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Another blanket question - double blanketing?

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  • Another blanket question - double blanketing?

    My horse wears a medium weight turnout blanket. He is outside during the day and in a boxstall at night. He seem to do fine with the medium weight. But we should be getting our usual artic sub-zero weather very soon.

    I wanted to ask what's best - to switch to a heavyweight blanket during the sub-zero temps or add another lightweight blanket (fleece or maybe a cotton stable blanket) underneath? Thanks.
    Moving on doesn't mean you forget about things. It just means you have to accept what happended and continue living.

  • #2
    Either one would be fine.

    I've been told you can tell if a horse is cold by feeling their ears. Do your blanketing, and feel his ears sometime.
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    • #3
      Depends on your horse and a variety of factors...

      Some horses won't move as much when they're wearing two blankets. I've never had a problem with it with my guy, but some horses feel restricted and won't walk as much. Meaning, they don't move around enough to warm up, get to the water, etc.

      Personally, I'd say try the heavyweight blanket first. If he's cold, then you can make adjustments to that. How cold a horse is can vary, as well. For instance, you can check his ears, like the poster above mentioned. If the TIPS of the ears are cold, then throwing more hay (if he's not on a roundbale) will help, as he's only slightly cold. But he can regulate this mild cold - he can go stand in the sun, get out of the wind, etc. If the entire ear is cold, then you'll probably have to throw on another blanket.

      As for double-blanketing, I'll ONLY double blanket if my warmest blanket isn't enough on its own instead of using two, when one would do. If my horse is cold with his heavyweight on, then he'll get another...but it'll be the next heaviest one I have, not a sheet or a cooler. Example: if it's -30 C and my horse is cold in his heavy blanket, he's getting his old heavyweight blanket on, as well. So he'll be double blanketed with TWO heavyweight blankets to stay warm.

      Hope that helps.

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      • #4
        My horse now has a multitude of blankets just based on our changing circumstances as I have moved after college and now have to adapt to different barn situations. What I had before was a waterproof sheet, a medium turnout and a heavy turnout. When it was really cold she'd sometimes get both the medium and heavy on. I had her trace clipped and she seemed to do fine on that but at the barn I was at during schools she would get brought in if it was really nasty out.

        Now I'm going to have to pasture board because of finances and board being more where I live now. I am still going to trace clip because the indoor arena is heated. But since I won't have the option of bringing her in in the cold, I got a medium turnout with a medium neck cover. I figured that a lot of times why I want the neck cover is for the nasty cold wet weather, which might be too warm for a heavy blanket come spring, but I'll still want her neck covered. To combine with this I bought a stable blanket that I plan to layer underneath the medium turnout during the colder winter, or I have my other turnouts I can use too if it seems that having the stable blanket on all the time is not as good of a layer.

        I think in your case I would just add a heavy blanket to your arsenal, since you already have a medium. I think you would get more use out of that and it is easier to just deal with one layer (after I talk about my layering haha). I have put a stable sheet on underneath blankets before and I'm not sure it really did much.

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        • #5
          I don't think cotton adds a huge amount of warmth. I also haven't had much luck with anything that doesn't have nylon lining at least in the chest/ shoulder area-- they end up with huge rubs. I'd get the heavyweight.

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          • #6
            I don't know the real answer, but my intuition has always told me that one warmer blanket would be better than two lighter blankets. It seems like the top blanket would squish down the fill of the lower blanket, reducing its effectiveness, and the whole lot would be pretty heavy for the horse as well.

            I will double-blanket with a medium and a heavy (or a fleece liner under a heavy) in REALLY cold weather (15 below), but otherwise I just switch blankets rather than adding.

            ETA: Yeah, I wouldn't bother with a cotton stable sheet as a layer. I can't imagine that would add much warmth at all.

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            • #7
              If I were you, I would add a medium weight stable blanket. It's much cheaper to buy that instead of a heavy weight turnout. Also, it will be easier to wash the stable blanket and keep a clean layer next to the skin. The two layers trap the body heat better than one single, heavy layer. Just my opinion.

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              • #8
                I don't blanket unless I clip my horses.... and I have never been too keen on double blanketing... Expecially if they have a nylon lining.. they slip around... I have those kind of horses that will tangle themselves given any opportunity. If I needed to double blanket I would get one of the blankets that have a system - I think Horsewear Ireland has a nice one....

                A good 380 to 400 fill seems to be pretty warm with a heavy 1200 ripstop outer shell and maybe a neck cover. I prefer nylon lining because the cotton always sticks to my horses hair - kind of like petting a cats hair in the wrong direction...
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                • #9
                  For cold weather I like the suggestion of a stable blanket (med) with a med turnout on top. I also agree with the layers creating layers of warmth and that it is easier to keep the horse in clean clothing because washing is easier. Heavy weights are troublesome to wash.

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                  • #10
                    My TB mare lives out 24/7. Granted our temps don't get as cold as yours, but my mare is cold natured and starts getting cold in the low 50's if it is windy. Currently she has been switching clothes with our up and down temps-turnout sheet during the day(it has been mid 50's)At night she gets her midweight over the sheet if the temps are upper 30's-40's. The last few nights it has been in lower 30's and she has had her heavy weight with neck cover over her sheet. When it stays in the lower ranges she may have all 3 layered. A few people mentioned layering with a stable blanket. I don't do this as my mare almost always lays down to sleep and I'm worried that a stable blanket would get wet and make her cold. Can you say pampered/spoiled chestnut mare??? hehe...
                    Last edited by Simbalism; Dec. 28, 2011, 02:09 AM. Reason: more info

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JCS View Post
                      I don't know the real answer, but my intuition has always told me that one warmer blanket would be better than two lighter blankets.
                      I actually have the exact opposite feeling. Those heavy-weights can weigh a ton. I've found a foofy medium weight stable blanket with a turnout sheet on top to block the wind does the same thing.

                      I wouldn't double blanket with 2 turnouts, but I double blanket with a stable blanket & turnout sheet/blanket all the time.

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