Hello there everyone! For the first time this winter, I will be shaving my horse. Unfortunately, I have never done this before, so I am at a loss as to what and when to blanket him. First, some background on the horse! My boy is a 10 year old 17.1hh TB gelding. He does have a fairly thing coat, just sweats a ton!
The blankets I currently have are:
Turnout/ rain sheet
thin, breathable liner (not fleece though)
Heavy weight turnout
Currently I have been blanketing him as follows since he still has his hair:
turnout sheet and liner when it gets around 40-35 degrees
heavy weight when it gets below 25
I am looking to purchase one more blanket/ turnout if necessary, but I don't know what would be in my best interest to purchase. I am considering a medium or light weight turnout that I can use on its own or layered on really cold nights. Also, if anyone could tell me which blankets would be a appropriate to use when that would be awesome as well as how to layer them and so forth!
On a side note, when I have him i'm planning on putting a design on his rump. Any ideas? (; I'm thinking a clover.
To a horse, forty degrees is like room temperature. If it's dry, I don't put anything on an unclipped horse above about 30 degrees. If it's wet, I use a waterproof turnout down to about 30-35, a midweight turnout from 20-30, and a heavyweight turnout below 20 degrees if there is wind or any damp. If it's sunny and calm, which is very uncommon in the winter where I live, I will let horses go naked down to about 15 degrees. However, my default is to go with one step up blanket-wise if I'm not going to be home to change clothing. (my horses live out with shelter or are out daytime/in at night if I keep them at my trainer's)
I like to have the three weights so I can mix and match. For a clipped horse (I almost always do partial clips only) I will usually add a blanket liner to the lineup--I have a bunch from Schneider's that are just nylon with some filler, and these go under whatever layer they need to add that bit of warmth. These are great because they are really inexpensive and you can just chuck them in the wash and dry them if they get funky.
If you've already got a heavyweight and a turnout sheet, I would get a nice, medium weight poly-fill blanket liner and use that as your "option" piece.
Ok, so what I'm thinking about doing (read an article in one of my horse magazines) is taking a little bit of this womans clipped horses blanketing advice and mixing it a little with my blanket options.
60-50- turnout sheet
40-50- turnout sheet plus liner ( figure the double layer, although thin, is about the same as a light weight blanket)
30-40- medium turnout
20-30- heavy turnout
20- below- heavy turnout with liner, or if it drops to the negatives, I will layer the medium turnout under the heavy.
does this sound like an adequate blanketing routine for a fully shave horse? the barn he lives in is insolated, so I don't know if this is too much then?
Your personal preference is not even close to what your horse's is going to be. Again, they are COLD WEATHER animals and perfectly comfortable in conditions where we would be miserably cold. Yes, taking off their fur means they need protecting, but I would venture to say that even a fully clipped horse is much more comfortable at cool temperatures than the average clothed human.
I did have a "shaved" horse last winter. She got CLOSE clipped all around her sides and belly for colic surgery and then decided to pass a teensy bit of manure so they halted the proceedings to give her a bit more time; she did in fact recover without surgery BUT she needed a blanket on pretty much 24/7. I bought her a light Rambo blanket with 100 mg of fill and she wore it almost all the time because even though the winter was very mild, she was still half naked! That blanket will be used alot this winter because she will have a trace clip and a med. wt. blanket will only be needed in the very cold weather. I do not like to use the "lite" sheet with no fill, as it presses down the hair and without any insulation, they are colder than with nothing on.
if the horse is in a lot remember that he doesn't move as much as out so horses do get cold during the night and as one has taken his natural coat of then one replaces it with a rug or 2 depending on weather
and will say i am one that only believes in full clips if the horse is doing a full work load to warrant the clip type