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Blanket suggestions? Wither sore horse

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  • Blanket suggestions? Wither sore horse

    I have a very very sensitive TB mare that I've owned for 3 years. The first winter she was fresh off the track and her feet needed a ton of rehab work, so she wasn't ridden all winter. Last winter we had saddle issues starting in the fall, that caused extreme back soreness issues. Toward the end of the winter (after 4 months of no riding) I noticed her soreness was worse when she was blanketed, better when not, and it had migrated from her loin area to her withers. Changed blankets (she was in the TAKA with a hood) and it did improve, but was still present until the weather was warm enough that she could go naked (of course with no riding).

    We've had a very mild fall here, so I've not had to pull the blankets out until a month or so ago. Over thanksgiving, I noticed the dreaded wither soreness. Changed blankets again, to an ancient Orican she had worn my first winter with her that's on the small side....and she's improved, but still sore. She was wearing a Saxon.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for the freakishly sensitive horse? I've been wondering if getting her a high neck turnout would help...the Taka supposedly had wither relief and that was the sorest I've ever seen her. She wore a Rhino high neck last year but was still slightly sore...although that wasn't the best fit for her.

    Fit overall is good with all the blankets....not to low on the shoulder, not sagging or otherwise causing issues...

    just curious if anyone else has dealt with this and what your suggestions were. She's on 24/7 turnout, and being ridden (I was actually hoping to do a trace clip over Thanksgiving but didn't because of the soreness) several times a week...so I'd prefer to not leave her naked, although that's certainly an option if need be.

    I've had horses that rub, but never ones that can't wear a blanket period!

  • #2
    Weatherbeeta makes a medium weight turnout in a waterproof/breatheable stretch material: Original 1000D Stretch Standard Neck. MSRP $189.99 in black/grey

    The neck opening is cut forward so there's no seam pulling across the withers. And the stretch extends down across the shoulders and chest to help prevent rubs.
    Patience pays.


    • #3
      Take a look at the blankets Schneiders has. They have a couple options with wither relief. If you call them, their customer service is awesome.


      • Original Poster

        Thank you! I'll have to look into that. Is it designed for freak of nature horses like mine?

        I don't even care as much about durability since she's queen alpha everyone bows to her....so her blankets stay pristine.


        • Original Poster

          Candysgirl...I've never had any luck with Schneiders blankets...they all seem to tear easily and the hardware falls apart or the leg straps snap, even with light use....if it would help though I'd be willing to take a second look....I'm tired of having a "summer" horse.

          Thats the other odd thing...she wears a fly sheet all summer and never has a problem, its only in the winter.


          • #6
            Its probably the weight of the blanket. Poor pony! I've had good luck with mid necks helping keep the pressure off the wither (currently have a Centaur midweight and a Horze fleece lined rainsheet) . My horse has a HUGE wither so I was very aware of that when buying blankets for her.


            • #7
              Horsewear ireland makes the "wug" which has a high collar that doesn't seem to put as much pressure on their wither, what I've always done is buy the extra fluffy pillow quilts and sew them onto the whither of the blanket so that half of the quilt is against the whither and the other half is sewn back to the outside of the blanket for stability. The quilt will look like a clam clamped onto the whither of the blanket.


              • #8
                Boy, sounds familiar...

                Get something in the light weight, synthetic puffy, type fabric that does not weigh much with a high neck. Go up a size too. DO NOT layer over anything with a seam or trim along the neck opening-I used a thinsulate, single layer sheet a size up as a liner.

                Wug is a good idea if you can swing it, so is the traditional Rambo turnout...but don't get them too heavy, mid weight at most.

                I gave up on the Bakers and most of the others because they have a dam seam that ends up sitting right at the top of the withers. Had some with wool, fabric, fleece or other "natural" lining that rubbed the hair on her back the wrong way and had her sore too so stick to the nylon or synthetic slippery type linings...don't worry, they stay on surprisingly well while still just as warm...and they are alot lighter and ez to wash. Old hair doesn't stick to them either.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                • #9
                  My sensitive TB mare loved her Wugs and she never had any rubs, even though she lived in them from October until early April. She had the light and medium weights and would wear a stable blanket with neck attachment underneath them when it was really cold (she was body clipped). They're expensive but you can usually get good deals on last season's colors.


                  • #10
                    Rambo Optimo. The front of the blanket moves independently from the back. It's the only blanket I've ever put on my horse that doesn't give him shoulder rubs & wither rubs.


                    • #11
                      Really? I've always had good luck with my Arab and his Storm Shield New Britton's. He is HARD on his blankets being a young, idiot Arab and all. His current one is going into the second winter and looked brand new when I pulled it out of the bin for the season (now its mud covered, but still in fine shape). He outgrew his original one that lasted 3 winters. He did ultimately wreck it, but that was my fault...he did the fat man in a little coat thing and tore open the shoulder gussets and ripped off the front buckles at the stitching because it was far too small for him by the end of the 3rd season. I don't fault the blanket though.

                      My TB mare is in a different style Storm Shield. She is kind of middle of the road on her blankets. About 15 of the 20 horses at her barn are in some style of Storm Shield - mostly the ones that come in the array of obnoxious colors. They've held up well there.

                      I do not like the other brand they have - DuraTech? or something like that. I've not had good luck with those.

                      My mare is in a blue one of these. She's a 20+yo TB with the typical high withers and slowly atrophying topline. She does fine in this. http://www.sstack.com/horse-blankets...llar-turnouts/

                      If you're really worried about wither relief though, the VTek V-Free line of Storm Shields are supposed to have wither relief for horses like yours. Apparently Michigan State even did a study on them (link on this page) http://www.sstack.com/horse-blankets...s_vtek-v-free/

                      My Arab's blanket has the same V-Free wither relief in it, but his is obviously designed for a different body type/head carriage than the one I linked for your mare. It feels almost padded over the withers and it seems to shift the weight of the blanket back onto their back instead of it resting up on the withers. He seems to find it comfortable at the very least.
                      Last edited by candysgirl; Nov. 30, 2012, 08:59 PM. Reason: added a couple lines


                      • #12
                        I just recently read somewhere about people having success with the Wug option helping to ease wither soreness. My high withered TB got rubs from his adjustable Schneider, but has done well with the Schneider "Euro turnout".


                        • #13
                          You could also try folding a really fluffy standing wrap under the wither part of the blanket to help with cushioning. I have found that works well.
                          "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."


                          • #14
                            My horse has withers like a camel and a low set neck. I have a Scheider's sheet (Vtek Vfree) which is the best light/mid that I could find. I do think it chafes just a little but not much.

                            For a medium I have a high neck Orican and I think that it fits my horse pretty well. I haven't tried the Rambo Optimo but I do have a Rambo Duo which would not work at all.

                            I use a Bossy's Bib and this year I haven't had any bald spot so far. The withers are showing a little friction with the Schneider's blanket but not enough to worry about. My horse is not sensitive so far (fingers crossed).


                            • #15
                              The Passier stable rug has strategic padding to keep the neckline up and off the typical rub spots. (you might be able to rig something up at home yourself with a bit of sewing knowledge and an old blanket )
                              A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing


                              • #16
                                I like the Rambo wugs too. I have one in each weight and they have lasted 5 yrs and going strong.


                                • #17
                                  For mine - it's the Schneider's Euro or Dover's Rider International/Northwind line, preference for the Dover stuff.

                                  Horseware no; Weatherbeeta no...Centaur products fit, but I don't trust their durability for turnout purposes. Dover's blankets are amazingly water-proof - when the other bands have failed. Actually, the Rambo Wug rubbed my horse terribly in less than 24hrs, I was very disappointed after reading all the reviews.


                                  • #18
                                    My TB mare has the exact same problem, but she gets rubs on her withers. The one blanket she has that does not seem to give her any problems is her Pessoa Summit turnout sheet. The blanket version (same cut with poly fill) is the Pessoa Tundra. Other people with TBs at my barn love their Horseware Ireland Rambo and/or Wug blankets.


                                    • #19
                                      I have been using the Schneider's V-Tek V-free blankets for years on my TB who has extremely prominent withers and a swayed back. They hold up great and cause him no problems. I am in a cold climate and he is blanketed 24/7 for about 5 months.


                                      • #20
                                        I've had very good luck with fit/comfort from the Schneider's blankets, and although my horse is pretty easy on his clothes he is super-sensitive and seems to be able to get a rub at the slightest provocation. For inside use, I got this blanket and have been thrilled with it so far: http://www.horze.com/Horze-Royal-Equ...,en_US,pd.html

                                        The "collar" is super soft and has a lot of give to it - so zero soreness. It wouldn't work for turnout, obviously, but if you could find a similar design in a more durable fabric I think you'd have a winner.

                                        ETA: Apparently they do offer a turnout version: http://www.horze.com/Horze-Royal-Equ...id=outdoorrugs
                                        Last edited by Lucassb; Dec. 1, 2012, 11:54 AM. Reason: Add more info
                                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.