Ok, I'm new to nothern VA and need to finish up my blanket shopping before it get's cold!
I have an senior (24yrs) TB who grows quite the winter coat (fuzzy wuzzy - he's from the good old midwest where -10 can be the norm). Soo I shall probably clip him soon so he can grow back somewhat of a coat, but still be able to cool out quickly.
I will ride him this winter - but he not too hard/sweaty. He will be in at night once the weather is cold.
And a heavy stable blanket (like 250-300 grms) and then of course turnouts. BUT do I need a cotton stable sheet too? I'm debating whether to get on cotton stable sheet (love SmartPaks one) or do just get another Thermo manager. Anyone have the thermo and also find they still need a stable sheet too? Thermo is pretty light weight, but may also be insulating too, so he might need the cotton some nights......
I just moved from Illinous to Norfolk. I will be shocked if my horse need a blanket this winter. He might need a sheet just to keep the rain off of him.
If you compare weather, their Jan is like Oct. in Illinous. I know that last year I put a sheet on my horse when the highs during the day was like 45. I started the winter blanket with the highs were like 35. However, my horse is a wimp when it comes to the cold. He came from Tennessee so we were blanketing him a long time before the other horses in the barn.
I do not know how clipping would effect your horse. I know my horse tells me when he gets cold and have alerted the stable hands on what to look for to start putting on his sheet.
I'm in your general area (Frederick, MD) and all our CLIPPED horses have a lightweight and medium/heavy weight turnout and a stable rug. This is sufficient for almost any weather we can get, with layering, need be. Various lightweight things like antisweats and sheets are nice to have, but really don't do a ton for warmth around here (like a stable sheet for my fit, clipped horses on these cool evenings we have right now, and that's about it). Even when we had that ridiculous blizzard last winter, they didn't need a whole lot more than what most have. I had two unclipped horses out in that, and they both had turnouts with neck rugs (and stable rugs under, which they probably didn't really need, but I felt HORRIBLE for them!).
I've had horses in the No Va area for 20 + years and would say that you'll probably only need the Mid-weight version of most blankets. The heavy weights won't get much use. Gotta have the 3-season, water proof sheets for the wet damp days that are just chilly. Mid-weight stable or turnouts, and I love to have the neck covers. Instead of taking on/off under layers, shifting layers, etc, can just throw on a neck cover for those few very cold nights or wind-chill days. I do love a nice cotton sheet though.
I wouldn't clip an older horse unless you are sure he will have good shelter and that someone will be around to blanket and unblanket him as our weather changes. It can be 5 degrees and windy here, 20 degrees with 3' of snow, 31 degrees with sleet and freezing rain, or sunny and pleasant. Unfortunately, sunny and pleasant can become cold, wet, and miserable pretty quickly.
We use our mid weight Rambo XL blankets a few times a winter (usually in sleet or freezing rain), and the heavy weights on rare occasions. We do leave the barn open so the boys can decide if they want to be in or out.
BUT do I need a cotton stable sheet too? I'm debating whether to get on cotton stable sheet (love SmartPaks one) or do just get another Thermo manager. Anyone have the thermo and also find they still need a stable sheet too? Thermo is pretty light weight, but may also be insulating too, so he might need the cotton some nights......
Would love any thoughts ASAP!!
I wouldn't waste my money on a cotton sheet - they can actually make a horse colder... they are just heavy enough to prevent the hair from fluffing up and trapping heat but not heavy enough to keep the heat in (if that makes sense ). I've seen horses shiver in cotton sheets but then be fine when the sheet was removed - nature was allowed to go to work. I'd go w/ a fleece or wool sheet if you are looking for something light that will still help keep him warm. The only time I ever use a cotton sheet is to keep a horse clean the night before a show - that's it. Those thermal blankets look nice but I've never tried one so I have no idea how good they would be.
(Another thing is free-choice hay... it fuels the furnace and helps a ton w/ keeping a horse warm ).
"When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered."CANTER New England
I totally agree with the cotton sheet actually smooshing down the hair and making them colder. However if they are clipped a cotton sheet is nice for those slighty chilly nights when a blanket would be too much! My guy showed of his cotton sheet today in the barn because he was freshly clipped and it was chilly today, but too warm I felt for his stable blanket.
They are out tonight with medium stables and turnout sheets over. They have a shelter and I think they can actually stay warmer outside where they can move around and eat lots of - still green!!- grass.
Neck rug is a good idea though. I'll looking into getting one. But I bet by the time I will need one my guy will already be very furry again!!
I have a 9 yr old TB who does NOT grow much of a winter coat. I'm lucky if I get a good inch of fuzz. She also struggles a lot with her weight, but nothing corn oil and hay can't fix.
She has one lightweight turnout sheet, one mid-weight (which is actually heavier than my heavy weight) and one heavy weight. She is turned out with a shelter. I try to only blanket her when she absolutely needs it. Tonight, it's getting below 30 degrees where I am and we're looking at a frost, so I pulled out her mid-weight.
I've worked at a few barns in NoVa, and almost everyone has at least a mid-weight and a sheet.
Thanks everyone. I think I should be good - got a sheet, mid weight stable (which I put under sheet for mid weight weather), and a heavy turnnout. Please a cotton sheet and a thermo cooler/sheet. Now what do you all think about neck rugs? I'm looking into getting a Rambo rug, since my guy is clipped and I worry about his neck getting cold. Should I do the no fill neck rug or the 150 gram?