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Blanketing a wet horse?

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  • Blanketing a wet horse?

    Ok, so I am new to the world of blanketing because upuntil this year I have had no need to blanket any of my guys. The one who now needs a blanket is my now thin heaves horse (a chore to keep any weight on him.)

    I got him a midweight Weetherbeta Orican blanket with hood. He has been wearing the blanket the past couple nights and I remove it during the day for warmer temperatures. Well I didn't realize it was going to rain today and it was in the mid 40's this morning so I removed the blanket.

    It has rained all day and he shivering(I haven't been home long otherwise I'd had put his blanket back on already.)

    So my question is...can I blanket him while he is wet? I know it is not ideal but I also do not have shelter access beyond trees at the moment from an incident with the barn which will be corrected in the next couple weeks. Until then, there is no barn access. This also means I have no place to dry him off at.

    So is it best to just leave him be or should I go ahead and put his blanket on him?

  • #2
    Put his blanket on. If you have the opportunity to towel dry him before, or sweat scrape, all the better (you can use the side of your cupped hand if a sweat scraper is not available), but if not, just put his blanket on.


    • #3
      And, if you have one, put a cotton or wool sheet on him underneath his heavier blanket to soak up the moisture, then remove it when it gets wet. Cotton coolers are great for absorbing moisture, but don't wick it away, so they need to be removed when wet. That will at least give him a dryer coat under his blanket.


      • #4
        Most blankets now are quite breathable.

        They won't trap the moisture inside and cause problems the way blankets used to.

        If I have horse that's shivering I generally towel dry, put a mesh or wool cooler on, then put a blanket over them.
        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


        • #5
          If you don't have a mesh cooler or wool cooler, a fly sheet might even work in a pinch.

          I have the Dover's Chill Chaser which is great to use for these rainy days to help dry horses off. See the below link...and they are inexpensive!!!



          • Original Poster

            Thank you!

            I don't have a cooler for him. I got the blanket to use on those random really cold wet day that get to him. That would mean it would get used MAYBE 10 times in a year....however after being very recently diagnosed with heaves, I did not think of the impact that would have already. It is currently about 48 degrees and raining. My other horse is wet but really warm where as mister heaves is shivering and looks like a drowned rat.

            I just towel dried him as much as is possible to do out in the rain. There is a point where it is raining harder than can be toweled off. He now has his blanket on and is happily munching hay.

            Sorry this probably seems like such a normal thing for some people. I haven't actually needed to blanket a horse in the 15 years I've dealt with them.


            • #7
              I'm guessing you don't have a cooler. If you have straw you can Thatch him. Stuff straw underneath the blanket until he's dry then take the straw out.
              "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork


              • #8
                Well it sounds like he's happy and warmer so that is good. I see you are in Tennessee so I can sympathize with you on the rain since I'm just south of you in Georgia. Any day now it can stop raining for a few days.

                Good luck with your beastie!!!


                • Original Poster

                  You are very much correct that I do not have a cooler...and that shall be changed shortly.

                  I thatched him and will take the hay out here in a bit.

                  I'm glad I put it on when I did because heavy winds just started. Now we get to test just how water proof a waterproof blanket really is.


                  • Original Poster

                    It hasn't rained all that much lately and I guess I thought I was safe.


                    Thankfully our rain has spaced out JUST enough for local farmers to get 3 cuttings of hay in for the most part. However, as of 3 or so months ago, our city has gotten more rain and last year for the total and even then was a wet year.

                    I hate rain.


                    • #11
                      Hay generates body heat so give plenty of hay to help warm him up


                      • #12
                        I had a friend once who would take a hair dryer to her wet horse before blanketing him. It worked!
                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                        • #13
                          With eight or nine horses, when I get caught flat-footed by crappy weather like that, there isn't time to ding around pampering and drying off. It's throw the blankets on a wet, shivering herd as quickly as possible. The relief is almost instant and a couple hours later, they're all dry under the blankets (waterproof, breathable).


                          • Original Poster

                            Can I pound my head against the wall?

                            Temperatures are supposed to drop by early morning to 40 degrees or below with cold wind and rain with the possibility of snow.

                            I posted this because it was 40 degrees and ice cold rain with the poor guy shivering. When checked on he is not only still wet but not because of the rain..damn horse is sweating! I don't blame him...it isn't raining and temperature has risen over 10 degrees in the last hour or so and is now in the mid-50s.


                            I'm afraid to take it off him because the temp is supposed to drop in the next few hours to being cold wet and rainy with a chance of snow. On one hand I don't want him to be hot but at the same time, by the time I can reblanket him he is going to be back to wet, cold, and shivering. He is showing no signs of distress, no heavy breathing, nothing so that's good atleast. I have a feeling this sudden warm gust has to do with what is rolling in.....

                            I give up.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Green Acres View Post
                              Well it sounds like he's happy and warmer so that is good. I see you are in Tennessee so I can sympathize with you on the rain since I'm just south of you in Georgia. Any day now it can stop raining for a few days.

                              Good luck with your beastie!!!
                              Ain't this the darned truth! I can't remember a fall season ever being this wet. When did we move to the PNW?!
                              "My shopping list is getting long but I will add the marshmallows right below the napalm." -Weighaton


                              • #16
                                I second the hay (or even better---straw) thatch.
                                And you don't have to remove it---it will work its way out as he
                                moves around.
                                And should help with the sweating under the blanket!
                                Good Luck!


                                • #17
                                  It currently 18 degrees and dry here in the PNW. Can we please have our rain back?


                                  • #18
                                    IMHO, leave him blanketed. This happens to us here in the midwest a lot -- freezing rain at 5am, but at noon it is a warm wind and horses are getting warm under those jammies. But, before dinner feeding we might be raining or snowing again.

                                    Just as your blanket let him dry from the rain the first time, it'll now let him dry from sweating. as long as it isn't causing him a breathing episode and it isnt likely to get A LOT warmer, you're probably fine.

                                    you might go on ebay or here on freebies, and see if you can't ifnd several inexpensive lightweight waterproof and a cooler for him -- then layer him as needed! what you need for the mush right now is just a 'windbreaker' - a rain sheet (which it amazes me how pricey they've gotten AK! had to buy one this fall); then when you get home you can put a warmer blanket on top of that for him to keep him warmer...

                                    we had a TB come in 2 winters ago who had been in a show barn and body clipped, and was slightly underweight and a worrywart besides. he spent much of the winter wearing between 2-FIVE blankets at any one time, and at one point had on TWO hoods (we could not keep him stalled at the time even when bitter cold...long story). looked funny, awkward to maintain, but he didn't freeze and he got through that winter....

                                    AnnMarie Cross, Pres, Crosswinds Equine Rescue, cwer.org
                                    Sidell IL (near Champ./UofI/Danville IL/IN state border)


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Creaghgal View Post
                                      I'm guessing you don't have a cooler. If you have straw you can Thatch him. Stuff straw underneath the blanket until he's dry then take the straw out.

                                      You can also get very creative on this: use hay, use sawdust (my personal fave) to absorb that moisture.

                                      Two thumbs up to you Creaghgal!! We must be the same age.
                                      Crayola posse ~ Lazer Lemon yellow
                                      Take time to give...it is too short a day to be selfish. - Ben Franklin


                                      • #20
                                        Wool is the best - it can be wet and warm at the same time. I use finds I get from the Sally Ann or thrift stores. Put it on and when it has absorbed the moisture and it is like hoar frost on top, then remove and put on the dry blanket. Or you can put them on both together and pull it out from the back end of the horse later. Must be real wool for best results. The slightly damp horse will dry under the horse blanket, but I don't like using it to dry a sopping wet horse.
                                        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique