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At what temp do you start using a quarter sheet?

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  • #21
    It really depends on whether the horse is clipped and what clip they have.
    Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.


    • #22
      I didn't select an answer because it's a combination of 2 things - a) mostly I don't ride in what much of the US would consider super low temps and b) I don't use quarter sheets no matter the temps. It rarely gets/stays below 30 here during the day for any period of time. But there are a lot of people around here that do use quarter sheets even at our temps. Often at winter clinics I'm the only one walking around without a quarter sheet. FTR, my horses are all fully body clipped and I ride them all every day in rain, snow, sleet, wind, and anything else that comes our way without ever using a quarter sheet. I have not yet had a horse act like they cared either way.....though I guess on occasion my TB is super annoyed that I'm riding him in the pouring rain (the rest don't seem to care).

      If I had a horse that tended to shiver or really act like they needed one I wouldn't hesitate to use one. But typically I don't spend much time walking anyway (all of my horses live out 24/7, so I don't feel like I need to do as much as I might if they lived in stalls).
      Flying F Sport Horses
      Horses in the NW


      • #23
        I don't like them for normal riding. The only situation in which I have ever used one was for a rehab horse that involved a lot of walk breaks.


        • #24
          On horse number 1, who was fully clipped 2x and the third time I just left under the saddle and top half of the haunches, she wears one under 50 for a trail ride (mostly walking). I’ll keep it on her up to 55 if super windy/raining. She does her walk and maybe some trot warmup in one until it’s in the low thirties. Below that she wears it for the whole ride.

          Horse number 2, who had the same clipping scenario—although he might lose what’s left over his haunches soon. Doesn’t wear one at all until it’s around 32F. He doesn’t wear one for the full ride until it’s in the low 20s. He runs warm and sweats a lot. He also doesn’t go on many trail rides at this time of year because it is still deer season and I don’t totally trust him not to be dumb.


          • #25
            I have never used a quarter sheet, ever, and rarely see others use them either. But I tend to ride horses that have their winter coat or only a partial clip, and mostly ride indoors in the winter. I do ride at some pretty cold temperatures if that's what nature gives us.


            • #26
              My TB is fully clipped, older, and sensitive to the cold, so he wears a quarter sheet for every ride. If the arena temperature if above 0 C, I take it off after our walk warm up, but if its below 0, I leave it on for the whole ride. If its below -10, I just don't ride.
              Proud mother to Matt, a 18 year-old TB gelding.



              • #27
                Rehabbing my mare and she has been a bit sore in her back, so I try to keep her back warm. Riding indoors, I usually put the quarter sheet on if it's about 25F or lower. She is not clipped, but barely grows a coat, and we are not working hard. Under normal circumstances, working outside, I'll throw one on for the warmup if it's <35 with any wind chill, but then take it off.


                • #28
                  My horse has a bit of history of his back tightening up, so I use a Back On Track back pad like a saddle pad/quarter sheet combo when I feel like it is chilly enough he might tense up (usually below 40* and/or if I feel like I am doing the same). He is trace clipped, we do not have an indoor and he is barefoot, so we rarely ride if it is below freezing.
                  "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"


                  • #29
                    I ride rather old (20s to 30s) lesson horses and I have MS.

                    There is NO WAY that I can realistically ride out a full "ITS COLD!!!" warm up with the horse getting super active to warm up (been there, rode it all out before my MS got bad.)

                    I also ride in a ring without nearby wind breaks.

                    On the older horses or horses with obviously unhappy top lines I use a BOT exercise sheet unless it is way to warm.

                    Otherwise I put it on when it is in the 30sF, when it gets down to the lower 30s and/or the wind is blowing I put another exercise sheet over it too.

                    I have to rest often during my rides and I got tired of "hearing" the horses cussing me out about having to stand in the cold wind when I had to rest. Now the horses no longer cuss my out, they just huddle under the exercise sheets and stand still peacefully until I feel rested enough to go on.

                    And I no longer have horses telling me they HAVE TO gallop around just to warm up. The horses are happier, I am happier, and my riding teachers do not mind because they realize that the exercise sheets are safety gear for me.


                    • #30
                      It's gotta be pretty dang cold, or for trail rides when it's windy and wet.


                      • #31
                        Generally in the winter, my riding is limited to walking due to ground conditions. Temps are in the single digits (F) and the ground is snow packed. No arena for us, just gravel roads or pasture if the snow isn't too deep. My horse lives outside 24x7 so he's not clipped, so I don't think he needs a quarter sheet for our rides since we're just walking. I did just make a waterproof, lined riding skirt to keep ME warmer as it also covers his hindquarters and will help channel that heat to my legs. During spring conditioning for endurance rides when the temps are still colder (in the 30s) and I'm asking for more speed, the riding skirt will double as a quarter sheet to help keep him from cramping up.


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by QHEndurance View Post
                          ... so I don't think he needs a quarter sheet for our rides since we're just walking.
                          Wait, I'm confused - why would just walking mean no quarter sheet? Wouldn't it be because he's not clipped that you don't need a quarter sheet? For most of the people at my barn (myself included), we use quarter especially if we're just walking, as you warm up fast once you start trotting, hence you wouldn't need it anymore (these are all on clipped horses, fwiw).


                          • #33
                            Last year, when pony was full clipped apart from his head and lower legs, he had a heavy fleece quarter sheet any time it was under 10C for walk/trot, but I would typically pull it for canter unless it was under 5C or I was lazy.

                            This year he has a medium trace, so doesn't wear it every ride. I will use it if the wind is coming in through the open part of the indoor wall and temps are below 5C, or if pony just seems chilly in general. I also use it if I'm riding outside below 10C in the wind. I also use it in temps between 5-10C if I'm going to be mostly walking.

                            if I ride him below freezing, I use my Back on Track back warmer instead of a saddle pad, and then put the fleece quarter sheet on top.

                            I use a reflective, waterproof, quarter sheet for trail rides from late fall to early spring that I wrap over my legs to stay a bit drier. I have a reflective mesh one for the warmer months that doubles as big protection for mister sweet itch.
                            Curious about Trans* issues? Feel free to ask!
                            Saving Pennies To Get My Own Canoe


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by QHEndurance View Post
                              I did just make a waterproof, lined riding skirt to keep ME warmer as it also covers his hindquarters and will help channel that heat to my legs. During spring conditioning for endurance rides when the temps are still colder (in the 30s) and I'm asking for more speed, the riding skirt will double as a quarter sheet to help keep him from cramping up.
                              This sounds very cool! Did you use a pattern, and what materials did you use?


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by MissCoco View Post

                                This sounds very cool! Did you use a pattern, and what materials did you use?
                                MissCoco I found instructions (more instructions than an actual pattern) for a circle skirt and used that for the dimensions more or less - technically mine is a 3/4 circle skirt as I didn't want it to look like a hoop skirt! I made some adjustments along the way, so the waist overlaps and velcros together and the front is open (instructions has it all sewed together with just a top and bottom opening). I added snaps at the top to keep it out of the way for mounting, and straps that snap together to hold the edge around your leg so it doesn't flap in the wind. For materials, I used a 600 Denier waterproof nylon for the outside and lined it with flannel on horse side.
                                Attached Files


                                • #36
                                  QHEndurance that is a great looking skirt, nice work!

                                  For some of us who aren't as industrious, these can be purchased on Etsy as well. I've been thinking of making or buying one, but our winter has been relatively mild. However, I did use the quarter sheet and wear tights under my breeches yesterday morning when it was 13F.
                                  Insulated riding skirt keeps you and your horse warm and comfort. Riding skirt is made of water repellent and windproof fabric that can protect you from cold, rain or snow while riding. Insulated skirt: ➤ Light and warm ➤ Water repellent and windproof fabric ➤ Easy to put on and to take off ➤ Straps