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Horse Pulls Blanket Off - Tail cord or Leg straps?

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  • Horse Pulls Blanket Off - Tail cord or Leg straps?

    My horse is extremely playful - he jumps in the water tubs, pulls fence rails down with his mouth, carries sticks around, you name it he probably does it or soon will. His new obsession is taking his blankets off. Ordinarily I would just leave him naked and not worry about it but we have really cold winters and he has a really fine coat. I have closed front and open front blankets, he grabs them at the base of the neck and pulls at them until he either unsnaps (or rips) the buckles or pulls on the closed fronts until the belly straps tear away from the blanket enough so that he can pull the blanket around. He also has a semi closed front from Bucas which he is also adept at removing. He does not always take the blanket off, but he enjoys at the very least moving it out of place and ripping various parts of it. He has toys, he has other stuff to play with, I cannot remedy anything else in his day to day life to alleviate the boredom aspect of it. Even outside, with plenty of grass and hay and stuff to look at, he pulls his boots off and plays with his bell boots (which again, he needs because he tends to pull shoes and bruise his fetlock). Sour spray and cayenne pepper, etc, do nothing. He thinks they are delicious.

    I was thinking that a tail strap or leg straps would aid in keeping the blanket in place so that I don't find it hanging sideways off of him during the day. His blankets fit very well and stay in place perfectly no matter how hard he runs as long as he doesn't pull at them! Do you think leg straps or a tail strap would cause him danger? He is very smart and well adjusted - he once pulled his blanket around completely and was standing on the main material that was supposed to be on his back - he didn't panic, he just stood there until I took the blanket off. If he had moved even a little bit the fabric would have torn and he would have been free, but he responded to that slight restriction and stood there happily waiting to be relieved. Suggestions much appreciated!

  • #2
    My old horse could take off his blankets but he would take them off fully intact with all straps (included leg straps) still done up.


    • #3
      I have both leg straps and a tail strap on a 4 yr old that loves doing the same, as long as he is worked on a regular basis he will pull a bit at them but leave them alone as long as all straps are in place but give him a couple days off, even though the blankets are pulled off during the day and he will have the blanket off during the night with all straps done up.


      • #4
        When he's got his blanket on, have him wear a well fitting leather halter and a bib.


        He can still eat hay/ graze with minimal difficulty, and drink. Just can't reach under his chin to get into mischief.


        • #5
          Originally posted by ElisLove View Post
          My old horse could take off his blankets but he would take them off fully intact with all straps (included leg straps) still done up.

          My horse does the same thing! All the straps are done up and the blanket is laying in the pasture! If I'm lucky I get to it before he entices one of his pals to play tug of war with it!

          Sorry... no advice for the OP!
          Kanoe Godby
          See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


          • Original Poster

            Haha. Glad I'm in good company. Yes, he does often remove the entire blanket in tact but sometimes he pulls at it repeatedly without the full intention of removing it and rips it! Silly horse. Big entertainer.

            (I'm afraid he'd bang/rub a bib against the stall, fence, his legs, whatever to make noise, be more destructive and annoy the crap out of everyone. Really good idea though. Might get one for my older guy who likes to rip his pasture friend's blankets off).


            • #7
              I found that snaps were better than the surcingle buckles since they can shake the blanket enough to get the surcingle buckles unhooked, and I have to say I wouldn't be turning out in a blanket that did not have leg straps to keep it from shifting. That being said, even with the buckle or snap front and leg straps my guy has managed to pull his blanket off : )