first time naked...need support:UPDATE-I caved...UPDATE #2...I think he hates blanket
I am trying to make my ottb go the winter without blankets, and am having such a hard time being okay with it. They have more hay than they can handle, he is quite shaggy for a tb, and every time I check him he seems toasty. His ears were cold early on, when the temps started to drop and his coat wasn't in yet, so I threw a blanket on a few times. This was about a month ago, but he SEEMS fine now. My brain says he will be fine, but my heart literally loses sleep over it! I just HATE blanketing, and THINK he can handle it. Anyone been through this, or is going through it now with me? I am not worried about my other two, because I have had my qh for nine years and know he can do it, and the pony looks like Snuffleupagus. HELP!
A lot of the OTTBs at our barn will actually shiver when wet/cold, they have a finer coat then the ponies and QH. The hay will help, Just keep your eye on them, does he have a run in shed? Can he be stalled in needed?
Thanks guys. He has a run in and he lays down in it just about every night. He does get a bit cranky to groom in winter (he did last year WHEN BLANKETED TOO), and was pretty tense today when I rode him. BUT in his/my defense, I haven't ridden him in a week... I adopted him from New Jersey, and the girl who was fostering him left him naked for the winter there. I am not sure how much warmer it stays there, compared to MA though.
The first year my TB was off the track he needed to be blanketed since he had a very fine coat and would shiver in the cold mornings. Every year since he has grown a VERY wooly coat and is fine not being blanketed. If your boy has a nice thick winter coat, do not worry about it. He will be fine or else he'll show he's cold by shivering. But like I said, mine has not even showed an ounce of being cold since that first year.
As long as they are not wet or in extremely windy areas, they seem to be happy and warm. Mine lived with a run in shed and would be in and out on his own. He's just fine being naked. : )
I leave mine unblanketed as well. If I need to dry them out or warm them up I use a wool cooler. Once dried, their fur springs right back up to keep them warm, and they are off and running. If you give in to temptation too often and use a winter blanket on them too much, the hair shafts bend down and don't come back up again to trap and warm the air to keep them warm. Then you're out of luck and blanketing for the rest of the winter.
Don't worry! Unless you can see that he really is cold, he'll probably be just as comfy or more without a blanket since he can self regulate. Last year was my first year leaving my mare blanketless, and she did great! There were maybe two days where she was cold, and all she needed on those days was a sheet to block the wind. If a sheet to block wind/rain and some hay is not enough to warm your horse back up, you might need to blanket him, but otherwise, he is probably just fine.
I know the feeling. My Arab has been blanketed since she was weaned and now she's almost 6. This year I tried to make her go naked but it did NOT work. We started getting some snow, and 20mph winds + 25 degree temps....no way. She has grown almost no coat. Other people comment on how shiny and short her hair is. I've seen her shaking several times. She walks humped up in the middle. Her back is tight. I've had her back in full blankets for about 2 weeks now and she is MUCH happier. She'll be back to her normal blanketed schedule. Some horses just don't grow coat.
We lived in northern nevada at about 5600 elevation, got 3 to 4 feet of snow every winter. I had a beautiful barn that was always open to them (I stored hay and fed in the stalls). They would ONLY come in to eat, never stayed inside. In a blizzard, they'd be out with their butts to the wind, looking like musk ox!! Seemed to love it. Don't worry, they'll be fine.