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Blanketing during day only?

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  • Blanketing during day only?

    I am experimenting with blanketing my horse. He's never been blanketed before--sturdy little QH, grows a decent coat every year. My barn owners bring them all in when the weather is beyond what their coats can take--extreme windchill, cold rain, etc.

    This January I'm moving to a different barn that has good care, but more horses. I'm not sure that they'll all get brought in with inclement weather.

    I got a medium weight turnout blanket. My hope is that in nastier weather, he can wear that to provide some protection in case he doesn't have a run-in (some pastures do, some don't--all at least have trees and some shelter). I was hoping he could get by with that and a fleece liner underneath for really nasty windchill. But at the same time, I'm worried about flattening the coat out too much--I'd like the blanket to come back off again for normal snow and weather, and at night when he's in, but I don't know if the coat will spring back up again after a day of blanketing.

    Any advice? I'm not opposed to just caving in and blanketing all winter, but I don't want to start going crazy buying heavyweights and sheets and stable blankets and all that without knowing what would be best...
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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  • #2
    Hmm thats a hard question. I would at least look into a lighter weight turnout sheet, with the idea that it will keep him DRY, and he can do the warm on his own. No matter how light weight the sheet, it will decrease the "loft" of his natural coat, inhibiting his ability to keep warm. Do the horses have forage outside during turnout? If he has grass or hay available AND is kept dry via a sheet, I would think he should be fine. I'm curious to hear what others say too!
    Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Penthilisea View Post
      Hmm thats a hard question. I would at least look into a lighter weight turnout sheet, with the idea that it will keep him DRY, and he can do the warm on his own. No matter how light weight the sheet, it will decrease the "loft" of his natural coat, inhibiting his ability to keep warm. Do the horses have forage outside during turnout? If he has grass or hay available AND is kept dry via a sheet, I would think he should be fine. I'm curious to hear what others say too!
      I was thinking about getting a lightweight no-fill rain sheet, for just cold rain... with the same hope that at least he'll be dry and his coat can fluff up a bit. But I figured that wouldn't be enough for the windchill, hence the medium weight... he should always have hay, at least.

      Why are horses so darn complicated? (:
      "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

      Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SarahandSam View Post
        He's never been blanketed before--sturdy little QH, grows a decent coat every year.
        If the coat is really pretty decent, then maybe it's nothing to worry about. Horse's coats are designed to be waterproof, and you said he's going to have a windbreak...

        It just depends on how hard of a keeper he is and whether "decent coat" really means "decent." I was at a barn that turned out 24/7 with a good windbreak but no run-in, and the beasts who grew good winter coats were fine down to about 5 degrees. I did blanket my horse, who is a thin-skinned TB who simply refused to grow a coat.

        I was hoping he could get by with that and a fleece liner underneath for really nasty windchill.
        Why not just leave this on all the time? You know your horse better than we do, but most horses are okay in a medium-weight from about 35 degrees or less. The only argument against leaving it on is "wear and tear on the blanket", but my horse does 90% of his blanket destruction outside in turnout, not in the stall.

        If you want to take the blanket off at night, then yes, the coat will spring back up after blanketing. Think of your armhair and goosebumps--just because you were wearing a warm sweater a minute ago doesn't mean that your arm won't immediately get goosebumps when the coat is taken off. Your horse will be cold for a few minutes but he'll do "the poof" in short order. My horse does it all the time when I take off his blanket in the winter to ride. If you're really paranoid about it, you could curry him or muss up the fur every time you take the blanket off.
        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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        • #5
          I love blanketing. It is sposed to be in 20'F but with wind chill sposed to feel like 11F overnight and very cold wind my boy his his 440 thinlislite. When it is alittle little warmer he wears his 220 polygram. Is it a show barn maybe a clip and nice blanket.

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          • #6
            I'm in the same area as you, and my two are on pasture board. They have shelter and unlimited hay. My mare has a decent coat. I've had her naked or sheeted. Now that the weather is getting colder, she has her sheet with a 180 gram liner underneath. My gelding doesn't have such a good coat and is a harder keeper, so I've been blanketing him a little more heavily. He has a medium weight on.

            With your guy, I'd say anything would be okay. Medium weight blankets are nice because they'll keep the horse from being too cold no matter how bad the weather gets (as the long as the horse is healthy and not soaking wet), and won't be TOO warm if the temperature goes up a bit.

            You could try leaving him naked for now and seeing how he handles it. If it seems like he's cold, put the blanket on. Personally, I love fussing over my horses and making sure they're nice and comfy, so I like blanketing .
            Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
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            • #7
              Absolutely nothing wrong with blanketing for even a couple days at a time - I've done it, will continue to do it. When TD Ida came through a couple of weeks ago, it was days of cold-ish rain. The first day was still warm enough for a sheet, but the last days were too cold, so they wore medium weight blankets. Then the blankets came off.

              They wore blankets yesterday and last night for rain in the upper 30's allllll day. They came off this morning.

              The hair floofs right back up, how quickly depends on the temps, sun, wind, etc.
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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              • #8
                One thing that might be an option... but it depends on the boarding barn....

                If you dress the horse in layers, maybe the BO can take off the top layer when horsey comes in at night, and replace it in the AM when horsey goes back out. BUT that depends a lot on management.

                That way the sheet on top gets a chance to dry out if need be, and horsey is not all bundled up in his stall with perhaps too much on overnight.

                Windsor has a thick, dense coat and I've mostly been doing a light rain sheet, maybe with a fleece under. Today we finally busted out the mid-weight turnout... hubby insisted. (and since he claims Win is HIS horse now... well.. I went along with it.)
                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  LOL FG!

                  Thanks everybody... I'm feeling less paranoid now. (:
                  "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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