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Random thoughts/questions on blanketing

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  • Random thoughts/questions on blanketing

    The BO has decided to increase the charge for blanketing this year. To be honest, since it doesn't get done with any regularity, I'm considering not paying/not blanketing. There were too many times last year that they were left on all day or forgotten at night, that it was a real problem for me-even at the old rate. So, I have questions about not blanketing or part-time blanketing. My horse will not be shown over the winter, but will be in light work. I'm in Calif, so no snow, but temps can drop into the 20's on occasion (usual winter nights are 30's) and be 70 the next day. We get alot of wind in the evenings and will certainly have our fair share of rain. Horse has full private shelter (that she uses) with large paddock. Is it reasonable to think she'll survive just fine naked until, say after the 1st of the year when we get our coldest times? At that point could I do a modified clip (like underside of neck and chest) with a no-fill rain sheet? Would the rain sheet be too hot for the average day? When they aren't at home, there are always unfortunate moments when things aren't perfect, but 'could' this plan work? Any other suggestions?
    Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

  • #2
    Not blanketing only works for the winter if your horse is completely naked. It is the air in between their hair that creates the insulation and keeps the horse warm. If you trace clip and then only use a rain sheet it will not do a whole lot of good since the sheet will flatten out the coat. There is something to be said for keeping your horse dry...im not sure how much rain you get in your area. My recommendation would be no blanket and no trace clip or making sure your barn pays more attention to blanketing. Also how much hay does your horse get? If your horse has access to hay all night he will be able to stay warm. If your barn only gives a couple flakes at dinner you will have to take that into consideration.

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    • #3
      Right as someone who has seen it all over here, here's what I have seen. Traced clipped horses out all day in all types of crap Irish weather, no rug. Dried off appropriately at night and rugged up. Trust me a rainy day here at 35 degrees is colder than any below zero day. But those horses were out in big open fields to roam and eat and had hay available. My own mare for a long time went out naked everyday with full coat but rugged at night in stable.

      Some horses have different tolerances. Abba can stand out in anything and my retired TB gelding starts shaking if there is a threat of rain. Is it possible she can be blanketed at night only? A nice med Wt should do the trick fine.

      Terri
      COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

      "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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      • #4
        Don't take it personally OP, but these threads always make me laugh. I live in a much colder climate, so to hear of blanket angst at those temperatures, it makes me smile.

        If your horse has shelter, it will be fine w/o blankets! The point is to keep them dry (if they want) and out of the wind, and any good shelter will accomplish that.

        I cannot cite sources but my trainer told me horses' bodies have to work to keep themselves warm at 16 degrees f. and lower and have to work to cool themselves at 60 degrees and higher. That is why hot temps are harder on horses than cold ones.
        https://www.facebook.com/SugarMapleFarm
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        • Original Poster

          #5
          SMF, I agree we don't need to blanket here. I laughed last night when I went to the barn and all were blanketed but mine with the threat of a mild storm. Some were bundled like nanook!
          I'd like to keep something on her in the wetest part of winter, primarily for my convenience-I don't really have time to de-mud before I ride every morning. Thats why I was thinking turnout sheet.
          Listening attentively for more replies, ideas?
          Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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          • #6
            My horse would drop 200 lbs if I did that. Not all horses can tolerate the cold, and even with unlimited forage some still pull from their reserves to keep warm.
            Without knowing your horse its hard to say. Fwiw I pay $50 a month and blanket below 50*
            www.destinationconsensusequus.com
            chaque pas est fait ensemble

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            • #7
              I would say your plan is fine. My only suggestion would be to get a sheet that has a mesh lining so as to allow more air circulation/trapping under the sheet.

              I think what people need to remember is what Equilibrium had to say about different tolerances. Just like people, horses can very in the cold (or heat tolerance). I can be comfortable outside in a t-shirt while my barn friend (who might blow away at the slightest wind gust) is bundled up in a hooded sweatshirt and fleece jacket. Should I strip her down to a t-shirt and tell her to suck it up, she should be able to keep herself warm Most horses do fine without blankets, even with trace clips, some do not. I have a thin skinned tb, who doesn't grow a winter coat. Tried to force him to grow one by not blanketing the first winter I had him. You know what I achieved? a very sick horse. So listen to your horse,if she seems fine once you clip without a sheet, don't use one.

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              • #8
                i agree that it's the wet weather that poses more problem than the cold.
                i wouldn't worry about her with shelter and hay even in a trace clip so long as she can keep herself dry.
                http://www.eponashoe.com/
                TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Odie222 View Post
                  I think what people need to remember is what Equilibrium had to say about different tolerances. Just like people, horses can very in the cold (or heat tolerance).
                  Of course, I agree with this. I blanket the 30 year old TB much more frequently than his younger herdmates. However, most horses would do fine with the OP's situation.

                  And yes, if it is muddy I would throw a sheet on so grooming is easier. I know people have mentioned on this board how their horse shivers in a sheet when the temp drops (b/c coat is not fluffed) but I have not yet had that experience.
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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    She is young and came from Ohio, and was never blanketed before she came here. Last winter was her first winter in Calif and I didn't blanket, but she hadn't been started yet, so I just let her be a baby over the winter. She seems to have trouble with the heat we get in the hottest summer. Last year she grew a pretty dense coat, though not a very long one. My last horse had to be blanketed-the cold bothered her, but this girl seems to do fine. I'm just trying to figure out the filth/mud thing. She does stay in her stall most of the time, but she goes out and rolls in the mud. Of course, everyone at my barn already thinks I'm terrible because I didn't bundle her up yesterday for a heavy fluke rainstorm-but its 40! I guess I'll just watch her and decide as winter comes on.
                    Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                      Of course, I agree with this. I blanket the 30 year old TB much more frequently than his younger herdmates. However, most horses would do fine with the OP's situation.

                      And yes, if it is muddy I would throw a sheet on so grooming is easier. I know people have mentioned on this board how their horse shivers in a sheet when the temp drops (b/c coat is not fluffed) but I have not yet had that experience.
                      I too have never seen a horse "get cold" from a sheet---complete bologna, I think. They can get quite warm under them actually. My guys wear sheets outside when there is a chance of rain or it it is going to be breezy. Inside they wear light stable blankets when the temps get down below the 20's--came downstairs and found one shivering when it hit the upper teens.

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                      • #12
                        I think what really gets to me blanketing wise is over blanketing, not lack of giving the circumstances. Of course if you take all the hair off they need protection. And as just don't have time for the extra cooling out, the ones in worked are clipped. But already I see horses here in HW's with liners as they are clipped. They get another rug added when it's colder. To me that's overkill. I couldn't handle that much baggage on me and I'm a cold creature. Just before I brought my mare home in May she was still being rugged up in gear that was not appropriate. I took her liner home under the guise of it needing a wash. She looked miserable. I hate that. I have zero issues keeping beautiful hair coats and they will grow hair despite you rugging up for prevention. Because I hear that excuse all the time.

                        OP, my jumping mare has a rug phobia outdoors. It's a long story but she is ok in a small field. So most of the time she is naked so I have to deal with the mud. It's just a lot of extra grooming. But I'd rather have her alive. Small field with rug she never panics. She's in a big space and she stands at the gate waiting for me to take off. If I ignore her she whinny's until I come to take it off. She's weird. She will be clipped in a couple weeks and I'm afraid she will be stuck in little field through winter.

                        Good luck. It won't be that bad!

                        Terri
                        COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                        "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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                        • #13
                          In Texas, we have similar winter weather to California - it can be 30 at night and 65 during the day. My mare grows a fine, short winter coat. I think that she is comfortable down to about 30 if it is not windy or rainy. But if it is 40 and windy and rainy, then she needs something.

                          If the forecast looks like it will be in the 60's, she gets a waterproof turnout. If it is cooler, she gets a mid-weight.

                          Having my barn blanket her is a challenge, because she is in a pasture and because she is an air-fern, she does not come in for grain. My barn would be happy to blanket her if she would let them catch her, so I either make plans to blanket her myself or ask a friend to help.

                          I think it is better to leave your horse unclipped and leave the blanket off when in doubt, especially when you know it will warm up the next day. Always better than your horse getting sweaty underneath a blanket.
                          My blog: Journeys in Riding

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