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Blanketing the young horse

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  • Blanketing the young horse

    Blanket season is here, and I'm busy dragging mine out of the closet from last season.

    For those who have young horses, do you let them run naked or do you blanket them as well?

    I have the 2yo who is not by any means finished growing. He stays out 80 percent of the time, comes in during really nasty spells. But for the most part stays out.
    It is rare to see a rider who is truly passionate about the horse and his training, taking a profound interest in dressage with self-abnegation, and making this extraordinarily subtle work one of the dominant motivations of his life.\"

  • #2
    RAINSHEETS!!! ) My bigges thing is the wet...I don't like my horses to get wet and cold. At bare minimum they get a rain sheet. Since I'm a CA transplant to KY, I like insulation too.

    I've got 2, 2 yr old beasties. I went ahead and sprung for the Rambo Original Lites. These new ones have the attachment rings for both the neck piece and liner system.

    Expensive, but very versatile. The new ones also have detachable surcingles as well. So far I am really liking it. Otherwise, get a sheet from Bevals (the plaid ones are only $75) and a medium weight, and a polar fleece sheet. By the time you buy all 3 pieces it may very well be the cost of a Rambo.

    Really like Bucas as well but find them narrow through the chest. But the ones I have are gorgeous and tough as nails, gotta love the stay dry lining...infact the Smartex might just be the way to go for you. You could get away with just that and a liner for uber cold days


    • #3
      I have yet to blanket a young horse and I live where it is very cold. The young ones seem to have nature on their side in providing a very thick warm winter coat. None of mine have worn a blanket until they were 3, getting started and stabled at night.

      Freezing rain would be an exception, but I have a shelter and mine can get in out of the rain.

      A couple of years ago I had a yearling/coming 2yr old living out with an 7 yr old. I checked on them in bad weather and occasionally the older horse seemed cold and needed a blanket. The young horse resembled a yak and was never cold.

      It wouldn't hurt to accustom the young horse to a blanket and then just monitor and see if he needs one. I will bet you will be surprised by how much of a coat he grows and how warm he will stay on his own, if he has proper field shelter.


      • #4
        My 2.5 year old wears a waterproof high neck sheet all winter. She is also out about 80% of the time, same situation as yours.
        'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall


        • #5
          I always blanket my youngsters. Yesterday my 5 month old colt was wearing a turnout blanket, and my 2 yr old filly a turnout. All the others were wearing blankets as well.


          • #6
            My youngster didn't even get a sheet until last year, her 3 year old year. she lived outside then (has a stall now and current paddock doesn't have a run in) but had a huge run in stall then that she shared with her two pony mates. Never once was cold.


            • #7
              Blanket as needed, just like with the adults.

              That said, they DO seem to grow a serious "pelt" which allows them to deal with conditions the adults might not be able to.
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • #8
                Agree with JB: blanket as needed. The two three year olds I have - the Morgan won't need a blanket, he already has a fabulous coat, the quarterhorse is leaner and his coat is thinner, so I'll watch him. The 2 year old hard keeping quarterhorse we just adopted out will probably be in blankets all winter.
                If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                ~ Maya Angelou


                • #9
                  No blankets, unless the horse is cold. Safer, healthier. You're not raising a hot-house flower, you're raising a horse!
                  My Equestrian Art Photography page


                  • #10
                    Mine get blanketed the same as the oldsters. I do not clip, but it has been raining and in the low '40s all week, so the yearling has been in a turnout sheet like everyone else. Most of my herd lives in midweights most of the winter (NW Indiana, so cold and snowy) -- they seem to prefer it that way. Keeps them dry.

                    I have collected a range of blankets over the years and keep them all, so I have only bought him one of his "own," his weanling midweight. The others have been hand-me-downs from other horses of mine. He's in a 76 now, not exactly small. Borrowed it from my TB's collection. He's a pretty big yearling, though.


                    • #11
                      No blankets for babies/young horses here. I don't blanket much anyway. I have a few old mares that get turnout rugs because they don't grow much winter coat. If I have a horse that's working and stall kept, he'll get a winter blanket just to help keep the hair down, and of course anything at the trainer's has clothes. Even my show horse, if home enjoying the winter off, doesn't wear a blanket.


                      • #12
                        With turnout sheds, I don't blanket anything. I usually start blanketing with a rain sheet during the winter of their coming 3-year-old year if I'm planning on sending them in for training. I want them used to wearing a blanket prior to them going to the trainer.

                        The down side to this method is that I occasionally have a 2- coming 3-year-old that thinks it's great fun to shred that new thing that's been placed over their back and they've just been waiting for access to a new chew toy. I keep really old, been-there-done-that blankets around just for this purpose.

                        My standard practice is that if a horse has access to shelter and is well fed, there's no reason to blanket unless a horse's health is compromised, it's clipped or there's a need to keep the horse clean.


                        • #13
                          I blanketed mine in wet / windy weather, just a turn out sheet to cut the wind, and keep the coat dry. She would shiver without it.

                          REALLY bad weather (like 5 days a year) she would come inside.

                          While mine grew a thick coat her weanling year, winter coats after that have been thin and soft.
                          APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JB View Post
                            That said, they DO seem to grow a serious "pelt" which allows them to deal with conditions the adults might not be able to.
                            Pelt. Too funny!

                            I had hoped that Alonzo would grow a pelt but he has not. His poor little fine peach fuzz hair does nothing to give him warmth. My Arabs are convinced they should be living in the Middle East. Not in Northern Wisconsin.


                            • #15
                              Rex was 2.5 his first winter here and came from PA so had a good coat unlike my TB. I only put a waterproof sheet when it was wet out. Thankfully at that point, he fit into Laylas. Last winter he barely grew a coat so yes I blanketed. And we just had a cold snap and I am having to put sheets on now and with him being almost 4.5 I had to buy blankets for him as he outgrew everything else I have.

                              Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Go Fish View Post
                                My standard practice is that if a horse has access to shelter and is well fed, there's no reason to blanket unless a horse's health is compromised, it's clipped or there's a need to keep the horse clean.
                                Access does not = use
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                • #17
                                  My Arab did fine in KY without a blanket from birth to 3yo, but I bought him and brought him to Indiana and he does NOT do well without a blanket in the winter. He's shivering when its 35F out. I generally put his heavyweight blanket on him when it will get below 40F. I also keep them all in at night at 40F or below OR if its cold and rainy and they're shivering when I go out to feed dinner. Otherwise the Arab and one of the QHs drop weight really quickly. They like being in their stalls at night in the winter (they stand at the barn and beg to come in around 8pm), but in the warmer months, forget it. The second they're done with breakfast or dinner, they're pacing wanting to be let back out. They do have a shelter, but its not always enough.

                                  Anyway, I blanket as needed no matter what the age. The QHs don't like wearing blankets and don't seem to appreciate them. They seem to grow enough coat to be fine without them. My Arab does not grow nearly enough coat and LOVES his blanket. He "helps" me put it on him (i.e. he'll pull it off the rack and fling it around until I put it on him) when its cold.


                                  • #18
                                    Having dealt with a 6yo who had not ever to that point worn clothes, I have made quite a point of ensuring that her daughter did not follow in those footsteps. I think it's best for youngsters to wear clothes, if for no other reason than to learn how.
                                    Inner Bay Equestrian


                                    • #19
                                      I like my young ones to learn and experience weather. The learn where to go and not to go in inclimate weather. Mine learn how to hide in these huge cedar tree bushes we have, or near the barn to block the wind.

                                      I do blanket on an as needed basis. Which includes medium weight rain proof blankets, coolers, light weight rain proof blankets. I only blanket on really bad weather days.

                                      Other than really bad weather, I let mine go full board with all fur nature is intending them to have. Horses are tough. Let the fur grow! Come spring they will shed their fur and be oh so lovely!


                                      • #20
                                        Whether or not they NEED protection from the weather, it is important for young horses to learn to be blanketed and unblanketed, and to wear it all day.

                                        It is part of the basic education of a performance horse.

                                        Furthermore, I think it helps prepare the horse for learning to wear a saddle.

                                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).