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Blanketing a Young Horse?

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  • Blanketing a Young Horse?

    Hi all,

    I have a two year old gelding who will be living out this winter with 24x7 access to great shelter and a comfy, warm box stall if the winter becomes insane in New England.

    I don't plan on blanketing him. He's probably never been blanketed during harsh Midwestern winters.

    But part of me says... Maybe I should. I would if he were in work to keep the winter coat a bit lower. But since we'll just be ground driving and playing, it seems silly to blanket him. Plus I don't want to invest in a high quality winter blanket when I don't know how big he'll end up.


    Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!


  • #2
    Does he have pasture mates?
    Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
    You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed
    Le Petit Prince


    • #3
      For youngsters that grow a good coat, I usually get them a waterproof lightweight blanket or sheet and a medium weight stable blanket. This combo gives you maximum flexibility

      Your youngster can go out in the rain and wind without catching a chill or over heating, or stay comfortable even when the temp. drops off the scale inside. They can also be used together if the need arises.

      Just a thought.

      The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.



      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Foxtrot View Post
        Does he have pasture mates?
        Yes, he's out with another gelding and they are best buddies. Do you think they'd keep each other warmer?
        Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!



        • #5
          They can keep each other warm. But they can also pull on each other blankets. I know some horses that have torn blankets of their mates. But you can usually tell those types...the ones who pick up buckets and always make trouble.
          Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
          You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed
          Le Petit Prince


          • #6
            I wouldn't blanket him unless he seems to need it for some reason. If he's one of those who likes to stand out in the rain and snow then a couple of waterproof options like LLDM suggests. Really they can handle very low temperatures easy as long as they're not wet or stuck out in the wind.
            exploring the relationship between horse and human


            • #7
              I think I'd have a light or medium weight blanket (100-200gm) on hand as a just in case, perhaps try and find a used one on ebay? If he's shivering, throw it on. Otherwise he should be fine.
              Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


              • #8
                I wouldn't bother. If he's healthy, not in real work, and has access to shelter, I don't think there's really any benefit.

                Besides, he will just outgrow everything you buy him.

                I would love to not have to blanket, it's such a hassle! But I ride all winter and I don't have an extra 4 hours every day to dry off a wet horse.
                Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


                • #9
                  He probably won't need it -- isn't he a pony cross (or full pony)? Do not start blanketing him early, if you do end up getting one, so that the winter coat can grow in properly.

                  Two thoughts: one, I was told horses start to use energy to keep warm starting at 16 degrees, and to keep cool at 60. Disclaimer, I can't remember where I heard this, but it is useful to think about. So at 30, your horse will be comfortable if not wet/windy.

                  If you decide you might want to blanket, pick a number (like 5 degrees) and stick to it. That's my number for most of the horses I have here; the pushing 30 TB I blanket at 20 with wind, 15 anytime.

                  Second (or maybe it is third ) -- barns aren't always warmer. My barn has 9 stalls and a hayloft above and it is not warmer with all the horses in. So, paradoxically in this situation it is more important to blanket because they can't move around to keep warm.
                  Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/


                  • #10
                    It never hurts to have a medium-weight, waterproof breathable blanket to use if he *needs* it.

                    Days of cold rain may get him shivering and just miserable.

                    It will not likely be about cold - not cold alone. Cold and wind, maybe, but more likely cold and wet.
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                      It never hurts to have a medium-weight, waterproof breathable blanket to use if he *needs* it.

                      Days of cold rain may get him shivering and just miserable.

                      It will not likely be about cold - not cold alone. Cold and wind, maybe, but more likely cold and wet.
                      Yup. I've seen horses shivering when it's 40F and raining. But if it's 5F and sunny, and no wind? That's horse heaven!
                      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                      • #12
                        Don't blanket. Mother Nature has some pretty good experience with winter coats. As long as he's not soaked from rain, and he has:

                        - 24/7 access to the shelter;
                        - adequate good quality forage; and
                        - room to move around (it warms them up when they gallop around),

                        he will be fine.

                        You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                        • #13
                          You could have a lightweight blanket on hand as others have suggested and simply blanket him occasionally in bad weather just to get him used to wearing one. If he has access to a run in shelter and a box stall if the weather is really bad he definitely doesn't need a blanket. However, if you feel terrible about it you could have something light available. Just don't start blanketing him early in the season. Buying something used on ebay is a great idea as with two 2 yr old geldings you have a high chance of the blanket turning into a fun new toy to destroy!


                          • #14
                            I have had very few two year olds that would wear blankets without destroying them.
                            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                            • #15
                              My younster has a light weight water proof blanket for rainy windy days (we don't have snow out here!).

                              If its not storming, she doesn't wear anything.

                              This was the same for all of the youngsters she lived with.
                              APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks everybody. The Nays (or neighs) have it. He IS a pony cross (connemara/paint and thanks for remembering!!!) and I'll bet he looks like a bear by the end of December.

                                He has access to excellent shelter, HUGE overhangs on the barn with doors to box stalls that are open at night and any time the weather gets really nasty. He does go in there to sleep at night. Has shavings in his mane and tail every morning.

                                I have a Rambo rain sheet that would be perfect for what you guys describe, but it was for my 17h WB. A bit too big for my 15.1 guy.

                                Maybe I can find somebody local who wants to trade...

                                Thanks again!
                                Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!



                                • #17
                                  A waterproof sheet is probably the most any horse that's not clipped would ever need on those really wet, cold, windy days. (Disclaimer: this is coming from a person who's horses each have 2 med weight turnouts, waterproof sheets, heavyweight stable blankets, and wool coolers!

                                  ETA: Yes, I need help for my tack store addiction.
                                  Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                                  Witherun Farm