Cold snap coming- another body layer or add a hood?
My guy is currently wearing a medium weight Amigo Turnout. He's got one of the lighter coats (it's longer but it's not fluffy at all) I've seen compared to my previous horses and with the cold snap people are talking about next week but in the fairly mild temps we've had so far this winter, he's doing well.
Looks as if it's not going to be so kind next week.
I just returned to work after a layoff and can afford one splurgey immediate purchase. I find myself torn between adding another layer under his blanket like a liner or fleecey sheet.... or getting a neck cover to match his turnout.
He will probably still be getting turned out as long as there isn't insane precipitation, etc.... Which would be more advantageous in terms of keeping him comfy?
Personally I would get a neck cover and a 100 gram liner. If you have to choose between the two I would say neck cover. Only because without a neck cover, snow and rain can get into the shoulder/chest area of his blanket and also soak his neck. A wet horse will be cold much sooner than a dry horse.
The Amigo blankets work with the horseware liner system, and the 100 gram one isn't super expensive. Otherwise, if you have a fleece dress sheet that fits well and you're confident won't slip, you could put that under his Amigo.
I really like the liners from schneiders with the belly band. My old TB is a weenie in the cold and he stays warmer in the heavy liner with a med weight on top than he does just adding the hood. But it's a good point about the precip going down the shoulder being an issue, that's a pain to which the higher cut neck rugs prevent, or a hood.
I am going to say you get more added warmth from a layer but more protection from wind/rain from a neck cover. So, depending on the weather, I'd choose. all things being equal, I'd probably go for a fleece liner. More multi-purpose, probably can be had cheaper, I'd rather the horse be a little wet but warm (assuming I can have him come in and dry off) than dry but shivering the weight off underneath.
If you get super duper super cheap and used on eBay maybe you can afford both?
Personally I'd get a high-neck blanket - the high-neck helps keep out the rain/snow and provides a little more protection. I'm not a fan of hoods and if given the choice between a hood or a liner I'd go with the liner - layering helps keep them warmer.
"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've had to deal with clipped and short haired horses in cold Jersey and Canadian winters. The hoods are great as a luxury, but, most of the time, the hair is thickest on their necks as this is the area most exposed to the elements, and the thick hair provides reasonable protection against the rain and snow. The hair on the body is the last to grow in horses that have been blanketed and this is the area where horses lose most of their heat.
I am a huge fan of the Rambo liner system because it's convenient and stays in place. Though I'm not a fan of spending money needlessly. If you have it, I would go with a Light blanket under your Medium blanket. You get the most versatility and your horse will be protected against the elements.
Live a good, honorable life... Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
I second vxf111's suggestion - if you're just looking to add warmth, get a liner, but if you need to increase protection from the elements, the neck cover might be the better investment.
I farmsat for some friends over New Years, who have 2 older QHs. That weekend was cold, but dry, so the horses stayed naked. While feeding, I did my usual once over on everyone and noticed that the mare's neck was much warmer under her long mane. I guess I'd never noticed that on other horses before because most of my experience has been with my own Apps (who've both had thin manes) and the other horses have generally had pulled manes, so they weren't really long enough to make a big difference. Don't know if that helps, but if your guy has a long mane, and it's just cold, he might not need a neck cover!
I'd probably vote hood if the existing blanket is pretty decent in terms of insulation. No matter how warm the body is, exposing the neck and great vessels is going to make a big difference in maintaining body temperature if there is a huge drop in temperature.
It has been in the 30s here for WEEKS. Supposed to be in the single digits by Monday morning--mine are finally getting upgraded from midweights to heavyweights, all of which are high necks other than the pinto's. Since he is partially clipped--he definitely gets a hood.
In a pinch, a cheap-o polypropylene throw blanket from Walmart ($10-15) can make a decent liner, especially if you have a handy dandy cheap-o elastic blanket surcingle.