The Horse Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There's a constant debate about whether or not you should blanket your horses in the winter. Some people say they're better off without blankets and to just let their coat grow in to protect them naturally. Other people say to blanket them if you have blankets because, naturally, they can get cold in winter. What are your views on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
My personal opionion is let your horse first grow a coat, if you have a skinny horse you should defently blanket them. If you have an older horse, check everyday to see if the shiver (top of hindquarters) if they are then put a blanket on them, and they should be fine. (Actully you should do this with everyhorse).
If your horse has no shealter in the pasture, then at night when it gets really cold and or windy put the horse in a stall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
I blanket. Yes, horses can survive without blankets, but my horses certainly aren't happy without them in the cold. Blanketing also helps keep weight on during the winter, and it keeps older horses warm which keeps their immune system at it's best. If you don't blanket too early or too much, they will still grow a good coat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,187 Posts
All of the horses here are outside 24/7 some with run-in and some without (They have trees or the side of a barn, run-ins to come but not currently)
There are only about 5 days a year where I will blanket during daylight hours, it has to be REAL cold and blowy for me to blanket in the day light.
I DO blanket at night if there is suppose to be a bad storm or if the temps are going below 5F that night. I would say somewhere around 20-30 nights per year they are blanketed.

Other than that most horses grow sufficient coats. With plenty of hay to keep them going they do fine and I feel that some here get hot with the blankets. I've noticed the rescues come in thin with huge burly coats that are ugly and thick/long... To compensate for the feed they do not get to keep warm. My "permanent resident" horses have very thin coats, they barely look like they've grown anything. But they are fat and can always count on a meal - even with the lack of coats they have they get hot with blankees.

I always keep blankets off so that the horses have time to grow the coat they need. In the rainy just above freezing temps however, this is the WORST time for a horse and I throw water proof sheets on them. I never see them cold in even the chilliest negative temps but if its 33F windy and rain they're cold and need a jacket :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,082 Posts
Every animal should be provided with shelter, food, and water. I don't classify trees as a wind break. Better than nothing but I would want something that offered more protection from rain and snow.
With plenty of hay in there digestive system a healthy horse shouldn't need blanketed. At 30 below mine never showed signs of being cold.

When my horses have a choice to be in the stall or run alot of times during bad weather they chose to be outside. Now that they are in the pasture they head to the run in when it is windy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,738 Posts
Lacey doesn't have any shelter in her field and she's out there 24/7 so I decided to keep her blanketed 24/7. It rains a lot here and at her age (24) I really feel like she should be being babied since she's an old lady. Also, she's the type that if she did have shelter and it was yucky weather, she would be inside that shelter and not coming out (on her own choice). hahaha

I started blanketing in October or so (when it really started raining a lot here) and even with being blanketed all the time (medium weight blanket) her winter coat is very thick and about 3-4 inches long. o_O

So basically, she's happier with her blanket shielding her from the elements and it gives me peace of mind to know that she's warm.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
12,825 Posts
One of those decisions that no one is wrong on (unless they have a horse that is suffering)!

Last winter I did not ride my horse at all so he went naked and grew a hugely thick winter coat and was fine.

This winter I have him boarded at a place with an indoor and he is being ridden daily so he has been blanket to make him less likely to sweat and make cooling him out easier.

Blanket or not depends on what you are going to do with your horse, living arrangements and the horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,023 Posts
I have only one time in the last 10 years of having my horses blanketed one of my horses (It only lasted maybe an hour?). It was rainy and he was shivering. It was very, very unusual for him. Other than that, never. They can get into the barn if they so choose and if it is going to be super, super cold and windy we feed their hay inside but they choose to be outside anyway. Especially the younger one. He will grab a mouthful of hay and go outside to eat it. They do perfectly fine :) Just be sure they have access to all the hay they want and get fed regularly with a good supply of water on hand. If they are allowed to grow the proper coat they should do just fine. Just keep an eye out and watch for signs of shivering etc. and act accordingly. Also, shelter is a must!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
i blanket my horse. i dont start until hes nice and fluffy, but since hes kept alone in a seperate barn, i like to keep him extra warm since theres no extra body heat.
MA gets freezing cold, its been in the single digits the past week or so :(
and blankets keep him cleaner since hes a roller lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,471 Posts
Our boarders are welcome to blanket. However, I will not take off at night and put back on in the morning. If they want to blanket - it stays on. I also recommend two blankets. If they need (SHOULD) wash the blanket or repair tears, straps, etc, they have the second to put on.

We ride all winter. We have always blanketed one mare - more due to her being a pig than the weather. This year my gelding is wearing one due to the fact he could not stop shivering. Plenty of hay and access to shelter but still shivering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,624 Posts
My personal opionion is let your horse first grow a coat, if you have a skinny horse you should defently blanket them. If you have an older horse, check everyday to see if the shiver (top of hindquarters) if they are then put a blanket on them, and they should be fine. (Actully you should do this with everyhorse).
If your horse has no shealter in the pasture, then at night when it gets really cold and or windy put the horse in a stall.
Shivering horse, blanket. No shivers, no blanket. I've only had one horse out of 9 that needed a blanket. Ours have a run in shed and several tree wind-breaks. They will generally chose to stand out in the weather with their butts to the wind rather than go into shelter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I have an older gelding (21) who's in great shape, a 5yr old fat miniature mare who's pregnant, a fat 8yr old Paint Clydesdale gelding, and a Welsh stallion in good shape who's 5. However, we only have two blankets and they're normal horse size. I've never noticed any shivering unless the temperature goes below 0, in which case I would blanket my senior gelding and buy blankets for the welsh and mini. The Paint Clydesdale is too dangerous to try to get a blanket on him. In the case of below 0 temps, is it fair to blanket the other three and leave the Paint Clydesdale unblanketed? I'm telling you, there is no way to get a blanket on that horse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,034 Posts
I dont blanket in the winter unless the horse fully needs it. Where I board, April has her own turnout with a shelter and if the weather is really cold/wet/windy the horses are brought in until the storm passes. I dont show in the winter so I let nature take its course with hair growing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,624 Posts
I have an older gelding (21) who's in great shape, a 5yr old fat miniature mare who's pregnant, a fat 8yr old Paint Clydesdale gelding, and a Welsh stallion in good shape who's 5. However, we only have two blankets and they're normal horse size. I've never noticed any shivering unless the temperature goes below 0, in which case I would blanket my senior gelding and buy blankets for the welsh and mini. The Paint Clydesdale is too dangerous to try to get a blanket on him. In the case of below 0 temps, is it fair to blanket the other three and leave the Paint Clydesdale unblanketed? I'm telling you, there is no way to get a blanket on that horse
I blanketed only one horse and at the time had 3. The others just didn't need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
We never blanket unless necessary. We keep adequete blankets on hand, and the horses are inspected daily to ensure they're keeping a good weight and not shivering. The only horse in our herd of 8 who wears a blanket is my Arab mare because she simply doesn't grow a proper winter coat. Last winter, it was so cold that the pony was losing weight and shivering, so she promptly got a blanket and more feed.

We only have a tree line. The horses do fine. It's what they're used to. The tree line is extremely thick and full of spruce trees and they always manage to find the best spots out of the wind and soggy weather. Wild horses make do with a lot less, and they're not locked into tiny paddocks. They have 10 acres of trees and corners, as well as the pasture being surrounded by brush on the outside of the fence. Until we have a problem or a horse comes knocking on the front door, I really dislike people who would have the nerve to call our situation abusive or neglectful. They have 24/7 hay and water, and we have not had a single instance of illness, nor any horse coming into spring any lighter then when they went into winter. We start in fall building an insulating layer of fat on our herd, so that every horse is roughly 50-100lbs heavier going into winter then the shape we kept them in summer. We moniter them constantly and ensure any horse having difficulty is blanketed and given more feed.

It works for us and our horses, and I quite frankly think they're healthier this way. Even when we have a wet snow and they get damp, you will not find a horse shivering in our pastures. The coat is designed to protect, and as they're eating hay faster then they can burn it, they are always warm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,061 Posts
Now that I body clipped my mare (because she sweats alot when she's worked, and it takes forever to cool and dry her off), so she is blanketed at night, and will have a sheet on during the day, when I get a new one; when it's really 'warm' she won't have a blanket on at all during the day.

The two other horses I take care of, aren't blanketed at all, and I never see them have any issues; they have a barn they have free access too, and get plenty of food. They are a pain to dry off, but they aren't being ridden, so I won't body clip them at all.

This is a first ever, I've blanketed (or body clipped) a horse during the winter, as I grew up in MN and never had a need too; they didn't sweat in the winter during their workouts...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
798 Posts
my two big horses have shelter, woods, and cows to keep them warm and i don't ride them so I don't blanket. My minis also have a large stall there free to go into and a big barn for them as well. plus, minis are hardy little things with a furry coat so they have no need to be blanketed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
My girl is body clipped, and because I live in Alberta, and she lives in a paddock, I blanket her up the wazoo.

She has a fleecey, a liner and a winter blanket with hood on at all times. She does well and looks very snuggly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
My horses are out 24/7 with shelter, hay, and water all the time. If it is cold we go check everybody, but unless someone is shivering or loosing weight we don't get worried. My sister's MFT doesn't grow a very good coat, but she goes in the shelter with all the other horses so she normally is ok anyways. If anybody needs a blanket they get it, b ut they have been out all their lives so it is normally not an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,028 Posts
I blanket for several reasons:

1) My horses (2 TB's and a TB/Draft) get quite cold in the winter and often shiver

2) I ride (as much as I can, don't have an indoor) in the winter and it can be quite dangerous if they get very sweaty

3) It's easier to brush shorter coats

4) They are always show-ready
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top