- A good rule of thumb is to use 55 degrees Fahrenheit as your “blanket” temperature. Day or night, if the temperature is below 55 degrees, then your horse should be blanketed. If temperatures regularly drop below freezing, then you should also provide a hood and possibly a second blanket.
When should I put a blanket on my horse?
Blanketing a horse is necessary to reduce the effects of cold and inclement weather when. There is no shelter available during turnout periods and the temperatures drop below 5 degrees F, or the wind chill is below 5 degrees F.
When to blanket horse temperature?
Here are some general guidelines: Body Clipped Horses: Start blanketing when the temperature gets below 60°F, or anytime it is rainy or windy. Moderate Hair Coat Horses: Start blanketing when the temperature goes below 40°F. Heavy Hair Coat Horses: Start blanketing when the temperatures go below 30°F.
Should you blanket a horse in a stall?
It’s usually necessary to blanket a body-clipped horse. With any horse, you should periodically reach under the blanket to be sure the horse isn’t hot or sweaty, especially a horse who has been worked, because he can appear cool but then get sweaty again once he is back in the stall.
When should I blanket my horse in the rain?
Most horses are very comfortable in brisk (but above freezing) temperatures as long as they are dry. If you’ve got precipitation such as rain, even a drizzle, or snow that could melt on their warm backs and they don’t have any way to avoid getting wet, consider a blanket.
How do you know if a horse is cold?
Common signs of your horse being too cold are:
- Shivering. Horses, like people, shiver when they’re cold.
- A tucked tail can also indicate that a horse is trying to warm up. To confirm, spot-check her body temperature.
- Direct touch is a good way to tell how cold a horse is.
How cold is too cold for a horse?
In the absence of wind and moisture, horses tolerate temperatures at or slightly below 0° F. If horses have access to a shelter, they can tolerate temperatures as low as -40° F. But horses are most comfortable at temperatures between 18° and 59° F, depending on their hair coat.
Can you put blankets on wet horses?
It’s OK to put on a blanket on a wet horse. The blanket will wick the moisture away from the horse and the extra moisture will evaporate. You can check the horse later and you will find that he is dry under the blanket.
How should a horse blanket fit?
It is essential that a blanket should fit well on the withers and shoulders so that your horse can move freely underneath the fabric without the blanket slipping back. Adjust the buckles and ensure you can still slide your hand down the neck of the blanket.
Can horses be out in the rain?
A horse who kicks the walls until he’s damaged a leg is no better off than a wet horse out in the rain. A gentle or even a steady rainfall likely won’t jeopardize a horse’s health. A cold rainfall would probably call for at least a run-in shed. A chance for severe lightning or winds could be life-threatening.
Do horses get cold in the rain?
“If a horse’s coat gets wet in rain or snow, it can dramatically chill them. You may need to bring them inside a barn to dry and warm up,” Coleman said. Horses are very resilient and tolerant to the cold. They can withstand air temperatures down to around 13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why do people put blankets over horses?
Blankets are primarily used to shield horses from varying weather conditions and climates. Providing your horse with the best fit, comfort and protection is vital for your peace of mind. The right blanket choice will help to regulate your horse’s body temperature and maintain a healthy condition.
Is it OK to put a saddle on a wet horse?
Yes, you can put tack on a wet horse; however, it is not recommended on a regular basis. A horse’s skin is protected by a coat of hair, and therefore, not much damage will be done if you tack up and ride your horse for short periods while they are wet.
How long does it take a wet horse to dry?
At a minimum it will take 20 to 30 minutes to thoroughly wash and rise the horse, plus another 30 to 45 minutes to thoroughly dry it.
Horse Blanketing FAQs – The Horse
The principle is straightforward: if your horse is chilly, cover him with a blanket. Take it off when he is no longer chilly. But, short of observing him shivering in his bell boots, how can you tell if he’s feeling chilly at all? In that case, what kind of blanket does he require? Is it going to leave rub marks? Blanketing does not have to be a difficult task. According to two Extension specialists who work as horse owners’ educators for a living. They’ll address your most frequently asked inquiries about equestrian clothing right here.
Does my horse need a blanket this winter?
In a nutshell, the answer is probably no. Horses’ bodies are extremely well-adapted to withstand even the most extreme temperatures. You’ll notice that their coats begin to alter and grow as the days go shorter and the nights become cooler, which normally happens around September. In addition to being temperature-dependent, Bob Coleman, MS, PhD, a former resident of Alberta, Canada, is now an associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “Changes in the hair coat are as much light-dependent as they are temperature-dependent,” he says.
Waite is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Department of Animal Sciences.
But what if my horse is body-clipped?
If you ride your horse sufficiently throughout the winter to merit trace or body clipping, you should consider providing him with some form of weather protection. “Even if they’re inside, if it’s cold in the barn and they’re not moving around much, it might be beneficial to provide them with a little protection to keep the body heat they’re generating in,” says Coleman. “It might be beneficial to give them a little protection to keep the body heat they’re generating in.” When temperatures begin to rise into the 40s, cover your body-clipped horse with a light or midweight blanket, and when temps fall below freezing, switch to a thicker blanket for further warmth.
What do you mean by light-,mid-, or heavyweight?
This is one of the reasons why our horses frequently have wardrobes that are on par with our own. Warmth and management aspects are taken into consideration when blanket producers describe their products as light, mid, or heavyweight. This allows them to cater to a wide variety of temperatures and conditions. The bigger (heavier) the fill weight of a blanket, according to Waite, the warmer the blanket will be. “Knowing which blanket to use will depend on your horse’s coat and condition, the surroundings, and how they are maintained (whether they are kept indoors or outside, for example).” Fortunately, blanket manufacturers typically give advice on which of their blankets should be used in specific scenarios, so be sure to inquire about these when you’re shopping for a new blanket.
What size blanket does myhorse need?
The answer to this question is a little clearer cut than the last one. According to Waite, the best way to determine the blanket size for your horse is to position him square and insert a measuring tape in the center of his chest, just below the point where the neck joins the body. Make sure you have a helper to draw the tape around the horse’s chest and largest section of its shoulder, as well as down the side of the horse’s body to the point of the buttocks, which should be approximately 10 inches below the tailhead, according to the author.
(Coleman recommends purchasing a long tape measure that will run the whole length of your horse from a fabric or hardware store.) Despite the fact that “blanket sizes are normally quite uniform,” Waite points out that there may be subtle variations across brands.
According to Coleman, while fitting a blanket, make sure any leg straps are tight and teach your horse to wear the blanket in his stall before letting him out in it.
How do I know if my horse is getting too warm under his blanket?
If your horse begins to perspire under his blanket, he is likely to be overheated. However, this is not always visible, so be on the lookout for subtle symptoms. Equine natural tendencies on chilly days, for example, are to migrate toward the sun. This approach for warming up the horse is successful enough that you may detect steam pouring from the front of the blanket or around the horse’s withers as a result of using it. Coleman explains that in certain instances, the temperature is becoming too high, and that it is not always the additional heat that is the problem, but rather the moisture.
“Once the sun sets, they’ll be wet and chilly, and they’ll begin to shiver,” Coleman explains.
Blanketing Cheat Sheet
When making blanketing decisions, keep this guidance as a reference in mind. The thickness of your horse’s clipped or unclipped coat, whether he’s turned out or stabled, the amount of precipitation or wind, as well as his age and health state, all influence which blanket, if any, you pick.
|Above 50° F||no blanket||no blanket or just a sheet|
|40-50° F||no blanket||sheet or lightweight|
|30-40° F||no blanket, or only a lightweight||mid- to heavyweight|
|20-30° F||no blanket, or a light- to midweight||heavyweight|
|10-20° F||mid- to heavyweight||heavyweight plus a sheet or liner|
|Below 10° F||heavyweight||heavyweight plus a sheet or liner or neck cover|
Will blanketing my horse one winter prevent him from growing a good coat the next?
Nope. Several of our sources concur that this old wives’ tale has no basis in fact. The change in seasons and shorter days lead your horse’s body to begin preparing for the colder months ahead, just as it does every year on the same day.
According to Coleman, “I’ve seen a number of horses who have had blankets on, and when you send them out (the next winter), they morph into Thelwell ponies, who are as happy as they possibly can be.”
My horse is moving to a different climate mid-winter; what do I do?
A horse travelling north will, without a doubt, have a more harder transition than a horse moving south will have. “Horses who do not have winter coats should be covered and hooded, and they should be regularly monitored for shivering, weight loss, and other signs of illness,” advises Waite in the case of a mid-winter transfer north. In particular, “These horses will be extremely vulnerable to cold and will require suitable shelter, particularly during their first year.” A blanket with a greater insulation value is recommended for travelers who will be traveling to colder climates, according to Coleman.
” “You might need to lower the insulation value or remove the blanket entirely,” or perhaps body clip him if he’s getting too hot to handle.
“Give them a year, and they’ll figure it out if we adjust their hair coat development.” They have a natural aptitude for hair growth on a biological level.”
Does a foal born in winter need a blanket?
Whether or whether a February foal requires a blanket is determined on his surroundings. For example, Coleman advises against rushing out to get a blanket for the newborn foal, who should be kept in a well-bedded stable shielded from the wind. “If they are in a warm barn, they may not require a blanket, but more often than not, foals born in the winter may benefit from blankets in order to keep their body heat,” adds Waite. “If they are in a heated barn, they may not require a blanket.” Horses born in the winter in northern countries are normally kept indoors and turned out for brief periods of time, usually covered with a blanket,” explains the author.
Does my senior horse need a blanket?
Some of the physiological changes that horses go through as they age can lead some horseowners to cover their animals. Many people no longer have the muscular mass and fat storage that they had in their prime, and as a result, their body condition score declines. Coleman recommends blanketing older horses that have scores lower than 5, particularly to keep them protected from the elements, such as the wind. His explanation: “Those horses who are a bit slimmer are going to grow a significantly different hair coat.” “It’ll be lengthier and a touch rougher, but it won’t be much thicker,” says the author.
How do I prevent those ugly rub marks?
Purchase a blanket that is the proper size! Measure your horse according to the instructions on the preceding page to check that his blanket fits properly and make any necessary alterations. As Waite points out, “blanket liners and shoulder protectors will also aid in preventing this problem.” It should be simple to slip your hand beneath the blanket and up your shoulder. ” “If it pinches or is too tight in here or any other region, friction may result.”
According to what has been discovered, blanketing involves a significant amount of responsibility. As Waite explains, “it’s not as simple as just blanketing your horses and having them go free.” The blankets must be kept dry at all times, and they must be changed when they become damp. They must also be checked on a daily basis. “We throw blankets on, don’t check to see if they fit properly, don’t check to see if they’re keeping dry, and then we wonder why they don’t function,” Coleman continues.
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When To Blanket Your Horse
a senior citizen Winter is on its way back to town, and it’s time to start making preparations for the next season around the barn. One of the most important decisions you will have to make before winter is whether or not you will cover your horse. There are several advantages and disadvantages of utilizing a blanket throughout the winter, and it is critical to consider them all before the season begins. Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Blanket:
- A nice quality horse blanket can cost a big amount, therefore you’ll save money by purchasing one. It’s especially important if you need more than one attribute, such as being rainproof and able to keep your horse warm at the same time. Nobody wants to throw away a horse blanket because it has a rip or a tear in it, yet horse blankets are so expensive that nobody wants to throw them away when they do. Despite the fact that mending costs less than repurchasing, it is still an expensive endeavor. There were no injuries- When a covered horse is let out into pasture, there is the possibility of an injury. Occasionally, horses will get their blankets tangled up in fences or trees or other items. The risk of a horse overheating when there is a rapid jump in temperature is reduced if you are in close proximity to your horses when they are covered.
Reasons to use a blanket include:
- Having your horse’s winter coat trimmed (especially show horses) means that your horse will not have the insulating layers that a horse with a natural winter coat has. Generally speaking, a horse with a trimmed coat will require a blanket throughout the winter months
- However, this is not always the case. Horses in their golden years- Older horses have a tougher difficulty keeping warm than younger horses. Horses who are difficult to keep- Some horses, regardless of their age, have a difficult time maintaining their weight. A horse that is underweight, a horse that experiences recurrent weight loss spells, or a horse that is easily stressed will almost certainly require blanketing. Horses need blanketing when it is wet and cold, and environmental variables are the most important component in determining whether or not they do. In the event that you find yourself in a damp and cold environment, it is likely that you may need to blanket yourself. Shelter- A healthy horse with sufficient shelter will, in most cases, be able to create its own heat. The use of blankets, on the other hand, is an alternative if you do not have enough space to shelter your horses.
Every circumstance, horse, and habitat is unique, and it is critical to consider each horse on an individual basis while determining whether or not to blanket him. If you do decide to blanket your pet, here are some suggestions to make the procedure easier.
- It’s critical that you only use a blanket on a clean, dry horse
- Otherwise, it might cause injury. Make certain that you are using the suitable blanket for the appropriate application. For example, a turned out horse necessitates the purchase of a turnout blanket. Turnout blankets are made of a water-resistant material. It is possible for a horse that is outside and exposed to the elements to become saturated with water, which in turn causes the horse to become chilly
- Nevertheless, it is not recommended. You should make certain that the blanket you are using is of appropriate weight for the temperatures your horse will be exposed to. If the temperature outdoors is 40-50 degrees, your horse will most likely be happy with a lightweight blanket on. In temperatures as low as 10 below zero, a heavyweight blanket will be of the most help to a horse standing still.
When to blanket your horse depends on several factors, including the horse’s coat, age, weight, and capacity to maintain its own body temperature. Horse owners have their own preferences, and they have every right to express those choices to their fellow horse owners. There is no such thing as a good or incorrect option; rather, there is just the decision that is most beneficial to the horse. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any more information on winter preparation. Topics:Blanketing
Blanketing Horses: Do’s and Don’ts
When it comes to horse owners and caretakers, blanketing may be a contentious subject. Some individuals are enthusiastic about blanketing their horses in the winter, while others are the polar opposite: obstinate in their refusal to blanket their horses in the winter. Consequently, the debate remains as to whether horses should be covered when the weather becomes cold. Thermoneutral Zone is a zone of equilibrium temperature. It is defined as a range of temperatures in the environment in which a standard healthy adult (in this case, a human being who is not wearing clothes, standing upright and in still air) can maintain normal body temperature without needing to expend additional energy above his or her normal basal metabolic rate (BMR).
- Because different people have different metabolic rates, the TNZ for some people is lower than for others.
- TNZ is measured in degrees Fahrenheit.
- The lower critical temperature (LCT) and the upper critical temperature (UCT) are two further temperature calculations to keep in mind while working with temperatures (UCT).
- Warm-blooded animals can keep their body temperature higher than the temperature of their surroundings by controlling their metabolic processes.
- Metabolism is responsible for the production of body heat.
- Because of the extra heat generated by muscle contractions and increased circulation, humans and horses become hot and sweat when they exercise (whereas other animals such as cattle, dogs, and birds pant instead of sweating).
- When it comes to cold weather, on the other hand, the body must make sure that it can minimize the loss of heat in order to maintain its core body temperature.
When this insulation is inadequate to keep the body temperature stable, they may resort to a variety of methods to generate additional heat or reduce heat loss, such as those described below: Shivering is characterized by rapid muscular contractions that boost metabolism, causing it to generate more heat.
- Digestion: The digestion of ingested nutrients results in the production of body heat in a horse.
- Therefore, it is critical to provide horses with high-quality hay in large amounts throughout the colder months to keep them warm.
- As a result of this, the coat will have a greater insulating effect since more air will be allowed to circulate between the hairs.
- Vasoconstriction is the narrowing of the blood vessels in the limbs and other extremities (such as the muzzle and ears), which helps to reduce heat loss.
- This will lower the amount of heat lost by expired breath.
- So, how do you evaluate whether or not your horse will benefit from being covered this winter to keep warm?
Draft breeds, some Warmblood breeds, some ponies, and other horses with this phenotype, for example, are more adapted to cold weather than horses with lighter weights, thicker bones, compact limbs, long hair (feathers on fetlocks), thick skin (which prevents heat loss from blood circulation), and subcutaneous fat (such as draft breeds, some Warmblood breeds, some ponies, and other horses with this phenotype).
Equines that have lighter bones, longer limbs, leaner muscles, thinner skin, silky hair coat, and clearly visible blood vessels under the skin (light breeds, Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, Arabians, and other similar breeds) are more easily adapted to warmer climates, and they may also be more easily adapted to colder climates as well.
- Blankets may be extremely vital, and in some cases, lifesaving, for horses.
- Thin horses, immunocompromised horses, geriatric horses, horses that do not grow a thick haircoat, and horses that are kept outside 24/7 with no access to shelter should all be blanketed.
- It is recommended that clipped horses be covered if the weather turns cold, even if they are in a barn.
- Equine athletes that are experiencing cold weather may often cluster together or be hesitant to move from their covered area if they are outside, or they may refuse to leave their stables if they are indoors.
- Not putting on a blanket in December and removing it in April is not an acceptable practice.
- For example, if the temperature is 20 degrees Fahrenheit but it is sunny and not windy on one of those beautiful winter days, the horse may not require a blanket to keep warm.
Some of the objections we hear from those who are staunchly opposed to blanketing are mentioned below, along with our counterarguments:
- Argument: Horses in the wild are OK in winter conditions if they are not covered. Horses who are unable to withstand the cold will not live, according to the counterargument Argument: You’re taking away what Mother Nature has supplied the horse, which is the following: Having the capacity to remain warm when wearing a long hair coat As an alternative, pastured horses with access to shelter that shields them from wind and precipitation may not require a large number of blankets to keep them comfortable
- However, it is acceptable for horses with no access to shelter that have some form of protection against the worst winter weather to have some form of protection. Do the majority of domestic horses make it through the winter without a blanket? Indeed, but they may lose weight in the process, and it may take a long time in the spring for them to acquire enough weight to maintain an acceptable BCS
- Argument: It’s raining and I don’t have time to wait for my horse to dry, so I’m not blanketing him. Counterargument: Although it is preferable to let the horse to dry before putting on a blanket, it is more vital to have the blanket on if the temperature drops after a storm. It is OK to cover a wet horse with a blanket. The blanket will wick away moisture from the horse’s body, and any excess moisture will evaporate as a result. After a few hours, you may check on the horse and discover that he is completely dry under the blanket. The practice of blanketing a wet horse increases the likelihood of rain rot development, but it is preferable to dealing with rain rot later than dealing with a colicky horse that has become too cold
- Argument: Putting a blanket on an animal with a thick hair coat weighs the hair down, reducing its ability to fluff up and trap air in between the hairs, resulting in the horse becoming more chilled
- According to the opposing perspective, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that blankets that flatten the hair coat truly make horses cooler. My horse is not a fan of blankets, therefore I have an argument. Counterargument: While there are some horses that do not do well with blankets, the vast majority of horses fare well with them. According to the findings of a Norwegian study, researchers trained horses to communicate preferences by pointing to symbols. The horses were then subjected to a variety of weather conditions, with the horses indicating that they preferred to be covered with a blanket when the weather was wet, windy, or freezing. Horse blankets that are destroyed by the horse are covered by warranties ranging from three years to a lifetime by the manufacturer.
What Kind of Blanket Should I Use and When It is unlikely that your horse will require blanketing if he has a healthy, thick coat, access to shelter, and/or lives in a climate where the temperatures are mild. However, based on the information provided above, if you do decide to blanket your horse, you are not required to purchase every weight available. Blankets are designated according to their weight, which indicates how much fill/insulation they contain, which helps to keep the horse warm.
- Sheets are often devoid of fill, whereas medium-weight blankets typically have between 150 and 225 grams of fill, and heavyweight blankets typically contain between 250 and 400 grams of fill, according to the manufacturer.
- As a general rule, a waterproof turnout sheet (without fill) will provide protection from wind and rain, but will not provide excessive warmth if the temperature is expected to be below the mid-30s.
- If you have only one option for a blanket, invest in a turnout medium weight, which can be used from the mid-40s (and rainy) all the way down to the teen temperatures.
- Keeping track of the weather and making a daily commitment to changing blankets to ensure your horse is comfortable in what he’s wearing are both important aspects of blanketing your horse.
- If he’s shivering, cover him up with some weatherproof clothing.
- Getting the Right Fit is Critical.
- A well fitted blanket will not bind around the horse’s neck, preventing him from laying his head down or utilizing his shoulder entirely.
- There are many various cuts and patterns of blankets, and some manufacturers even offer blankets for distinct body types, such as high withered thoroughbreds with narrower chests and low withered quarter horses with larger chests.
- Some blankets (usually turnouts) feature a tail flap, whilst others (typically blankets) do not (generally breed specific for Saddlebreds, or stable blankets).
Despite the fact that various manufacturers utilize varying sizes, the method by which a horse is measured remains the same. You will need a helping hand and a cotton measuring tape to ensure that you get the most precise measurement possible (Figure 1).
- Make sure that your horse is standing correctly on a level surface. Ensure that your companion is seated at the horse’s head and that he is holding his cloth measuring tape in the center of his chest. Wrap the tape around one side of his torso and around the broadest section of his haunches
- Then repeat the process on the other side of his body. Make a note of the distance between where you expect his blanket to finish and where it begins. The smallest of the two blanket sizes should be chosen if the measurement is in between.
Conclusion If your horse is old, underweight, clipped, or immunocompromised, you may want to consider blanketing him. Keeping an eye on the weather will let you to evaluate whether the blanket you have on him is acceptable for the circumstances to which he is exposed. Always make sure that the belly straps are tight against the horse’s body; hanging straps are a threat to the horse’s legs because they can become entangled as the animal lies down and gets up in the saddle. This has the potential to be disastrous.
- Remember to check under the blanket on a regular basis to assess the health of the skin and the overall condition of the horse’s body.
- Horses’ thermoneutral zone and crucial temperatures are discussed in detail.
- 23, No.
- Buvik) thank G.H.M.
- Be for their contributions to this work.
- Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol.
- 1, pp.
- Authors: Fernando Camargo (Animal and Food Sciences), Sarah Coleman (New Vocations), and other contributors Program for the Adoption of Racehorses Version in PDF format that can be printed
Does My Horse Need A Blanket?: Debunking the 5 Biggest Myths About Blanketing Horses — Dr. Barbara Parks, PT, DPT, CERP: The Horse PT
The subject of when to blanket horses comes up every year around this time, and I get a lot of responses. Social media is awash with messages debating the issue in one direction or the other. Because your horse isn’t covered, a buddy at the barn accuses you of being a horrible horse parent or horse mom or dad. Someone else claims that blankets are unnatural and that horses should never be allowed to wear them. But, if I’m chilly, it’s safe to assume that my horse is as well. right? How are we expected to know what to do when there are so many strong ideas on both sides of the political spectrum?
Given the vast amount of misinformation that exists about horses, particularly regarding blanketing, I’ve decided to debunk 5 of the most common myths about blanketing horses in order to hopefully provide you with a little more clarity in order to help you make the best decision for you and your horse this winter.
Myth1: Horses need blankets to stay warm in the winter.
Reality: Most horses do not use blankets to keep warm, even in the most freezing of conditions. Some horses, on the other hand, are utterly reliant on a blanket to keep warm. Horses who are elderly, ill, wounded, or underweight are far more likely to require the additional insulation that a blanket offers. Horses that have had their hair clipped will also require blankets to compensate for the hair that has been gone. A horse that has just been imported from a warmer region may not be able to grow a thick enough coat and may require a blanket to keep warm.
If your horse has access to shelter and free choice hay, is eating and drinking properly, and is not shivering, it is unlikely that you will need to cover that horse during the colder winter months.
Myth2: If you’re cold, then your horse is cold.
Reality: Nothing could be further from the truth in this case. Horses develop thick winter coats to help them stay warm and comfortable throughout the chilly winter months. Horses, on the other hand, may get chilly! So, how do you figure it out? The ears, armpits, and area around the udder/sheath area of the horse are all places where some individuals will feel the horse to see if it is warm or cold. This is a useful strategy, but it is not without its flaws. When your hands are already chilly, a frigid horse may seem warm to you at other times as well.
- Generally speaking, if the horse is standing with his tail tightly clasped and his abdominal muscles appear “sucked up,” he is most certainly chilled.
- Checking the horse’s vitals is another approach to determine whether or not he is chilly.
- Knowing what “normal” looks like for your horse is critical, which is why checking vital signs on a regular basis throughout the year is a good practice.
- If you have any reason to believe that your horse has acquired hypothermia, contact your veterinarian immediately!
Myth3: It’s better to throw the blanket on just in case – even if my horse might not really need it.
Reality: Providing a horse with an excessive amount of blanket that he does not require may be just as terrible as providing him with insufficient blanket. The blanketing of a horse is unnecessary since it prevents him from developing a thick winter coat, which makes it more difficult for him to cope with colder weather. If a horse begins to sweat under his blanket and the moisture is unable to drain, he may become significantly cooler than he would have been if the blanket had not been used at all.
Myth4: My horse needs a blanket if its snowing.
Horses really perform fairly well in the snow, despite popular belief. In the cold, their coats stand up on edge, creating an insulating barrier between their skin and the outer world. Snow will frequently accumulate on top of the horse’s mane and tail, trapping air between the horse and the snow and keeping the horse warm. Instead, when it is chilly and wet, horses are more likely to require additional blanketing to keep warm. Light rain will drain away from the surface in the same way as snow does.
When using blankets that are not waterproof, proceed with caution!
Myth5: If I blanket my horse, he won’t grow a winter coat
Actuality: He will, in fact, continue to grow a winter coat, but it will not be quite as long or thick as it would have been without the blanketing. Blanketing the horse will help compress the hairs, rather than letting them to stand up on end, which is beneficial for insulating purposes. It is possible that if the blanket is not sufficiently thick, the horse will become much colder. It can also create the idea that the horse has less of a winter coat than he actually has by making him appear to have less.
If you’re still not sure whether or not you should blanket your horse, you may use this fantastic flowsheet from Auburn University to assist you in making your selection. Wishing you all the best this winter and staying warm out there!
Answering the age old question, “To blanket or not to blanket?”
Since the beginning of time, there has been a heated debate about this. To be fair, it may sound a little theatrical, but if you ask three different horse owners the same question, you are likely to hear four different replies. In order to assist you in determining what is ideal for your horse’s requirements, we searched high and low and discovered this excellent article with several QAs. To Blanket or Not to Blanket? That is the question. A variety of determining criteria must be taken into account when picking which blanket is best for your horse.
- When purchasing a blanket for your horse, it is important to evaluate the sort of blanket that will be most appropriate for the weather conditions in which your horse will be riding.
- An alternative with a stable sheet: most manufacturers provide a breathable version made of cotton, nylon, or a poly-blend that is not intended for turnout.
- In addition, during horse show days, it is beneficial to maintain your horse as clean as possible in between competitions.
- These blankets are breathable, however they are not suitable for use in the turnout.
- In addition, a cotton blend and/or wool cooler can be kept in the stable to help your horse warm up and cool down on chilly days.
- What your horse should have at home for turnout includes the following:
- A turnout sheet: This is a waterproof and heavy-duty sheet that does not include any filling and is used on days when you want to keep your horse dry. It is possible for the outer layer to have varying degrees of toughness (denier), with a higher denier indicating more durability. If you have a horse that likes to play hard, you will want to choose a blanket with a higher denier rating. A mid-weight turnout blanket: This blanket has around 200 grams of fill in it and is made of polyester. It is used in warmer climates or on clipped horses. A heavy weight turnout blanket is one that has at least 300 grams of fill weight. This is a good alternative for really chilly days.
When traveling, don’t forget to include a variety of linens and blankets in your trailer to keep everyone comfortable. It is vital to keep your horse as comfortable as possible because the weather might change at any time without warning. Make sure to check out our blankets and sheets collection at:Blankets/Sheets. If you want to blanket your horse, here is a useful temperature guide:
|Average Temp (F)||Average Winter Coat||Clipped Horse|
|60||Nothing||Nothing or light sheet if rain/wind|
|30||Light to medium turnout||Medium with neck cover|
|20||Medium w/ high neck||Heavy with neck cover|
|10||Medium/heavy with neck||Heavy with neck/double blanket|
|Below 0||Heavy with neck||Double blanket with neck cover|
Horse Blanketing 101 – Schneider’s Learning Center
Finding the right blanket for your horse may be a difficult task. There are a plethora of brands, styles, weights, and materials to choose from. How can you determine which denier is the most effective? Is it possible to determine which technique will work best for your horse without massaging their shoulders or withers?
Over the course of more than seven decades, Schneiders Saddlery has outfitted horses and riders with their knowledge and high-quality products. With a large assortment of blankets, choosing the correct clothing for your horse is a snap!
When to Blanket Your Horse
The blanketing of your horse is a personal choice for each horse owner, as each horse is unique in his or her needs. Other horses may not require a blanket, and some owners want to allow their horses to be as natural as possible in their care. Horse blankets, on the other hand, are extremely useful for horses who compete year-round and need to maintain show-ring ready coats, horses who are body clipped, and horses who are kept in barns that do not provide adequate shelter from the weather during turnout.
- All blankets are available in a range of weights, which refer to the quantity of fill material that has been utilized as insulation.
- Perhaps you have a lightweight blanket with little substance for the summer and a larger comforter for the winter with a lot of fluff filling inside for the winter.
- A medium weight, sometimes known as a mid-weight, blanket contains between 200 and 300 grams of fill, whereas a heavy weight blanket has more than 380 grams of fill.
- This will keep your horse dry and toasty at the same time.
- When the temperature ranges between 35°F and 50°F for a clipped horse, or 30°F and 45°F for a full coat, a mid-weight (about 200–300 grams) is a decent choice for bedding.
- For assistance in determining the appropriate blanket weight for your horse, use the handy chart below.
Stable Blankets vs. Turnout Blankets
We have divided our blankets into two main categories: stable blankets and turnout blankets, as you may have noticed. A stable blanket is exactly what it sounds like: a blanket that is intended for use in the barn and in your horse’s stall. Stable blankets do not provide waterproof protection in the outer layer and are not intended to be worn outside in any weather. Because they lack the additional benefits of a turnout blanket but still keep your horse warm and clean, stable blankets can help your horse retain a show-ring ready coat during the winter months.
Also included will be a more robust cloth, which will be able to withstand rough terrain when your horse rolls as well as the occasional grab from a playmate’s teeth when necessary.
They also have a longer drop, or length, on the sides of the horse’s blanket, as well as reflective fabric features to help make your horse more visible in the dark if they are turned out during the day or evening.
Any perspiration or moisture produced beneath the blanket should be released through the blanket into the surrounding air as the horse maintains his body temperature.
See what you can find out about the cutting-edge technical textiles that Schneiders uses in its blankets to deliver improved moisture wicking and odor control.
How to Measure a Horse for a Blanket
The most precise and straightforward method of determining the blanket size of your horse is to take a measurement along the side of their body, from chest to tail. To begin, position the horse squarely on a level surface. From the middle of the breast all the way back to the extreme border of the tail, take your measurements. Don’t forget to take measurements around the broadest area of their shoulder and hindquarters. Your horse’s height is determined by the number of inches measured in this manner.
How to Choose the Right Blanket to Fit Your Horse
Blankets are available in a variety of sizes and forms, much like horses. In addition, a well-fitting blanket will keep your horse warm, dry, comfortable, and free of rubs and scratches. The nicest thing about a blanket that fits properly is that it stays in place and in good form since your horse prefers to wear it rather than aggressively attempting to remove it from his or her body. With five different blanket fits, Schneiders is able to accommodate the widest possible variety of horses of all types and sizes – from Miniature horses and ponies to Large horses and draft horses.
- In order to minimize friction, there is no seam at the withers.
- The Contour collar Euro Fit blankets have a similar design to the Euro line, in that they totally embrace the shoulders and withers, but they do not have the additional features of the Euro line, such as combination neck coverings or a high neck design.
- As with our other Euro Fit blankets, the VTEK® has a similar neck opening and wither area that is raised and shaped to relieve pressure.
- It is especially beneficial for horses with a prominent wither since it eliminates pressure points and friction on the withers.
- These blankets have a big neck opening and a sloping neck line, which allows them to cover the shoulders and withers all the way up to the beginning of the mane while leaving the mane exposed.
- The Cutback style is intended for Friesians, Saddlebreds, Tennessee Walkers, and certain Arabians, among other breeds.
With a large neck opening and a sloped neck line, the cut back area along the withers is ideal for horses with an upright head carriage.
Which Level of Durability Do I Need?
The amount of blanket durability you require is determined by the type of the horse and the environment in which the blanket will be utilized. The “denier” of a blanket refers to the durability of the fabric used on the outer layer of the blanket, the layer most prone to wear and tear whether it be from your own horse, turnout companions, or simply general use. Denier is an excellent indicator of how durable a blanket will be, as the greater the denier of a blanket is, in general, the more durable the fabric will be.
- ARMORFlex® Warrior waterproofing is 15 times greater than competitive brands, and it comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can be confident in complete protection.
- If your horse is turned out in a herd yet plays regularly, our ARMORFlex® Challenger range is sturdy enough for your needs.
- Our StormShield® Contour collar Extreme line, which is protected by a 2-year guarantee, will likewise perform admirably in this circumstance; alternatively, our Dura-Tech® Viking Extreme line will perform admirably but will not be covered by a 2-year warranty.
- These blankets come with a one-year warranty and are built to last a long time with proper care.
- Because these blankets are used when the horse is alone in their stall, the durability of Stable Blankets is solely dependent on the personality of the horse in question.
- A more robust outer layer is used in the construction of our range of Stable Blankets, and it is guaranteed by our lifetime warranty.
- Neck Cover: A removable neck cover can provide additional protection from the elements during outdoor activities. A total of four carabiner clips are used to connect our turnout neck coverings. Front Closure: Closed Front blankets are designed to be slipped over the horse’s head
- Open Front blankets are more adaptable and are available in two styles: halter and halterless. Alternatively, Double Buckle has two basic buckles, and Double Snap has buckled adjustments with quick on-off snaps. D-Rings: The D-rings around the neck of our blankets are designed to be used in conjunction with the blanket’s matching neck cover. In order to avoid friction, the shoulder gusset should allow for greater flexibility of movement for the shoulder. Make your blanket’s neck opening adjustable to accommodate any width horse with the Adjusta-Fit® system. While our blankets’ drops are rated according to the size blanket, our blanket may be worn over a variety of drop lengths to meet your horse’s form. Wrapping the blanket over your belly provides additional warmth and coverage, while our Surcingle fastening holds the blanket in place more securely. Tail Cover: The tail covers on our turnout blankets provide additional protection from the wind and rain at the back of the blanket and are either stitched on or removable.
How to Safely put on and take off a Horse Blanket
If your horse escapes or spooks while you are dressing him, a half-fastened blanket is less likely to cause harm if the front of the blanket is fastened. This is because horses generally bolt forward, and the front closure will prevent the blanket from flapping up and gathering in front of the horse’s hind legs, further scaring the horse by acting as a bucking strap, resulting in further injury. To ensure the safety of your horse blanket, it is always best to tighten all of the fasteners from front to back.
- Blankets are offered in two different front designs: closed front and open front.
- When clothing a horse with a closed front blanket, the neck-hole must be slid over the horse’s head, making them ideal for calm horses who are not too tall.
- Blankets with an open front include a series of buckles or clips at the chest that may be opened to allow dressing.
- Depending on the model, Schneiders blankets may be ordered with either bellyband closures for added warmth or surcingle straps to prevent the blanket from twisting when the horse rolls or plays in turnout.
- Leg straps are also included in most blankets to prevent the blanket from blowing around on windy days and to assist in keeping the blanket in place while the horse is playing or rolling around in it.
Leg straps should be hooked around each leg but linked via each other between the rear legs, and they should be adjusted so that they are not dangling in such a way that the horse may catch a leg in the strap and become entangled.
How to wash or repair your Horse Blankets
Properly care for your blankets can assist in extending the life of the blanket, keeping your horse clean and comfortable, and allowing your waterproof blankets to continue to protect your horse from the elements. The fact that turnout blankets are coated with waterproofing, which may be peeled from the fabric if the blankets are cleaned wrongly, makes it critical that you follow the care recommendations that came with your blanket. When it comes to washing blankets, there are numerous options.
Specifically intended to be effective on even the hardest soil without leaving any residue that might irritate your horse’s delicate skin, the high strength solution is effective on even the heaviest soil.
It does so without affecting the protective waterproof coating on the blankets’ surface.
Alternatively, we provide a blanket cleaning service, in which soiled blankets may be dropped off at our shop in Chagrin Falls, OH and then picked up once they have been thoroughly cleaned.
If you reside somewhere other than Northeast Ohio, look for a blanket cleaning service in your region to save money.