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Blanketing for dummies?

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  • Blanketing for dummies?

    I've had my horse for three winters, and never blanketed or clipped him. He's always grown a nice furry winter coat, is in at night, and brought inside in really nasty (sleet/freezing rain/bitter windchill) conditions. In the winter I haven't really ridden him much; we'd go for trail rides or do a little w/t in the snow or ride bareback in the indoor, but he mostly gets the winter off because his barn is an hour away and it's too dang cold and dark to drive out there that often. d;

    This winter though I'm moving him to a barn where I have a large, nice indoor, and it's a trail ride away from my lesson barn, and it's only 20 minutes from my house. So I anticipate riding a lot more. I'm debating whether I should do any sort of clip and blanketing this winter.

    He would probably be ridden a couple times a week, w/t/c, a little bit of jumping. However, I do like to trail ride, and am a little hesitant to clip him because of that--don't know how cold he'd get out on the trail, and if it's feasible to trail ride in a quarter sheet or anything, especially if I ride him over to my lesson barn for lessons.

    Any thoughts? And if I do blanket... what exactly should I buy? Do I need a rain sheet, and a medium, and a heavy? I use a polarfleece blanket liner/cooler just to keep him warm when trailering, but that's all I currently own for blankets...
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits

  • #2
    I've got a lightweight rain sheet, a medium weight turnout, a medium weight stable blanket, and a polar fleece cooler. With those options I can mix and match depending on the weather. I never bought a heavyweight because my horses have always been stalled at least part of the time and they get too warm in the barn with them on.

    Win's been wearing his lightweight turnout thus far but little else. We've had such a weird (but nice) fall!

    You might want to just trace clip him, which is what I often did when I was riding and jumping a lot all winter. Then keep him rugged up.

    I've got a Rider's medium weight stable blanket that will never fit Win. I think it is a 74 or 76? Green with navy. Used but plenty of life left. If you decide to blanket and you want it, you can have it.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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    • #3
      I used to always give blanket advice for east coast people based on my weather in MD and then I went to NY to deliver a horse and I realized its COLD there!!

      It was about 4 hours north of me (i'm on the PA line) but waaaaay colder and damper.

      From now on I keep my advice to a 100 mile radius
      http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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      • #4
        The big question is are you willing to wait for him to cool out and dry after a ride? If so, then you can consider letting him stay fuzzy and invest in a nice cooler for after your ride. But it's very very very important that you cool him out good AND that he's dry before you turn him out. Otherwise, a trace clip and blankets are a good option, but you'll probably need at least a mediumweight and a heavy weight.
        If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
        ~ Maya Angelou

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tif_Ann View Post
          The big question is are you willing to wait for him to cool out and dry after a ride? If so, then you can consider letting him stay fuzzy and invest in a nice cooler for after your ride. But it's very very very important that you cool him out good AND that he's dry before you turn him out. Otherwise, a trace clip and blankets are a good option, but you'll probably need at least a mediumweight and a heavy weight.
          I will chime in on this, I do a modified trace clip that works out great for my riding horses that are outside almost 24/7. I clip the chest and up the neck (but not as far or wide as a true trace clip) I also clip the butt cheeks. This really helps the horse cool out faster but keeps him warmer when he's outside the a full trace clip.
          http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks FG! That's really nice of you... unfortunately Sam fits a 69" or so, and would probably swim in it. (: Thanks for the offer!

            I don't mind drying him out, the few times that he broke a sweat when I had winter lessons that wasn't so much of a problem, but I'd be a little more concerned about having him damp on the trail ride home from the lesson barn, for example...

            If I clipped I would probably do a trace clip or modified trace clip... and then you blanket as usual afterward?
            "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

            Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SarahandSam View Post
              I don't mind drying him out, the few times that he broke a sweat when I had winter lessons that wasn't so much of a problem, but I'd be a little more concerned about having him damp on the trail ride home from the lesson barn, for example...
              If the only concern is the trail ride between the barn and the house, just get some kind of fitted cooler that you'd feel comfortable riding in. Buy a saddle bag to carry the cooler over to the lesson barn Cut some slits in the cooler to pull your stirrup leathers through on the ride home, and voila.

              I'm thinking something like this
              http://www.sstack.com/shopping/produ...ProductID=7528

              Plus something like this
              http://www.sstack.com/shopping/produ...ord=saddle+bag

              Compare that to the expense and hassle of blanketing.
              Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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              • #8
                My horse lives out 24/7. I do a modified trace clip and then blanket. 80 % of the time a rain sheet or a mid-weight blanket is sufficient. I break out the heavy weight Rambo when it's really, really cold.

                Since your horse is living in, you could probably get away with a trace clip, a rain sheet, a breathable mid-weight (that can go in/out) and maybe a blanket liner for the really cold nights.


                Originally posted by SarahandSam View Post
                Thanks FG! That's really nice of you... unfortunately Sam fits a 69" or so, and would probably swim in it. (: Thanks for the offer!

                I don't mind drying him out, the few times that he broke a sweat when I had winter lessons that wasn't so much of a problem, but I'd be a little more concerned about having him damp on the trail ride home from the lesson barn, for example...

                If I clipped I would probably do a trace clip or modified trace clip... and then you blanket as usual afterward?
                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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