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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2010
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    130

    Default Sheet/Blanket Temps

    As overnight temps have started dropping and my mare is already popping a coat, I'm curious as to what everyone does with their horses. What temp warrants a sheet for yours? What about a blanket? I'm a huge fan of keeping the hair short to begin with vs. letting them wooly up and then body clipping.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    13,344

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    Horses don't grow coats based on temp but on daylight. She would have the same amount of coat whether it was 40 or 80. She may be fluffing it up on the cool mornings, making it look like more coat, but that's the only thing her coat is doing in reaction to the cool evenings and mornings.

    The only way to truly keep their coat short is to put them under lights. That's not practical for most people.

    I won't blanket my horse (unless he strongly tells me otherwise, which he won't) until I clip him, probably in the next couple of weeks. I am also not blanketing because when I turn out right now in the later afternoon/early evening, it is still WELL into the 70s...too hot to sheet up unclipped horses! I rather them be chilly for a few hours in the early morning (and with my windows open, I know they are warm themselves up!), than hot well into the evening.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2010
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    2,482

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    Mine will go unblanketed until early to mid October. At that point I will do some sort of modified trace clip. 65-45: Sheet. 45-32: Med Blanket. < 32: Sheet and Blanket. She is stalled overnight so I add 10 degrees to the overnight low and blanket accordingly

    I am in GA so it will be pretty rare for her to wear both her sheet and blanket (day high of <32 or overnight low of <22).

    We have mild winters but she is in her late teens and need to be clipped for work so it's probably more conservative than what most people would do with an unclipped retired horse or a young easy keeper.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2001
    Posts
    2,545

    Default

    Ditto yellowbritches on the lights. I don't clip and mine only get a medium-weight turnout when it's below 40 or so and wet. They don't get blanketed in snow or if it's really cold, only cold/freezing rain.
    "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    5,040

    Default

    I sheet/blanket based on the individual. My TB mare requires more clothing than my TWHx gelding. She has a Baker on at 40's range, while he while shimmy out of anything and the pee on it.

    Also keep in mind their age plus physical condition plus coat growth. I knew 3 horses, two full TB's and one a TBx who would show colic symptoms when their backs were cold. All were resolved by adding a sheet or blanket, depending on temps.

    So listen to your horse, they will let you know when and if they want a blanket.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
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    5,533

    Default

    Mine do not get clipped, period.

    My blanket/sheet regimen is this:
    The horses are outside 24/7 (no run-in, but there is a windbreak) and they do not come in at night.

    IF the weather is extremely windy or wet (snow or rain), I will bring them in for the night to allow them to dry off out of the wind.
    The following morning, if it is still wet (snowing or raining) I will put on a rain sheet and throw them back out. If it is not wet but windy, they go out naked. Their natural coat insulates better than having a sheet on as a wind break but it flattens down the coat and it doesn't keep them as warm.

    Once the wet weather stops, the sheet comes off and they are naked and outside again.

    Last year I used a medium weight blanket when the temperature got to -20 degrees.

    They let me know when they aren't comfortable being out. They will either be very restless running around and running up to the gate, or they will be constantly shifting to put their butts to the wind.

    If they are doing neither, and are not shivering, they stay out naked.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    5,533

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    I am also not blanketing because when I turn out right now in the later afternoon/early evening, it is still WELL into the 70s...too hot to sheet up unclipped horses! I rather them be chilly for a few hours in the early morning (and with my windows open, I know they are warm themselves up!), than hot well into the evening.
    What's chilly for you is probably heaven for them. Horses do well in a cooler temperature. In Virginia, your morning chill is probably exactly how they pefer it and they're probably not chilly at all!
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2010
    Posts
    2,201

    Default

    As other posters noted above, blanketing fluctuates based on horse and weather conditions, but my general rules are outlined below, assuming everyone lives outside and isn't going from heated barn to outdoors every morning.

    Daytime highs of 40F: turnout sheet
    Highs of 30F: medium weight turnout
    Highs of 20F: medium weight stable blanket with turnout sheet on top
    Highs of 10F: medium weight stable blanket and medium weight turnout on top
    Highs below zero: depending on horse and wind conditions, I may or may not add a polar fleece blanket liner

    That being said, this never really stopped my Morgans from becoming furry yaks, as yellowbritches pointed out. It's daylight, not temp. I still had to trace clip. However, the blanketing helped keep them from becoming walking furballs like they would if they didn't get blanketed. My TB grew significantly less hair when he was blanketed one winter vs. not, both cases he was stabled outside.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,289

    Default

    When my horse is un-clipped Ill blanket lightly under 45 at night, maybe a bit heavier if windy and wet. Once my horse is clipped it is a different story. Hes a super sensitive TB so I try and keep him warm with no coat! His chart is as follows:

    60-50: A light waterproof summer sheet (Amgio Hero 6)
    50-40: He gets a lightweight blanket(100g fill) (no hood)
    40-30: He gets the lightweight blanket and a liner (300g fill) with hood
    30 and below: Gets the lightweight blanket and a liner (400g fill) with hood.

    It was rarely in the 20's at night last year, fairly mild winter, so I may add his sheet if it got really cold. But I use the Rambo Duo blanket and swap out liners, makes it great for clipped horses!
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2006
    Location
    Warren County, NJ
    Posts
    3,622

    Default

    Mine are still out at night too.
    Temps under 58F, rain sheet, under 48F 100gms, under 38F 200gms, under 28F 300gm .

    I know it's the amount of hours of light that spurs a wintercoat to start growing, that being said I've been blanketing for years, all mine came to me as wooly winter horses, but years of blanketing and I don't even own clippers. Their winter coats are only marginally thicker than their summer coats. People think I clip mine, I don't, it becomes that way after years of blanketing.
    With mine it hasn't changed however when they shed or start growing winter coats, it just makes them grow a thinner coat.

    I don't think you can take a usually winter wooly horse and then next winter decide you will start blanketing early hence horse will have a lighter coat, , will not make a difference you will still be clipping. But I'd say doing the early blanketing year after year after year, their winter coats seem to adjust and become less.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
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    4,638

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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    Horses don't grow coats based on temp but on daylight. She would have the same amount of coat whether it was 40 or 80. She may be fluffing it up on the cool mornings, making it look like more coat, but that's the only thing her coat is doing in reaction to the cool evenings and mornings.

    The only way to truly keep their coat short is to put them under lights. That's not practical for most people.

    I won't blanket my horse (unless he strongly tells me otherwise, which he won't) until I clip him, probably in the next couple of weeks. I am also not blanketing because when I turn out right now in the later afternoon/early evening, it is still WELL into the 70s...too hot to sheet up unclipped horses! I rather them be chilly for a few hours in the early morning (and with my windows open, I know they are warm themselves up!), than hot well into the evening.
    This is not true. The fact of the winter coat coming in IS related to light, and coat growth can certainly be affected by lights. However, you can inhibit coat growth with blanketing. With my horse I have done the following over the years:

    One Year: sheeted/blanketed aggressively in an unheated barn. Coat growth was nominal, and I did not have to clip him at all that winter, despite riding him all winter. The hair on his neck, which was unblanketed, was longer and more like a normal winter coat. It was not a matter of being more fluffed up - the coat was decidedly shorter on his body, and he did not sweat up when ridden.

    Next Year: horse was on layup in a lightly heated barn. He was not getting turned out. He was left unclipped and unblanketed all winter. He grew a coat like a yak, despite the fact that the barn was very bright. When I started doing his rehab under saddle 15 minute walks, he would get soaked in sweat.

    Next Year: horse was in the same lightly, bright heated barn as the prior year. I started sheeting way late - like late October. Coat grew too much immediately and he had to be clipped, but it was still nothiing like it had been the prior winter. Full body clip, and then blanketing (obviously).

    Next Year: horse was in a different lightly heated barn. Started sheeting late again, but earlier than the prior year. Horse could have gone without being clipped, but he was juuuust hairy enough that I decided to clip him.

    The results of my experiments have indicated to me that you CAN control the amount of coat growth with blanketing. Light certainly affects winter coat growth, but blanketing does as well. At least in my little experiments...

    ETA: prior to owning this horse, I have always owned body clipped horses in heated barns. He is the only one I have done this kind of experimenting with, and I feel like the fact that it is the same horse in the same part of the country is a pretty good "control."
    Last edited by FineAlready; Sep. 13, 2012 at 01:03 PM.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2000
    Location
    Goochland, VA
    Posts
    8,572

    Default

    Unclipped, ours don't wear anything until under 50 degrees AND rain. If dry, even windy, they are fine. After winter hair is in, I determine for each individual if they need a light cover at night. Some do, most do not. Some are a little more sensitive to cold than others. BUT they can eat more and move around more to keep warm.

    Clipped, they wear something pretty much all winter, unless BRIGHT sunshine will keep them warm. You must make up for what you take off.

    But remember, it is much better for them to be a little chilly than too warm. So err on the side of too little instead of too much.
    Laurie
    Finding, preparing, showing and training young hunters, in hand and performance.
    www.juniorjohnsontrainingandsales.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2012
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    In a far far away place....
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    712

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    I keep mine sheeted at night because it just keeps thier coats nicer. If it is extremely warm out and i will not be at the barn late that night, i will not sheet them. Overall I think it does keep coats nicer and smoother overall. most show barns here in Calif do not have lights, but they do sheet them every night. Heavier blankets in the winter.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,854

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    Unclipped, mine mostly stay naked unless its also wet. They have 24x7 turnout with access to their stalls.

    If its wet, they get an unlined turnout sheet from 59-32. Medium weight turnout below freezing. If its bitter cold and windy - 39-25, they get a turnout sheet. Below 25, they get a medium weight turnout.

    As long as they have free choice hay and the ability to move around, they're pretty happy in the cold weather.

    A lot depends on the general feeling in the weather. A dry 40 degrees with no wind and sunshine is a lot warmer than a cloudy, windy 45 with the kind of damp cold that will chill to the bone. On those sunny days, I'll often find them laid out like dead bodies in a sunny spot just loving life.

    I also will put a 300g stable blanket on them if its cold/wet enough at night that I decide to keep them in. Since losing Trav, I have nightmares about letting horses out on slippery footing at night. I really think you need to keep them a little warmer when stalled because they don't have the ability to move around to keep warm. Its pretty rare for me to ever need anything heavier than a med turnout, and last winter I don't think I ever used them.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2010
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Yep. Sensitive TB mare who doesn't like cold. Had a mild colic-type episode the first night it hit the 60's. She's also started rolling on both sides every night since the temp dropped. She's not a roller, so this tells me she's cold. It's too warm at turnout (70s) to even use my lightest cotton turnout sheet, but tonight is supposed to hit 59. I don't want her to be cold. I hate this time of year. Too hot during day for day turnout and temp drops in the wee hours of the morning.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2006
    Posts
    615

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    For my horse it depends more on what kind of weather it is than the temperature itself.

    For instance if it's -5 C (23F) and sunny, my guy would be happily naked. It was -5 C and snowy with wind, he'd have a light blanket (50-100 g fill) on.

    But here are approximate blanketing temps for my 17 yr old warmblood without much coat:
    -5 to -10C (23 to 14F): light to medium blanket (50-150g)
    -10 to -15 (14 to 5 F): heavy blanket (250g)
    -15 to -20 (5 to -4F): if it's sunny and nice then heavy blanket and a hood. If it's blustery and windy, heavy blanket(250g), hood and liner (100g).
    -20 to -30C (-4 to -20F): heaviest blanket (400g) plus hood
    -40C/F: Heaviest blanket (400g), liner (100g), and hood.
    Any colder and he gets a wool cooler added underneath.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2010
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia
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    I'm kind of suprised by these responses.

    I've always been taught that 40's is comfortable for a horse. My horses have been THRILLED that its been 40's-50's at night.

    I clip 1 of mine. WHen he gets wet, his back/butt stays wet for DAYS and creates rainrot. Instead of having to curry for hours, I just clip him partially. He wears his sheet a lot, especially with wind or rain. He gets his medium weight around 45 or below. He rarely needs his heavyweight.

    My others get their light weight around 35, and their medium if its below 28-ish. Also get their sheets if its wet out, just to keep them dry.
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    13,344

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    Quote Originally Posted by AliCat518 View Post
    I'm kind of suprised by these responses.

    I've always been taught that 40's is comfortable for a horse. My horses have been THRILLED that its been 40's-50's at night.

    I clip 1 of mine. WHen he gets wet, his back/butt stays wet for DAYS and creates rainrot. Instead of having to curry for hours, I just clip him partially. He wears his sheet a lot, especially with wind or rain. He gets his medium weight around 45 or below. He rarely needs his heavyweight.

    My others get their light weight around 35, and their medium if its below 28-ish. Also get their sheets if its wet out, just to keep them dry.
    People typically blanket to make themselves feel better. But, I'm with you. They are meant to stay warm in some pretty harsh climates, if left to their own devices. That's why I don't put anything on them (exceptions, of course) until they are clipped and I take what Mother Nature gave them away.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2010
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    665

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    I'm in California and I don't clip my horses, so they get pretty furry! I only use a rain sheet (no fill) if it's raining AND cold. Warm rain=naked. Cold and dry=naked. But right around 30 degrees is about the coldest we ever get.

    That said, I no longer stress as much about removing the sheet immediately if it stops raining as long as it's still cold out. I used to worry that the sheet would flatten their coat and make them colder, but I have tested it enough times (by feeling under the sheet) to be confident that they are plenty warm with the sheet on. So if we get a break in the rain, I will sometimes leave the sheet on for a day or so.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Dutchess County, New York
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    No clipping; I blanket the horses when it is 10 degrees out. Maybe a little warmer with high winds. They have run-in sheds so they can get out of the wind and rain if they want.

    I think blanketing is an art more than a science. As someone else said it depends on the feel of the weather. And the horse. The 30 year old TB gets blanketed at higher temps than the others (most of whom are also TBs).



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