise.
 

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While the coat growth is regulated mostly by light, blanketing will certainly affect it. Ours are already wooly yaks and we're a lot farther south than you. Are both of your horses blanketed or just this fellow? What's the other horse's coat like?

Some horses don't grow much of a coat, but blanketing early in the season can certainly keep it from coming in like it should. Also, it flattens the coat the horse has down so it looks smoother than it is.

Do you leave lights on in your barn at night? The one winter my horses didn't get as much coat was the year we had a yard light on over the barnyard at night due to quite a bit of horse theft in the area. I had to blanket more than usual that winter because of it.
 

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No blanketing wont stop a horse from growing a winter coat that's geared for the area you live in and the horse's genetics.
When I say 'to the area' I mean daylight hours, they differ from country to country, state to state.
You can artificially skew that by keeping horses under lights but they will still grow a winter coat of sorts.
The horses we brought here from the UK had thicker coats over there even though the winters are much milder because they have less daylight hours in the winter

I would think that what you're seeing is a coat that's looking thinner because its not fluffed up at all and also doesn't have much of a build up of protective 'grease' in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cinder is growing in his winter coat he's fairly hairy. Ice not so much maybe a half inch of hair length only a 1/4 inch of thickness. He was a hairy yak by this time last year.

Only time they are in barn is if weather is bad rainy/ windy or snowy /windy. Otherwise they are outside. Barn lights are only on till maybe 11 pm, when horse's are in.

Do have a yard light ,but that's nothing new always been there. I've blanketed before in years past , and horse's always grew in a good winter coat. Finding it odd he's not growing more coat.
 

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Did you change anything with the barn lights? Hours on? Type of bulb?

I do chores for a show barn down the road. Their broodmares are under lights and most of those mares aren't growing nearly as much coat as the horses outside who aren't getting any extra light. The mares are out on pasture during the day and in the hoop barn as a group overnight under lights. Temp in the arena/hoop barn right now is the same as outdoors as they leave the big doors open and sides rolled up until winter hits with a vengeance. The only difference is the lights. Those mares will be blanketed most of the winter because of it.
 

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If I remember correctly isn't Ice the one who has been cold-affected the most in the past?
He was thinner, hard to get to eat and with that combination difficult to keep warmer?

Coat growth goes along with sunlight shining more than anything.
Your horse may be "cold" but I would be very hesitant to bundle him to heavily just yet...
What are you going to do when February bitter cold arrives if you are already in medium weight blankets and neck covers... :eek:

I would try to go backward and remove some of that layer of warmth if you could...
Use a warmer, sunny day...
A t/o sheet with a liner underneath is not enough now?

Some horses just don't grow enormous coats of fluff no matter what you do...
I do remember taking care of one QH on Long Island who never grew a coat, ever.
She would be in 2 heavyweight blankets, hood on the top one and still have a wool cooler underneath to keep her warm and honestly slick for the show ring was the goal too.
The year that horse got injured and was "off" for R&R she grew a coat, never as thick as other animals but for her it was a coat.
Wonder if Ice just has the genes of a slick horse and not yak...:think:
Somethings you just can't overcome. :|

Do you have a wool fitted cooler?
They offer great warmth, yet breathe and absorb sweat, dissipating it...
I have a few in different weights from when I did show.
Dover Saddlery offers some under their own brand that are very nice appointments to them and decent weight. https://www.doversaddlery.com/wool-dress-sheet/p/X1-24040/
They have many choices and are affordable.
Put one of those coolers under a sheet or blanket makes a big difference...
I know I use to use one to wrap me in when watching a horse show from the sidelines between classes...toasty warm I was.
I currently trailer my horses in them here in Florida in morning chilly air {my trailer is a stock-open sided} or after a ride and sweaty damp...on goes the cooler and home we go.
Once home, strip them and a good grooming as they are completely dry... :wink:

:runninghorse2:...
 

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Did he grow more of a coat last year? Ours are already very hairy. Harley less so, because we have kept a blanket (rain sheet) on him more since he was still showing until very recently and we wanted to keep him clean. I know they say it doesn't affect coat, but that is not my experience. Whenever we blanket, there is less growth. So now that show season is over, I'm not blanketing him unless it's pouring rain because he does need that coat.

I think the fact that he Ice is not growing a coat and that he is extra-sensitive to cold is indicative that something is going on. Not sure what though...
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Yes ice was effected by cold last year he tended to get cold and shiver. But he had way more coat last year. I do have a wool cooler also have 2 blanket liners and 2 turnout sheets. Liners are 200 gram weight. Also had issues with being a picky eater. But that seems much better not a 100 percent. He was also on thin side last year about this time.

He's not fat right now but not thin either, if left to be cold he could get thin. I'd rather not blanket, but I don't want him uncomfortable either. When he's cold he's crabby.

Barn lights are LED lights when horse's are in lights are on ,an extra 6 to 8 hours. But they aren't in every night, I leave them outside most nights.

Only other change is diet he's on low sugar/starch diet. Hay tested at 10 percent nsc. Feed Timothy pellets and a vitamin/mineral with add fat. He is pssm I reason for diet he's on. Seems to be doing good on current diet. Picture of him from today after ride.

Temperature today was low 40s high 30s, with no blanket he's cold and shivers. Doesn't seem to fluff up his coat even when left unblanketed.
 

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That's quite a dilemma. At the very least, I would only blanket when you absolutely have to right now. So if it's cold enough for him to shiver, then cover him up, but remove it as soon as things warm up a bit. I still feel like something's not right if he is not growing a winter coat and shows extreme sensitivity to cold, but I can't say what.
 

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My friend who has battled Lyme for years is extremely sensitive to cold. She used to be the girl who was always hot, now she's always freezing. This is the horse who was diagnosed with Lyme's this spring, correct? That is an auto-immune problem and could play into what's going on. Your horse is standing under himself again like he was just before that diagnosis, so perhaps he would benefit from another round of Doxy--- especially if you've noticed other things 'not quite right' lately.

I wouldn't blanket him unless he's really shivering, and make sure to take that blanket off as soon as it warms up--- 9 am when the sun hits him, not noon. Stock up on some good winter blankets, and turn off the lights overnight and see if that makes a difference.

If you don't already, I'd supplement him with Vitamin E. He has the look of a horse who might be low on it, especially if his pasture is grazed down or he's getting grass hay as his primary feed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah he was the one who was diagnosed with Lyme earlier this year. I called some of previous owners, that are listed on his AQHA papers. Apparently his dam for what ever reason, stopped growing winter coat at the same age he is. Her coat got less an less as the years went on.

Previous owner said leaving blanket off or not blanketing. Probably won't change how much hair he grows.

They aren't in barn they stay outside, only in when weather is bad. Has to be pretty bad for me to bring them in.

He's due to get feet done, Farrier will be here this afternoon. He grew a lot of foot really fast. So his toes are long he seems to go back , to standing underneath himself. Need to change trim cycle to 5 weeks.

Honestly he's doing really good since diet change.
 

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Has he been checked for thyroid issues? Something to look into next time your vet is out, especially with all his other autoimmune stuff going on.
 

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I would keep the barn lights off at all times. Leaving the lights on is used to prevent a winter coat in show horses.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He's not in barn he lives outside for most part. No thyroid has never been checked vet never felt it was necessary. .being he's 6 years old. Vet won't be out again till next spring.

He's blanketed for the night, was cold after our ride today. Got little sweaty once we got home he was shivering a bit.

Farrier came an said he's lost weight and isn't healthy looking. I thought he looks good. Maybe I'm not seeing it because I look at him every day? ? Also commented on how calm quiet he was, so he has calmed down. Usually he's not well behaved for farrier.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Leaving him unblanketed when temps are in high 30s at night, doesn't work. He was shivering cold this morning.

And he's shedding what coat he has, had to brush him off. Before putting on his blanket he was full of mud.

He's NOT under lights or in barn, I'd rather he grow a winter coat.
 

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Sadly, your horse sounds like he has something seriously wrong with his endocrine system.
Unless you see a new coat fuzz already in place, at this time of the year Mother Nature does not steal a coat from a animal that is preparing for frigid temperatures and inclement weather.
My horses have developed heavy coats here in Florida..to heavy with temps in the mid to upper 80's they sweat, and are damp daily = stinky.
Thankfully we can hose the sweat off as it is a fly attractant we don't need to invite more pests. :evil:


I think I would be calling the vet in and if they side-step your concern ask for a referral to a university/teaching facility and get some answers quickly.
Something is not right if he is balding not getting a thick coat...
:runninghorse2:....
 

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If his dam stopped growing a winter coat at his age, and he's losing hair, then you need to blanket. He isn't going to be able to stay warm by himself. I agree with @horselovinguy about having a vet check, but if you can't afford that right now, invest in some extra blankets. Harley, our old guy, gets colder than my other two, but with respiratory issues in the past, I don't like to shut him in, so I blanket heavily instead. Right now I'll put a fleece or a rain sheet on him at night when it goes below freezing. But I have a multitude of blankets on standby. The fleece cooler can be used as a liner under a rainsheet or winter blanket. I also have an actual winter blanket liner too. I find people sell them used pretty cheaply when they realize they never use them. I do use mine, but only a few times a year, in the coldest weather. I also bought a neck piece that attaches with velcro - you can get the ones that go over the ears which I think would be even better because it would stay in place more. You can even get winter socks from Sox for horses. We have the summer ones to help prevent scratches, but they have winter ones. You just slip them on over the hooves.

You may also have to keep him in some of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I can sure ask vet about it. Previous owner said dam stopped growing much of a winter coat. I do have a few different weight blankets and a liner. Plus two turnout sheets. Also a wool cooler so can use that as a liner also.

Have a neck cover I can use don't own a hood though. I did take a closer look at what is shedding out. It's the longer hair has a patch where it looks shed out. So coat is just the shorter hair, not summer slick.

It's not the color of his summer coat it's lighter palomino a creamy color. He's in a heavy weight blanket ,temperature is 37 degrees. Left off neck cover for now. He's got a big pile of hay, so can eat all he wants. Will make sure he doesn't run out of hay.

He's on the lean side blanket straps are as short as they go. An still to loose that and cinch on saddle, are indicators of weight loss or gain. Cinch on saddle is on third hole. When he a bit heavier it's on bottom hole.

He does seem to feel really good though, not acting off in anyway. Eating really well licking feed pan clean both Am & Pm. Not being picky about feed that's a first well since I've owned him.

I'll bring him in barn if it gets real windy with sub zero temps. Will call vet in morning though. Can haul to vet so makes it a bit cheaper. Just a exam fee and very small office visit charge.Then whatever else is done test wise.

Knowing his dams history don't know if it's a huge worry about winter coat. Its a worry about keeping him warm enough. Reason I posted.
 

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Yeah, gotcha. There may well be nothing you can do. I don't know anything about horses that don't grow a winter coat since I have three grizzlies in my backyard. If he seems happy, is eating well, and feels good otherwise, I'd just try to keep him warm. Sounds like you're doing that.

I did have the vet do Harley's metabolic profile last fall, just because of his age, and his thyroid was underactive which was causing him to gain weight. He was on a thyroid med for about three to four months last winter, lost some weight, and looks great. The problem seems to be solved since he is not re-gaining the weight and the vet was happy. I think the whole metabolic profile testing cost me about 60$, but that wasn't counting the vet call. But I'd ask first what could cause a horse not to grow a winter coat. Maybe whatever caused his dam not to grow one is actually something treatable.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
@Acadianartist Thanks I'll look into doing the metabolic profile. He's young yet only 6 years old ,but guess it doesn't hurt to check. Vet charges 75 for a metabolic profile 30 for office visit if I haul horse to clinic.

Maybe he just slow to hair up I can only hope. He has some coat but not enough to keep him warm. Without help from blankets an neck cover. This is a first for me having a horse not get enough winter coat. Cinder is a hairy yak already.

It's officially getting cold high in 30s lows in mid 20s. Had to put tank heater in water trough today.
 
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