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Blankets and run ins

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  • Blankets and run ins

    Ok so this is the first year my two have been in a run in year round. They seem so happy right now, but winter is quickly approching in the North East. I know many do not bed their run ins, but what about in the cold norht east? I wonder if my two boys will stay warm enough with out any bedding? I was thinking of using straw b/c I have heard it is a good insulator.... I just worry about the ground being so hard and cold.
    I am also wondering about blankets. My two have never really worn anything, but I am worried about them living outside now. What do most poeple put on and how cold does it have to be before you put on a heavy weight? My QH last year was underweight going into the winter so he did wear a medium weight most of the winter, will that make his coat grow thinner this year?

    hope some of you can help me out!

  • #2
    I'm in PA and my TBs say out 24/7 all year round. I usually just put a sheet on them when it gets REALLY cold or if it's raining. I allow them to get their fuzzy coats and then use a good water proof sheet to break the wind and keep the cold rain off of them. They have 2 run ins and have always been fine.


    • #3
      I have several horses who live year round in a pasture w/ run-in. I do blanket as needed for those horses who do better with more protection (the TBs usually). Try to let the coat get establish as much as you can, and up the feed to keep weight on as fall comes along.

      I put down a THICK 'hump' of wood chips near the shelter for the horses to lay down on. The heat generated from the chips decaying makes a great warm spot for them, and the slope of the pile give them something to lean against. I don't bed the shelter.


      • #4
        There is a thread in Off Course you may find helpful:

        Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


        • #5
          Most places around here don't bed the shelters. My mare lives out 24/7, and does just fine with no bedded shelter. I see them out laying in the snow more often than anything anyways.

          If this is the first time the horses have lived out 24/7, you'll probably want at least a turnout sheet, midweight, and heavyweight.

          I'm in IL, and my mare doesn't wear a heavyweight unless it's -20F or colder. -40F I usually double blanket, although I may not double blanket at all this year as she'll be getting free fed hay (an important thing for outdoor horses in winter).
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


          • #6
            Everyone's advice has been good. I'm in upstate NY and I blanket depending on the horse. Our pony who has a very thick fuzzy coat only gets blanketed when it is about 10 degrees at night with wind. The 27 year old TB will get blanketed in the thirties (which means most of the winter).

            I second the advice to let the coat come in if they are in good weight and not really old. If you start blanketing earlier the coat won't grow in as thickly and you'll be stuck blanketing all the time.

            I don't bed my run-ins; I have never seen the horses lying in them no matter the season or the weather. I do see them lying down the in the field in all kinds of weather.
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            • #7
              I'm further south, have rain sheets handy all winter and mid-weights if it goes below 30 for the old guys.

              Don't blanket until you absolutely have to! Because once you do, you can't stop! You can't blanket one day and not the next, or leave the blanket on for a week (and it goes up to 50 degrees)

              Worst mistake people make is to put a sheet on the horse and flatten the hair coat. That's how they stay warm - they trap air between the layers of winter hair, their body heat warms it and it helps keeps them warm.
              When you put a sheet on you flatten the hair coat and the poor horse stands and shivers. Drives me nuts - "Oh, but I have to keep Trigger clean", and there's poor Trigger, clean but freezing!

              Horses survived for eons before we started messing with them. If they've got lots of hay, shelter and a good hair coat, they'll be fine.
              You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


              • #8
                Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                Everyone's advice has been good. I'm in upstate NY and I blanket depending on the horse. Our pony who has a very thick fuzzy coat only gets blanketed when it is about 10 degrees at night with wind. The 27 year old TB will get blanketed in the thirties (which means most of the winter).

                I second the advice to let the coat come in if they are in good weight and not really old. If you start blanketing earlier the coat won't grow in as thickly and you'll be stuck blanketing all the time.

                I don't bed my run-ins; I have never seen the horses lying in them no matter the season or the weather. I do see them lying down the in the field in all kinds of weather.
                You get to -40F actual temps? Good lord that is like artic circle cold!
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home


                • #9
                  My horses are all out 24/7 with access to a run-in. They have an "emergency" blanket that has been used only once in the past 20 years.
                  "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                  -Edward Hoagland


                  • #10
                    I'm in the northeast and I tend to blanket pretty regularly since my horse is in regular work all winter. Of course it isn't neccessary if you don't ride in the winter or just do light riding.
                    My horse is 3/4's TB and isn't a hard keeper but I think if I didn't blanket him at all he wouldn't handle the extreme cold or icy rains very well.
                    Generally I use a waterproof sheet for wet weather between 40-50 degrees. My horse likes to go out in the rain but is prone to shiver if he's out in the rain w/o a sheet.

                    For weather 30-40 he is in a medium weight. If there is a nasty wind or freezing rain I will use a neck cover as well.

                    15-30 degrees He's in a heavyweight high neck turnout or a regular heavyweight and a neck cover.

                    anything below 15 degrees or an extreme wind chill I usually will layer a blanket liner or stable blanket under his heavyweight and put on a neck cover as well.


                    • #11
                      I have a TB that I turned out full time starting last year. I live in NJ. When he was in the barn and in work he always ran cold and was heavily blanketed.

                      I was determined that I wouldn't blanket when I turned him out and let his coat grow in and "rough it". They have great run in sheds. Well the first day it was 50 and raining he shivered. So he got an amigo sheet. He stayed in the sheet until it got into the 30s. Then I bought a med. rhino wug with the high neck. That worked great! He wore that most of the winter until it got to the teens-single digits. Then he went to a heavy with the amigo sheet on top.

                      The run in sheds are never bedded. The horses lay down in the sun outside durring the day. Doesn't seem to bother them. They also head into the run in sheds anytime it gets really windy or nasty.

                      My guy got pretty fuzzy last year (for him) even with the blanketing. This will be his second winter out and I am curious to see if he gets fuzzier. I'd love it if I didn't have to do more than the sheet.


                      • #12
                        I'm in NE PA half way up a mountain. I've had my little herd using a run in and dry lot for a good long time now, and I've brought horses in who had always been stall kept and adjusted them and I've raised babies this way.

                        I do not bed the run in shelter. Half the time they just stand in the low area of the paddock with their butts to the wind--they use the run in more in the summer to escape bugs than they do in the winter.

                        I have had three Weather Wimps here. They need some version of a blanket or rain sheet when we have cold + rain. Happily eating hay and belly deep in snow with a screaming wind -10 F, but give them 45 and raining and they are shivering in their shoes. Most of my herd has never needed any blanketing. Stalls are available and I do bring them in for ice storms or blizzards. Anything else, I figure they are fine. With global climate changes I am having more freezing cold rain storms in winter than I used to, and I will bring them in over night if it is in the high 30s and raining.

                        I am a huge fan of throwing more hay at them when it is colder--as much as they will eat. 6 bales a day for 6 horses is not a shocking amount here in middle winter. Of course, almost none get any concentrates, either.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                          You get to -40F actual temps? Good lord that is like artic circle cold!
                          Did I say that? Even rereading I couldn't find it, but I have no confidence that I'm not missing something! No, we don't get to -40F. If it is exceptionally cold here it would be -10 F. Otherwise, from 0 F to 25F during Jan and Feb. (yuck)
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sublimequine View Post

                            I'm in IL, and my mare doesn't wear a heavyweight unless it's -20F or colder. -40F I usually double blanket, although I may not double blanket at all this year as she'll be getting free fed hay (an important thing for outdoor horses in winter).
                            Hey sublimequine, I'm from WI. I remember the -40 last winter. So much fun. Our horses live outside 24/7. The ones in the back have a huge run in. They are all hardy horses that don't need blankets. They have hay in front of them 24/7. The ones in the front come in when it starts getting to cold as the shelters aren't built yet. They also have hay 24/7 and have HW winter rugs, most of them with neck covers up to their ears. Personally I am a big fan of Rambos. They survive turnout with other horses and are very warm.


                            • #15
                              temps reach below -30F here.

                              I do bed the runin, but it doesn't matter because they prefer to sleep outside after the sun comes up during the day.

                              No need to blanket the pasture pets, but working horses get blanketed to keep them from becoming yaks. I let a slight coat develop and start to blanket with a medium weight in mid October. Within a few weeks the heavyweight Rambo goes on and stays on until late March or early April.

                              Plenty of hay and they're all fine. Worst weather for them IMO is in the fall if we get a cold nasty rain before their coats have come in. Of course they don't go in the runin to stay dry.