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Long Underwear for an Old Horse??

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  • Long Underwear for an Old Horse??

    Heading into winter, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas that would help me help King stay warmer and more comfy this winter. He has a blanket, but he gets so cold. And his skin is getting thin, especially at the hip points. The blanket rubs, and I worry that he will get sore spots under his blanket this winter.

    So -- I was wondering if there was either a different brand or type of blanket I should get for him, or some sort of under-lining -- like silk underwear -- that would help him stay warmer and make that blanket less likely to rub on his skin.

    Any thoughts? I was talking to a "friend" last night who oh-so-bluntly said "Old horses die in the winter time." Ugh. I know this. But not this winter, okay? Besides, I only want to face that once, not a 1,000 times in anticipation!

  • #2
    We don't really get very cold here, fortunately! For my old lady, though, on the colder nights, I have a stretchy "undersheet" of polarfleece-type material with a nylon-ish lining. It's actually designed to slick the coat up, but I've found that putting that on under her regular blanket helps keep her considerably less pitiful on the really cold, damp nights. I got it used from a former barnmate, so I have no idea who makes it or where it originally came from. But that might be something you could keep an eye out for.
    Equinox Equine Massage

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
    -Albert Camus


    • #3
      There was a story on TV a while ago, this lady's draft had a rare condition: No body hair.

      So she got inventive and used sweat pants, cut in half to put on her horse to keep him warm. I think the horse was called Henry. Looked odd but seemed to do the trick.


      • #4
        When the temps drop significantly here (Maryland, so not often), I double layer with a polar fleece sheet under the turnout blanket. I have also seen people put shipping boots on (stabled) horses, where they had leg issues and needed the warmth.

        "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
        - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


        • Original Poster

          Great idea on the polar fleece liner! Unless someone else comes up with a different / better idea, I think that's what I will do. I went online to look them up and they're not even very expensive! Thanks!


          • #6
            Seems to me Sleazy would make a tight fitting liner for under a heavy blanket. With my old horse, I too had a polar fleece sheet that she loved-soft and cozy. She also had a cotton waffle sheet I used as a blanket liner and it worked great, but stretched out of shape easily. Both were under $30 in the catalogue "sale" section.
            The donkey at our barn had trouble with flies biting his legs and his owner rigged up "leg warmers" made of her old socks with the toes cut out! He's a little bugger, so it was easy to find stuff that fit him, but he looked adorable standing in his pasture with those multicolored socks on his legs!
            I would think it would be easy to sew "legs" from women's tights or sweats onto a sheet liner in case his legs needed coverage too.
            Good luck with it!


            • #7
              Another thumbs up for polar fleece !

              I have a couple of very thin-skinned TBs who never seem to grow enough winter coat. Even here in Florida, we have some nightime temps down in the teens, and that is really cold for the older horses who are stalled at night. I bought the polar fleece liners for them ( mine have an awesome belly wrap ) and can layer it under their blankets for the added warmth. My horses love them so much that the literally jump into them on those cold nights!

              Plus, they are very easy to launder and fluff up really well in the dryer!!
              "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you..."


              • #8
                Yet another thumbs-up for polar fleece
                Rebel Without Cash!


                • #9
                  Fleece blanket under his rug. More layers rather than bulk to trap the warm air against his skin.


                  Something like this ^^ or fleece bandages/shipping boots on his legs too. Maybe a hood to keep his neck/face warm too.

                  Oldies can do well over the winter. I have one, I know!
                  Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks kookiecat -- those leg warmers look GREAT! I think they would help King!


                    • #11

                      Harry, not Henry......


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by King's Ransom View Post
                        Thanks kookiecat -- those leg warmers look GREAT! I think they would help King!
                        No problem! I used to bandage my retired mare's legs during the winter, but I'm thinking of getting those for her. She's a TB too, and feels the cold.
                        Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                        • #13
                          Where is Chocomare adn her link to horse socks????? a PM might be in order.
                          If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.


                          • Original Poster

                            All I have to say right now is thank God I still NEED long underwear for my old horse! As I posted under King's Great Adventure, he gave me chest pains today! Ornery ole cuss! I can't WAIT to get him all dolled up in his blanket, fleece liner and leg warmers! He will soooo hate all of it!

                            Paybacks are hell, Mr. King!


                            • #15
                              My old guy, Fudge, who is now enjoying those greener over the Bridge, loved the
                              Schneider's blanket with the belly flap. It kept the blanket from flapping and gave him
                              some warmth on the tummy. Got them for the other two guys and also a big hit.

                              For some reason, none of my Schneider's blankets have ever caused rubs as other
                              brands have done and no need for Slinkys. Don't know if it is the material in the liner
                              or the adjust-fit shoulder thingie.

                              The one I have all have the straps attached to the blanket and not the band so they
                              don't drag in the dirt. They velcro shut and each strap has a stretch of elastic in it.
                              The blankets really seem to stay put, plus the rear leg straps are elastic and easily replaced
                              if they catch a leg and break one. Keep an extra pair on hand but have only replaced
                              maybe three over 10 years of using Schneider's blankets.

                              Have at one time or another used a quilted liner under Fudge's blanket and also have
                              the fleece liners but since moving to Texas, haven't really used them much.

                              Those leg warmers look pretty cool. Unless the weather is really bad, mine are on 24/7
                              turnout and can move all they want with access to their stalls.


                              • #16
                                KR--what weight blanket do you have for your horse?

                                I had a midweight blanket for my mare which I felt was good down to about 10 degrees F. I also bought a heavyweight which would have been used for temps under that.... The only difference was in the filling; I think the midweight was around 220 weight, and the heavyweight around 330-360 weight....

                                A belly flap may help....

                                You really need to be careful though! You'll need to check under the blanket often to make sure he's not sweating. If he sweats and then gets chilled you'll have a whole other set of problems, much worse than the horse being cold.... Pneumonia is a real threat in this case....

                                I just had to euthanize my mare, and not a minute too soon either.... I asked that she be sedated first and it was not like I thought it would be. When I saw how hard it was to get her out of her stall and outside it was a relief to know that she wouldn't have to face this Winter--I know she wouldn't have made it through....
                                Have we learned nothing from the Romans???


                                • #17
                                  If it gets really cold, there is nothing warmer than a Whitney square underneath a regular blanket. There is a bit of an art to folding one, but basically you lay it over the horse, pick up the front two corners and lift them up to the neck - then you put on the regular blanket and fold the resulting "turtleneck" made by the extra (folded) fabric back over the regular blanket. Toasty!
                                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Is a belly flap okay for a gelding? He won't pee on it?


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                      If it gets really cold, there is nothing warmer than a Whitney square underneath a regular blanket. There is a bit of an art to folding one, but basically you lay it over the horse, pick up the front two corners and lift them up to the neck - then you put on the regular blanket and fold the resulting "turtleneck" made by the extra (folded) fabric back over the regular blanket. Toasty!
                                      Same idea as this:

                                      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                                      • #20
                                        I found adding a plain old nylon "slinkie" under the blanket helps my older horses stay much warmer.