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Blanketing

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  • Blanketing

    Where I live winters are 25-50 degrees Fahrenheit and summers are 75-95. I’m buying a horse that I’m going to be showing and I want to blanket but I’m not sure what kind of blankets I need for different times of the year.

  • #2
    What is your goal for blanketing?

    Will your horse have turnout, or live ,outside,? Is your barn heated?

    Will you be showing in the winter? Will you be clipping in the winter?

    In addition to the temperature range what is the precipitation in the various seasons?

    A lot will also depend on the horse's individual tolerance to cold.

    If you clip you will need a medium weight waterproof turnout for winter, and if the horse is stalled at night, a stable blanket.

    If the horse is not clipped you may not need any blanket. However msny English performance horses are clipped in winter so they can work hard without sweating.

    You will want a quarter sheet to use while a clipped horse is warming up or to ride any horse in cold rain.

    You will need a fleece or wool cooler to put on when the horse is sweaty after work. They really help dry them faster!

    If the horse is turned out in heavy spring or fall rain you may want a waterproof rain sheet.

    If biting flies are a big problem in your area you may want a fly sheet for summer.

    If you go to shows you may want a light sheet to keep dust off the horse.

    Now some of the breed and color folks are much more concerned about not letting the horse fade and will keep them wrapped up all summer. Or in heated lit barns so they don't grow winter coats.

    Anyhow here in the PNW for a horse that gets daily turnout, to summarize Id say

    Medium weight waterproof turnout
    A puffy stable blanket * if * horse is in a stall overnight and is clipped.
    Water proof rain sheet
    Quarter sheet
    Wool or fleece cooler
    Show sheet or scrim
    Fly sheet with neck and mask if needed.

    I'd say this is a minimum, others may have some useful ideas for more gear.

    Also multiples are useful, especially turnout sheets which can take a while to dry if you don't have a heated tack room.


    Last edited by Scribbler; Feb. 10, 2018, 04:06 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      What Scribbler said!
      http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
        What is your goal for blanketing?

        Will your horse have turnout, or live ,outside,? Is your barn heated?

        Will you be showing in the winter? Will you be clipping in the winter?

        In addition to the temperature range what is the precipitation in the various seasons?

        A lot will also depend on the horse's individual tolerance to cold.

        If you clip you will need a medium weight waterproof turnout for winter, and if the horse is stalled at night, a stable blanket.

        If the horse is not clipped you may not need any blanket. However msny English performance horses are clipped in winter so they can work hard without sweating.

        You will want a quarter sheet to use while a clipped horse is warming up or to ride any horse in cold rain.

        You will need a fleece or wool cooler to put on when the horse is sweaty after work. They really help dry them faster!

        If the horse is turned out in heavy spring or fall rain you may want a waterproof rain sheet.

        If biting flies are a big problem in your area you may want a fly sheet for summer.

        If you go to shows you may want a light sheet to keep dust off the horse.

        Now some of the breed and color folks are much more concerned about not letting the horse fade and will keep them wrapped up all summer. Or in heated lit barns so they don't grow winter coats.

        Anyhow here in the PNW for a horse that gets daily turnout, to summarize Id say

        Medium weight waterproof turnout
        A puffy stable blanket * if * horse is in a stall overnight and is clipped.
        Water proof rain sheet
        Quarter sheet
        Wool or fleece cooler
        Show sheet or scrim
        Fly sheet with neck and mask if needed.

        I'd say this is a minimum, others may have some useful ideas for more gear.

        Also multiples are useful, especially turnout sheets which can take a while to dry if you don't have a heated tack room.

        my horse I not clipped. She is stalled during the day and then has optional turn out at night (the paddock is connected to her stall) she isn’t clipped. The stall is is not heated and she won’t be showing during winter.

        What I thought was to buy a winter turn out blanket that she could wear when it’s cold but for summer does she need a sheet? Does she need any blankets to keep her coat show ready or will she be fine with a regular fly sheet?

        Comment


        • #5
          That depends on what discipline you show in.

          Nobody would care if a jumper or dressage horse or games horse got some bleached bits in the mane over the summer.

          On the other hand someone showing a palomino in halter class would be frantic to keep from losing color.

          As far as shine, IME a healthy horse can go out for summer pasture for two months, come back covered in dust, and after a rinse with the hose be completely sleek and shiny. In other words basic health over rides actual grooming.

          People with blacks and bays report them changing color over the course of the year. But for most disciplines this is just interesting, not a problem.

          So I personally don't see a point of a summer sheet except maybe if you are actually at the show.

          At home you can just hose them off the day before the show.

          If you aren't clipping you will want a good cooler for use in winter so horse can be properly dry quickly.

          I'm wondering why turnout only at night? That makes sense in summer but why in winter?

          Comment


          • #6
            I really like my 100 gram turnout blanket when it's around freezing at night and in the 40's during the day. It sounds like that would cover your needs for winter. When it gets colder, I go to 220 gram medium weight blankets, but it doesn't sound like you need that if your horse is not clipped. I keep turnout sheets for when it's rainy/windy and a little warmer, and use one a lot on my thin-skinned appendix mare. My bigger QH and warmblood don't need quite as much protection as the thin-skinned princess.

            It's nice to have a stable sheet to keep them clean before shows, and I sometimes use them when trailering when it's in-between weather or to throw on when they're not 100% dry after a workout on a night when it's not cold enough for a blanket.

            So I guess minimum I would get its: 100 gram turnout, no-fill turnout, stable sheet, fly sheet, cooler.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
              I'm wondering why turnout only at night? That makes sense in summer but why in winter?
              My bad, I got my summer/winter rotation mixed up! As for bleaching, it’s really important she doesn’t get bleached. I have a dark bay or will turn almost buckskin in summer! She’s a bay and it’s important that she keeps her coat

              Comment


              • #8
                I've never owned a stable blanket in 20+ years of horse keeping. They're hardly necessary

                This is my lineup:

                100 gram turnout (lightweight)
                200 gram turnout (medium)
                420 gram turnout (heavy)

                wool cooler (for horses kept in work over the winter, don't ever use for horses not kept in work)

                fly sheet


                Over the last several years, I found I never use my no fill sheets, so those have dropped off the list. If it's icky enough for cover, it's been icky enough for 100 grams.

                This is really a YMMV kind of thing. It's all in how you want to set up your "system" and how warm your own individual horse runs. Just this winter, I saw my horses chilly in their mediums at temps that were solidly "medium" temps. Bumped them up to heavys, and they were mucho happier. Weird, but okay! Just having a 100g available wouldn't work for us.

                Ah, also: all three blanket weights have been useful in various states, planting zones 6-4. Looks like OK is in 7, so you may not need a heavy (unless you're clipping.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've never used a stable blanket either. Our barn has stalls with runouts so if they need a turnout blanket it's on 24/7. If your horse was in a closed stall at night though and was clipped it might be nice to swap the turnout for something dryer and lighter.

                  Up to now I haven't used my rain sheet much. However horse has been in a temporary situation for the past couple months where they are stalled at night, in turnout without shelter during the day. Horse would not like a turnout with fill in 45 F showers (I've asked her in the past) but it turns out the rain sheet is working well. I thought it would flatten the hair and make her chilly but not at all.

                  if OP is not clipping in winter they will need a cooler for after work. A cooler can also be useful after a bath.

                  IME a fleece cooler works best on a warm damp sweaty horse. A wool cooler works on that but also after baths and if you need to dry off a horse that got wet in turnout.

                  As far as summer sheets for sunbleaching I have never given that much thought. Perhaps the Western forum will have ideas as that is something that concerns Western Pleasure and halter folk more.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Both of my horses are not clipped and pretty much live out with a nice big run in. They both have a sheet and a blanket. When it gets below freezing I put on the blanket. Upper 30s/40s I put a sheet on if its raining. I also have a fleece and wool cooler if they get sweaty in the winter. I do not use fly sheets. Never have, but that's my personal preference and none of my horses have actually needed one. What kind of summer sheets are you talking about? Fly sheets?
                    "There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; one is a sense of humor and the other is patience."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OdieJump View Post

                      My bad, I got my summer/winter rotation mixed up! As for bleaching, it’s really important she doesn’t get bleached. I have a dark bay or will turn almost buckskin in summer! She’s a bay and it’s important that she keeps her coat
                      IME, bleaching to that extreme is caused by a copper and zinc deficiency. The darker the color, the more melanin required, which requires more copper and zinc. Most forage in the US is high in iron, which means either an outright deficiency in cu/zn, or deficient in relation to the high iron. Unless you're feeding large amounts of a fortified feed, there's not enough to make up for that deficiency. Adding the polysaccharide forms (Uckele, HorseTech, California Trace are 3 sources) usually helps a great deal. You'd need to start right now, asap, to affect the new coat that is growing in quickly.

                      If you turn out in Summer only at dusk, and bring in around dawn, you won't need a sheet for Summer. You'll want to rinse off all sweat from work asap, as sweat speeds up bleaching.

                      For your Winter temps, a medium weight blanket, tops, will work. That can take you from most of the worst conditions, through the iffy ones, as long as it's waterproof and breathable. If you feel you need something else, then either a no-fill sheet or, what I find more flexible, something like Schneider's 80gm fill sheet. That's perfect for layering on top of the medium weight if you end up with a more extreme Winter situation, it's fantastic for the beginning and end of Winter where the coat isn't fully in, or is mostly out and you get a colder snap (or just cold rain), etc.

                      If you decide on a fly/sun sheet for Summer, I would look for one that is stiff material so that it tents over the horse, as opposed to soft material that drapes. Tenting will be cooler and actually provide more shade.
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I live in a slightly colder climate, but with similar summers. Given that I just sorted through my sheet and blanket collection (and made a number of donations), here is what I consider helpful to have on hand for a clipped or cold sensitive horse:

                        Rain sheet (no fill)
                        Medium weight blanket (200 g) with hood
                        Heavy weight blanket (400 g) with hood
                        Wicking cooler
                        Quarter sheets
                        Kool koat for use as a summer stable sheet (you can also use for fly/sun protection)

                        Some people prefer to layer blankets in winter, but I like to just use the appropriate one for a given temperature range.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I use a waterproof baker sheet, no fill, a Smartpak turnout with thinsulite so maybe 250 g of fill, and a cooler for winter. He’s clipped but lives outside 24/7 with shelter
                          I really like the thinsulite blanket from SmartPak because it’s so easy to put on and off, much less bulky than traditional filled turn out

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't need a fly sheet at home. I bought it with the idea of doing horse camping up in mountain or ranch country where the big deer flies are murderous.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I use a no-fill light weight sheet < 55°F for my light-coated or clipped horses (<65°F if it's raining), a medium weight 150g fill < 45°F, a heavy weight 250g fill < 32°F, and layered medium+heavy < 10°F. I moved from Ohio to Florida a little over a year ago and have maintained this schedule.
                              My retired gelding I did not clip this year and I did not put his no-fill sheet on until < 45°F (under 60°F if raining).
                              Last summer was our first summer here and I did not fly sheet and did not need to. For all the warnings about "Florida is SO buggy!" all my life in Ohio every single summer was waaaaaaaaayyyy worse for flies than last summer was down here in Ocala, at least at my house. Which was great, as I have yet to find one that doesn't rip my mare's shoulder points open with sores. My horses are out 24/7. My bay mare did bleach some so I started her on copper and zinc supplements a few weeks ago. I'm considering using black hair dye on her tail for our upcoming dressage show

                              ETA - mine are all waterproof turnouts. I find non-waterproof stable blankets to be worthless and unnecessary.
                              "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The only time I blanket is the oldie and the pssm horse, and that's because at 10 or so, they could both use the help. Hay is cheap enough here to where I just monitor how much they are eating, and set the roundbales out of the wind if really nasty weather is blowing in. Not sure where you are, but a little over an hour south of Tulsa we go from lows in the single digits at night to a couple weeks a year with highs in the triple digits. Gonna second supplementing copper and zinc with a bay /buckskin horse. The summers are normally worse on the horses than the winters. Water can sour quick, and they'll stop drinking. Might be worth putting a line filter in if you are rural. Sometimes the water supply isn't the greatest.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If you aren't going to clip, you'll need two things at the absolute minimum:

                                  Medium Weight Turnout Blanket
                                  Turnout Sheet

                                  Most people will also want a medium weight stable blanket to use at night, especially on nights when the turnout blanket comes in dripping wet or covered in mud.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    We have a ton of blankets (blanket cleaning bill $900 and that was def not all the blankets) and if I were to do it all over again, I would get a 100, 200, 300+ Amigo insulator and 2 rain sheets (one for a back up) with a detachable neck.

                                    We live in Ontario, Canada and our winters can get down to "feels like minus 30" degrees one day and the next plus 6 degrees. This combo would get us through the weather changes and the insulators and blankets could be easily cleaned by a regular washing machine and/or hose and brush.

                                    Rain sheets for wind and wet weather. Liners for warmth. Mix and match as needed.



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