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Blanketing and boarding: slightly too cool, or slightly too warm?

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  • Blanketing and boarding: slightly too cool, or slightly too warm?

    My barn doesn't change blankets (nor do I expect them to!). The weather here is going from just above freezing at night to about 10 Celcius (about 50F) during the day, but with a breeze. Usually I'd just run out to the barn and swap blankets, but can't this week.

    Horse is clipped; barn gets chilly at night (very open, high ceilings).

    So would you:

    a) blanket for freezing (midweight), knowing she'll be slightly warm during the day (after all, there's a bug going around the barn and I don't want her to get chilled.)

    or

    b) blanket for daytime temp (heavy sheet), knowing she'll be a bit chilly at night? (she's a horse. she'll live.)
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

  • #2
    I say "B", it is MUCH better for a horse to be a bit cool than to overheat. And the temps you are talking about are anything but cold for a horse!
    www.shawneeacres.net

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    • #3
      I go for "a little too warm." After finding my body clipped horse naked at 49 degrees last night and shivering, I'd rather that she sweat a bit in her very breathable sheet than find her cold again. It's hard enough to keep weight on her without her shivering off calories.

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      • #4
        Can you perhaps do something in between midweight TO and TO sheet? Maybe sheet + fleece liner? Or TO sheet + stable sheet?
        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          LOL... right now she's in the lightest stable blanket I own, plus her rain sheet over the top. I'd left her in the lighter blanket yesterday, and she felt cold in the morning. The barn is colder inside than the air is outside for some reason...

          She's growing, so I'm trying to make do with what I own/can borrow for the moment since it won't fit her by spring... she has a lovely heavy winter blanket, but we're not there yet (thankfully)!
          "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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          • #6
            I see both sides of those who've posted, but for a horse whose been clipped, I'd opt for slightly too warm. JMO.
            Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
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            • #7
              I'm so glad to see this post, b/c I'm in a similar situation. I moved my horses back to my dad's house (aka my childhood home) last year. My dad feeds in the morning so I can get to work. However, he doesn't do blankets (he's pretty non-horsey, God love him) and so I've been wrestling with this same question.

              I have a 30 yo Morgan mare who has a great winter coat already, so I don't worry about her yet. However, I also have a 35yo ISH, and my main job in life is to worry about him. I've been leaning on the side of blanketing for the nighttime temperatures, although if there's a drastic difference I'll try to take a long lunch so that I can go to the barn and change his blanket. He's a hard keeper these days and has had bronchitis in the past, so I don't want to risk him getting chilled/sick/etc. He also has a large wardrobe so I can usually alter the combination of his jammies to match the temperature. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but so far (fingers crossed! knock wood!) this has seemed to work for us.
              In memory of Rebuff (1974-2009)

              Rest in peace, my sweet man

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                I feel your pain. Usually I can run out and change blankets to my neurotic little heart's content, but I'm stuck in a classroom for the next few days...
                "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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                • #9
                  If your horse is a little chunky - ie wouldn't hurt to loose a few pounds, I would opt for too cool. (not that they'll lose weight but they've got insulation)

                  If your horse doesn't have excess flesh to spare I would opt for a little too warm during day but warm at night.

                  I have the same climate problem and my mare drops weight as soon as she starts getting a little chilly so I rug her up. The chunkier horses in my barn are fine with just a rain sheet this time of the year.

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                  • #10
                    I was in a similar situation and used a turnout of the appropriate weight for the day-time temps which had an attached hood. During the day I asked the barn help if they would mind unfastening the hood and tucking it into the blanket. The addition of the hood at night seemed to be enough to make the blanket quite a bit warmer.


                    Other than that, I would make the decision based on if it is a cold-natured horse (a thin-skinned TB for example) or more prone to being warm. I have both kinds so not everybody gets blanketed at the same temperature.

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                    • #11
                      I would go for slightly too cool. If she sweats under the heavier blanket, then she is really going to be chilly once she is all wet.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
                        I say "B", it is MUCH better for a horse to be a bit cool than to overheat. And the temps you are talking about are anything but cold for a horse!
                        Ditto
                        View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Ok, so the mare is clipped, half TB, and a hard keeper, so we went "with" blankets. She was out in them yesterday, and when I checked last night there was no sign she'd been sweating, so I think we're good...I hope... not that I worry too much or anything...
                          "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
                            I say "B", it is MUCH better for a horse to be a bit cool than to overheat. And the temps you are talking about are anything but cold for a horse!
                            ditto.
                            I assume the horse has hay at night?
                            Also, is there someone who could help you out? My barn doesn't do blankets. I usually go in the evenings. sometimes I put her sheet on at night if she'll be out and it's cold and rainy. There are a couple of women who go to the barn daily at noon. I've asked them to pull her sheet if it's over 50 degrees. It's nice to have a little help.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When I used to board at a place that wouldn't change blankets, I had a similar issue. I was able to get the barn worker to pull a blanket off in the morning (they just didn't want to change from one to another, or put blankets on, partly because the BM was afraid the workers would do it wrong). So I would do double sheets or something like that to keep my horse warm enough at night, then in the morning have the worker pull the top layer off. Maybe you could get them to do something like that, if you make it pretty easy? I always used the simplest outer layer -- like rambo or such, no leg straps -- so it was easy for them.

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                              • #16
                                I'd always opt for them to be a little cool (if they even feel what we perceive as cool/cold), than have a horse too warm.
                                MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
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                                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                                • #17
                                  I am on the too cold side, but then again the old man has always had a hay belly and a thick yak coat and the mare thinks she is dying when she over heats. If they get a bit cold they can curl up tighter, then when they are hot and sweaty and can't get out of thier blankets either. At least that is how I am when I decide at night how many blankets I have on MY bed, lol

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