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blanketing to keep joints "warm"

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  • blanketing to keep joints "warm"

    So, I have this theory that I am not sure holds up . :P

    My theory is that since my horse has arthritis that blanketing (lightly) will keep his joints "warmer/more circulation"

    by allowing the blood to travel into the extremities because the body won't have to work harder to keep the blood around the vital organs to keep them functioning.

    kinda like when your starting to get frost bite/hypothermia. the extremeties are the first to go so that the extra blood will save the vital organs around the body.

    *Member of the Quality Free-Choice Hay/Pasture Feeders Society* Member of the As Much Turnout as Possible Group* FEED by WEIGHT not VOLUME*

  • #2
    Except that horses are designed by nature to shunt blood into and out of their limbs independent of our meddling. A process that we probably don't have a good understanding of and would be better off leaving alone, IMO.
    Click here before you buy.


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
      Except that horses are designed by nature to shunt blood into and out of their limbs independent of our meddling. A process that we probably don't have a good understanding of and would be better off leaving alone, IMO.

      In the back of my mind I thought my theory didn't sound quite right :P

      I haven't blanketed for this reason only, he is partially clipped as well.

      He goes naked if it is sunny and in the 30's and up or plain 40 and up.

      Thanks for your reply!
      *Member of the Quality Free-Choice Hay/Pasture Feeders Society* Member of the As Much Turnout as Possible Group* FEED by WEIGHT not VOLUME*


      • #4
        I don't think your theory is necessarily bad! An arthritic horse who is cold and shivering is going to move more stiffly, stand around uncomfortably, and be a lot less comfortable than one that is properly blanketed if it needs to be. Horses with joint problems rely on muscles to take up the slack, and if their muscles are cramped and tight from being cold, the joints could theoretically have to bear more than their fair share.

        I'm a big fan of naked horses, but also of keeping each individual comfortable according to its specific needs.
        Click here before you buy.


        • #5
          I agree with deltawave, if you ride your horse moves more comfortably when blanketed than when not blanketed, it probably helps his muscles more than his leg joints but that will certainly help him out!


          • #6
            I, too, am a fan of naked horses, but I will admit that on nights when it's going to be 20 or below and when I'm planning to ride early the next morning, I will blanket my 19 year old in the theory that his back will stay warmer and, thus, looser. I haven't found it to be untrue, so I continue to do it.


            • #7
              Yep, I've got one who I'd prefer to leave nekked unless/until really cold (ie teens and wind for us) as he's carrying too much weight and is very fuzzy. But, he's got some muscle issues that really seem to benefit from blanketing before it gets that cold. I too ride in the morning, but that's not why I do it. I don't think it's fair to let him be out there for 6+ hours in that sort of cold, "dealing" with it, even if he's not cold, night after night.
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET