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Blanketing Rules

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  • Blanketing Rules

    I tried searching the forums but never found a good answer. What are your blanketing rules? We own only medium weights (200g) and either layer to make a heavy or a I own one heavy (400g).

    Unclipped I generally medium weight under 40 degrees or mid 30s. I body clipped all 3 in early-mid march and was told to do the following:

    Teens or lower: heavy weight plus layers
    30s heavy weight or layers
    40s-50s medium weight

    The weather in Maryland has been a little...weird. Going by these rules I have to put medium weights on every night and actually had them on today. My gelding was sweating a little so I just removed his but the two mares (they are all TBs) were fine.

    My question is: now that they have grown some of their coat back from their body clips in March. Should I go by other rules? I do not want to overheat them but at the same time I do not want them cold!

    So: what general "blanketing rules" do you use?
    "People who think their brains are not worth protecting are probably right!"
    - quoted by Martha Drum

  • #2
    Unclipped and never blanket. Horses do fine if they are healthy and have somewhere to get out of the wind.

    Your 40's-50's seems a bit too much for a day like that. Ok, way too much.....

    Comment


    • #3
      If I am cold, my horses get blanket. If I am really cold, they get two. Seriously though, there are no rules, you have to figure out what works best for your particular horse. My senior is currently wearing his back on track mesh sheet under his turnout sheet. My two year old is just wearing the sheet. She would get too hot in the medium. Both are fully clipped in MD.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Hmm okay. Yeah it got to upper 50s today and medium weights were on. Only the gelding was sweating a little so I removed it but I did not know if them growing back their coat would affect my blanketing cycle.
        "People who think their brains are not worth protecting are probably right!"
        - quoted by Martha Drum

        Comment


        • #5
          It depends on what works for your horse. My horse doesn't grow much coat and he is noticeably happier when he's bundled up.

          Here's what works for mine. I'm also in Maryland:

          Unclipped:
          45-50 degrees: Unlined sheet
          35-45 degrees: Medium
          35 - 20: Heavy
          Below 20: Heavy + medium

          When he's clipped, I bump it up a level.
          50-55 degrees: Unlined sheet
          40-50 degrees: Medium
          30-40 degrees: Heavy
          Below 30: Heavy + medium

          My horse doesn't grow much of a winter coat. I usually try to delay blanketing as much as I can before I start seeing him uncomfortable to see if he grows more coat, but he just doesn't. His "winter woolies" are maybe a half inch thick.

          Comment


          • #6
            It depends on what works for your horse. My horse doesn't grow much coat and he is noticeably happier when he's bundled up.

            Here's what works for mine. I'm also in Maryland:

            Unclipped:
            45-50 degrees: Unlined sheet
            35-45 degrees: Medium
            35 - 20: Heavy
            Below 20: Heavy + medium

            When he's clipped, I bump it up a level.
            50-55 degrees: Unlined sheet
            40-50 degrees: Medium
            30-40 degrees: Heavy
            Below 30: Heavy + medium

            My horse doesn't grow much of a winter coat. I usually try to delay blanketing as much as I can before I start seeing him uncomfortable to see if he grows more coat, but he just doesn't. His "winter woolies" are maybe a half inch thick.

            Comment


            • #7
              Unclipped? I don't blanket, unless it's one of those weird times of year (late fall, early spring) where the horse's coat is lacking and it's wet and windy and chilly. If they shiver then, I'll put a sheet on.

              I have a blanket clipped mare now (clipped her in the spring) and basically, if it's below freezing at night she wears a heavy weight (300 g fill) and if it's above freezing at night she wears a medium weight (200 g fill.) Both wugs. If it is below zero, or particularly wet or windy, it's the ultra heavy weight Rambo Supreme with 420 g fill. The barn doesn't really blanket, so I blanket based on nighttime temps and that's the blanket she wears all day. The heavy works fine for 50 ish daytime temps and the medium works for 60 ish daytime temps. I found the sheet without fill to be too light for the nights, even if daytime temps are in the 70s. She seems to prefer to be a little warm (not sweating, though) rather than a little chilly.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Love all you MDers helping me out

                Okay so since I only have mediums I am thinking take them off when it is around mid 50s instead of 60s from now on. Small enough difference but I think that might help. Thanks guys! This was my first year body clipping all 3 so I was a little clueless (and had never bought a heavyweight before this year). I had 2 clipped last april but the winter was so mild the medium weights were enough.
                "People who think their brains are not worth protecting are probably right!"
                - quoted by Martha Drum

                Comment


                • #9
                  Clipped:
                  60-45: light t/o sheet.. If it's raining I'll leave sheet on up to 65 (if that's the high during the day). I've also got an old cotton stable sheet that I'll use if it's 55-60 + sunny/dry instead of the t/o sheet.
                  45-33ish: Medium t/o
                  Under 33: heavy t/o
                  Now that he's grown some hair back and it's much warmer he's naked during the day and only get a sheet at night if it's below 55 or below 60+rain.

                  Unclipped is pretty similar under 45, but they only get sheets if it's below 60+raining.
                  Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com
                  http://www.facebook.com/pages/SP-Cus...75042339173555

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have given up on blanketing "rules" because they get too complicated. 50 and sunny and calm is totally different than 50 and rainy and windy. Or just 50 and windy. 35 and sunny can be pretty pleasant, but 60 and rain may get them shivering.
                    Is the high 60, but it's 25 and windy in the morning when they go out, and it'll be 40 when they're coming in?
                    Add to that, that each horse is an individual and what one is comfortable in, another is cold in, or getting steamy in.
                    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Blanketing RULES? That's a little too hard and fast for my taste. Every horse is different (which is why I always avoid blanketing charts). My horse runs cold. There were days this winter when he would have 3 or 4 layers on (mostly light layers), while his pasture mate, who runs hot, would only have one or two. They are both clipped.

                      It also can depend a lot on the weather. A cool but still day may not feel as cold as a cool but gusty, windy day.

                      And my horses are on night time turnout now, which complicates blanketing. Typically, I'll blanket lightly (or not at all) when they go out in the afternoon. I rather them be a little on the cool side the last couple of hours they are out (when it is typically the coolest), than have them roasting in the sun in the afternoon and early evening.

                      My only rule for MY horses (because I can't convince boarders to think the same) is that they don't get a blanket if they are unclipped, UNLESS they tell me otherwise (shivering at a certain point). My old guy is impervious to the cold and wet in winter coat. There were brutal mornings when I would go feed him and his companion, and he'd would be soaking wet and feeling great If he were human, he'd be in the polar bear club.
                      Amanda

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Northern central MD, two unclipped, 50 and up during day nothing as long as it isn't rainy and windy otherwise a sheet, 30-50 midweight, lower than 30 heavy weight, I'll blanket up one if weather is nasty rainy/windy, last few nights a sheet because it has dropped into 30 for a few hours right before sunrise.
                        "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

                        "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm in Vermont.

                          I let my horses tell me what they need. If they are outside and not shivering and not standing at the gate hunched up with butts to the wind...they stay out exactly as they are.

                          If they are cold, I'll bring them in the barn, let them dry, then throw on a sheet or lightweight and throw them back out.
                          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CrowneDragon View Post
                            I have given up on blanketing "rules" because they get too complicated. 50 and sunny and calm is totally different than 50 and rainy and windy. Or just 50 and windy. 35 and sunny can be pretty pleasant, but 60 and rain may get them shivering.
                            Is the high 60, but it's 25 and windy in the morning when they go out, and it'll be 40 when they're coming in?
                            Add to that, that each horse is an individual and what one is comfortable in, another is cold in, or getting steamy in.
                            Exactly this.

                            I would never blanket a horse clipped or not if the temps are in the 60's - maybe a rain sheet if its raining for a clipped one but that's it. Have you thought about getting a 100 gm fill blanket? Weatherbeeta makes one and so does Rambo. It was low 40's late yesterday (I'm in NH) and my OTTB mare (very thin-skinned) was shivering - but it was windy/cloudy out and she is completely shedded out. I put on her 100 gm and she was fine. Now if the sun was out totally different story - she would have been fine. If its in the 50's or below and raining mine get their Rambo sheets on. I'd rather my horses be a little chilly than overheated.
                            "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              200g blankets on when its 40-50? my horses would all be sweating to death. i dont use those until its around 5. 40 and my horses are all naked or maybe a few with light sheets just to keep clean not warm.

                              i also cant imagine putting a heavy blanket on at 30! save the heavy blankets for when its -30 lol

                              still going into the 20s or teens at night here now and my really short haired race horse is only wearing a cotton sheet and thats mostly to keep him clean

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                @FraggleRock

                                My horses are total wussies compared to yours! If it is 30 degrees or lower out and I do not put on a heavy weight they are shivering!

                                Same with the medium weights at 40 degrees out...thin skinned Tbs I guess!

                                Thank you all for your opinions I can tell many people do many different things! Oh I guess I forgot to mention they are out 24/7 with a run-in
                                "People who think their brains are not worth protecting are probably right!"
                                - quoted by Martha Drum

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  We warmbloods are kind of in the middle of the blanketing spectrum. But we've boarded at barns where no one else was blanketed in 17 degrees and sleet and wind; and we've boarded at barns where it was in the 80s and one owner had her horse with a blanket and a sheet on, and a neck sweat, and the back stall window closed. We like to think that both are extremes, and that somewhere in the middle is the way to do it.

                                  It depends on the horse; and on whether the barn is enclosed or not or whether the horse is actually out 24/7; and depends on whether the horse is affected by either cold or hot weather. One of us is thin-skinned and will shake and shiver when he's cold.

                                  Given all of the foregoing, we 2 have a complete set of blankets and sheets and liners and neck rugs to cover any kind of weather. And a neurotic owner to put them on us.l

                                  And remember this: No matter what you do, someone will criticize you and say that you are being too cautious. Remember though, horses are no longer "wild mustangs" and have been bred to be wussies.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    But we've boarded at barns where no one else was blanketed in 17 degrees and sleet and wind
                                    What's your point?! LOL!

                                    This past winter it was -20*F and while my horses did get brought in the barn for the nights, one was not blanketed at all, and he was fluffy as hell and never shivered once. 6:30 AM the next morning they were both back outside for the day with plenty of hay to last them until dinnertime. My mare wore a 200 gm blanket during those temperatures. When it reached 10*F, she was back to au natural.
                                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Eastern Shore of MD, and my girl isn't clipped.

                                      I try very hard to be a minimalist about blanketing, though we've got 2 sheets, one 100g, one 200g and one 180g liner in the arsenal, so I can layer like crazy if the need should arise. (But it didn't this year.)

                                      My main "rule" about blanketing is to NOT blanket as much as possible - I'd rather La Princesa be a little cold than a little hot. She can always get out of the wind and weather (she has 24/7 access to a run-in shed and a stall, on different sides of the barn), but if it's too warm, she can't get out of a blanket. Sheet goes on if it's particularly ugly outside, but I think I only blanketed her (in the 200g) this winter when it got down to below freezing in the overnights. Blanket came off every morning unless it was going to be wet and windy in addition to cold, in which case I might swap out to the turnout sheet to keep her dry, but not overly warm.

                                      (Pony lives at home, but I work away from the house, so I have more flexibility than some folks as far as day to day blanketing goes, but I can't run home in the middle of the day if things warm up more than forecasted, either.)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        definately depends on the horse, my 22 yr old TB doesnt get a blanket (except in heavy cold rains he wears a sheet) until its -10 or so. and he lives outside all 3 of my STBs are blanketed long before him!

                                        Comment

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