At what temperature should I blanket my horse?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Girly3323 3 years, 6 months ago.

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  • Girly3323 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 2

    This is my first fall/winter to have my horse at home, and I’m not sure when to start blanketing him. He is a 12 year old Thoroughbred, and he is NOT clipped. He doesn’t grow a very furry winter coat either, and he’s on pasture full time. I have a no-fill turnout for him & a medium (200g fill) turnout as well.
    Our nights here are around 35 degrees right now. Should I use the lightweight sheet at night?
    How cold does it have to be for him to need his medium turnout?

    stockshowkid’97 stockshowkid'97
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 31

    Does your horse have a run in shelter in his paddock, or is he kept in a stall during the night? If he’s kept in a stall I’d maybe use the lightweight since he’s inside and it’s a bit warmer than being outside. If he’s kept in his paddock during the night I’d maybe use the medium blanket. My girl gets a good fur coat in the winter, and I only blanket her when it’s cold, windy and raining, or unless I see her shivering in her paddock. She also has a run in shed in her paddock. So if I were you, I’d maybe use the medium blanket when he’s outside and the lightweight when he’s inside. Also feeding hay keeps the fire burning so to speak, so providing a flake or 2 extra hay to munch during the night will also keep him warm. Hope this helps 🙂

    ~If you come at it having only 15 minuets it will take all day... If you come at it having all day it will take you 15 minuets~

    jennifer_todd
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    I also am a first time winter owner and at my old barn all the horses came in at night. At my new place, my horse has a run in and a stall (but she is only inside when we have inclimate weather). I too was unsure about blanketing and my trainer/barn owner said that she recommends blanketing when the weather gets consistently lower than 40 degrees. I have a lightweight and a heavyweight but I am planning to mostly use the lightweight turnout sheet unless we have a very cold winter. I live in the northeast so our weather varies QUITE a bit, I just wanted to be sure I had all the bases covered! 🙂 good luck!!

    stockshowkid’97 stockshowkid'97
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 31

    I was looking through my recent SmartPak magazine and I found a temperature guide that will help you to know at what temperature to blanket your horses and what type of blanket. Here it is and I hope it helps 🙂

    Clipped Horse
    50* Light Fill(0-100g)
    40* Medium Fill (150-250g)
    30* Heavy Fill (300-400g)

    Unclipped Horse
    40* Light Fill (0-100g)
    30* Medium Fill (150-250g)
    20* Heavy Fill (300-400g)

    This helped me a bunch so I hope it helps y’all 🙂

    ~If you come at it having only 15 minuets it will take all day... If you come at it having all day it will take you 15 minuets~

    NinaJD NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    I don’t blanket at all.
    either does my friend who has a TB, who doesn’t get a thick coat. It’s been in the 30’s here too. We just toss out extra hay when it’s going to be colder out.
    So long as they have a run in, plenty of hay and do get a winter coat, you don’t have to blanket.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    ally.shy
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 6

    A horses winter coat no matter how fluffy will protect them from straight ‘cold’ weather with the correct amount of food and water. It’s when you add in the wind and moisture that horses don’t have much defense against. I live in ND and we spend a lot of time in the below zero range. A few years ago I only blanketed my gelding when bad weather was coming or the windchill was well below zero, otherwise I would just make sure his hay was in his run in shelter and he was perfectly content. Last year and this year so far he has needed much more blanketing. He will be turning 21 this Feb and he starting to show his age when it comes to keeping himself warm. He has had a turnout sheet on since the temps dropped below 50* and now has his medium weight on while our temps are in the 20s. The next step will be his 300g once we get closer to zero or below zero windchill days. He has a schneiders extra heavy weight with a belly band and fleece liner he got last year for those icky icky nights. Basically my point is.. Age plays a big role. We have some horses at my barn who are on 24/7 turnout and are never blanketed, even when it’s 40 below and icky out. They just get their hay in their shelter and they are as happy as can be. Your horse will let you know how he feels. If he seems content with a little extra hay and getting out of the wind rather than a blanket then that’s great! Blanketing is a great option but once you put that blanket on for an extended period of time, you can ruin some of his natural defense against cold so that means you are blanketing all winter and into spring.

    nicci_larson
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    A sheet will stop his natural ability to stay warm more than it will keep him warm so I would avoid those. I live in TX and it doesn’t get very cold so we blanket when it’s pretty warm; in the 30s or in the 40s if it’s raining. I prefer a med weight waterproof turnout. Just be sure you are consistent. For example, if you blanket at 42 tonight, you need to blanket him every time it gets that cold. Also be sure you can unblanket before it gets too warm, some horses can colic from the cold to hot temp change.

    equusparvus equusparvus
    Topics Started: 14Replies Posted: 12

    I don’t own a horse, but I have read plenty and heard plenty about blanketing. I’ve been told that unless its wet or windy and under 30 or 40 degrees, you do not need to blanket an unclipped horse.

    Everclear Everclear
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 6

    Very good point stockshowkid’97 on the differences for clipped and unclipped horses.

    Personally I’ve found this combination very effective in the cold winter nights.

    Clipped horse
    Baker sheet
    Baker blanket
    Rambo with medium fill
    Turn out sheet on top

    *under 20 then heavy rambo over medium and under T/O sheet

    Unclipped Horse
    Baker sheet
    Baker blanket
    *under 20 then Medium rambo over blanket

    This combination really locks in the heat but still breaths enough to keep them from sweating.

    Night Time
    I think it is also wise to consider how warm the barn becomes when all the doors/windows are locked up tight at night. (it can really heat up in there if you have 20+ horses in the barn) Furthermore, if your horses get additional hay at night check this will keep them warm as well (chewing and digesting).

    Day Time
    During the day there are a lot of factors to consider (wind, moisture, open windows/doors, sun shinning in the windows/sky lights, number of horses in the barn making heat, did this one just work (ride, treadmill, lunge?) ect. Clipped or unclipped.. how thick is the unclipped hair. Does he look like a bear or did the heating lamps keep the coat from growing in full?

    What works for me…
    I find sliding my ungloved hand on the horses shoulder can help me determine to take a layer off or add one.

    To prevent blanket rubs we constantly reset blankets and pull them forward (beware it may get you a bit in the a$$ by a sensitive few). Temperature changes so much throughout a day. Its really important to go through the barn adjusting, pulling off or adding layers multiple times a day.

    OCD Blanket Checking & Adjusting Confession:
    First thing in the AM
    Before and after turnout
    After riding
    One hour after riding
    Afternoon
    Night check – usually done my other, but they text me the temp inside the barn and send a picture of the horse’s layers of blankets.

    Hope this helps 🙂

    RebelRider
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I have a 15 year old with a good winter coat. It’s typically doesn’t get much below 30 degrees here. He is kept outside 24/7 in a large field with three other horses, with plenty of hay (round bale in the winter), and a run-in. It’s supposed to be extremely windy here in two days, with a wind-chill of -12. This is highly unusual for this area. Would it be okay to blanket for ONLY that one 36-hour period of time? Or will this mess up their natural ability to stay warm? Any help is appreciated?

    mudassar1
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    horse blankets Whatever has been my own success, it is a slow growth, the result of While hitched in the street, and covered with a blanket, he was frightened by the which tells him that punishment is for resistance, and rewai’d for obedience

    carolyn_williams
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    My horses have a light weight blanket sheet for 50. A fleece for 45, and a heavy duty blanket for anything under 40 degrees. Very spoiled,; but they are my babies,; no mess hair grooming when the summer comes,; are all slick.; do not like the hairy mess come summertime. They also like the attention every night and day, putting on and removing the blanket.; ps they also have a raincoat blanket I use during the cold wet nights! I spend more time in the stables than the main living house; we built an apartment where I spend all day in the stables, and cook the people dinners/meals,; also cook dog food and the cats food; everyone is fat, warm, and very happy… Montgomery Stables, Montgomery, Texas..<3

    maximomd
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    I agree with everyone here I live in Tennessee my horse is at home with me we had our first really bad winter here Y give mine extra hay when it starts to drop below 30 and blanket him especially when it goes to the negatives the warmer the blanket you have the better. pending on how cold the temp drops hops this helps
    Its really up to you on this but My guy is spoiled rotten I wouldnt stand out there in the cold why should they? They shiver too, if its a rain mix like we are having today hes got his blanket on him but again hes spoiled

    maximomd
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    I agree with everyone here I live in Tennessee my horse is at home with me we had our first really bad winter here I give mine extra hay when it starts to drop below 30 and blanket him especially when it goes to the negatives the warmer the blanket you have the better. pending on how cold the temp drops hope this helps.
    Its really up to you on this but My guy is spoiled rotten I wouldnt stand out there in the cold why should they? They shiver too, if its a rain mix like we are having today hes got his blanket on him but again hes spoiled

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