This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Flea 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • Frosty4 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    With winter approaching I am starting to think about my 2 horses and their blanket needs. They both have a sheet and a medium weight turnout. My previous horse was a very healthy TB who was in great shape and grew a thick fluffy coat, so I didn’t worry about her too much unless it got super cold/stormy. My two current horses are a bit different. Both horses are on turnout 24 7 and have round bails then are fed morning and night in addition to that. They do have a run in, but don’t always use it. Barn is on a hill and it is almost always windy coming off of the lake (Finger Lakes area NY). Advice for both or one, thanks!

    Horse #1 – 6 y/o TB gelding Mel
    We are working on getting his weight up (he came to us early spring with worms, rain rot, and bad hooves) He has a clean bill of health now I have started under saddle training this fall – 2-3x days of work for 30-45min. Mel has a decent coat and seemed fine outside until we had nights around 30 and days in the low 40s. He has a sheet on now. What temp would you suggest using the medium weight? It is a Rambo Wug, which seems to fit him well. I get worried with windy/rain/wet snow that I see coming up in the forecast. (Mel maybe going inside nights starting in Dec. I am trying to work this out with my trainer according to space and what I can afford – would be much less concerned if and when this happens). I dont want to over blanket him as I am responsible for
    blanketing and cannot always get to the barn before/after work.

    Horse #2 – Maggie 23 y/o QH
    Maggie is a healthy lady and has a good coat, but we have noticed she isn’t as stocky as she use to be. I know as horses age it can be harder for them to regulate temperature and not use all their fuel on staying warm. Maggie still runs and plays just fine and just had a sheet put on his week when we had cold rain. As with Mel I cannot always get to the barn to blanket so I would rather under blanket than over blanket (she can always stand by a friend and is able to go in the run in shed). She is worked 2-3x a week for 20-40 min mostly flat work and pleasure riding. Occasionally light jumping and barrels (which she loves). I don’t want her to loose weight because she is having issues staying warm. What temp/conditions would people suggest using the medium weight?


    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I would suggest getting the Smartpak Blanketing app. It will tell you exactly what your horses need to be wearing in your area.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    If the horses stay dry, they will tend to stay warmer. Think of a human falling through the ice into cold water – – loss of body heat will kill faster than drowning. When you mention sheets, I am assuming you are referring to waterproof T/O sheets? You might also consider adding neck covers if the horses are living out 24/7. Midweight T/O’s work well in most climates, and if the temperatures drop, a blanket liner can turn a mid-weight T/O into the equivalent of a heavy weight. I personally don’t like the nylon blanket liners – – they tend to slid to one side or the other and My fabric of choice for liners is polar fleece, and if it gets really cold in winter, a double-layered polar fleece liner. Polar fleece has the ability to wick water, so the blanket liner can also be used as a cooler when it is not needed as a blanket liner. Just make sure the horse is dry before putting on a polar fleece liner. If used as a cooler, just hang it to dry, and it will be ready to go again. Polar fleece can be run through a washer and tossed in the dryer to dry, another advantage. I also don’t like using one set of leg straps for both the liner and the T/O. Doing so pretty much guarantees that if one slips to the side, it will take the other with it. It can be helpful to use black leg straps for either the liner or the T/O, and colored leg straps for the other blanket. Very few barns have great lighting, so make sure the colored set is. clearly recognizable in poor lighting by using a lighter color such as gray or tan for the second set. This way, you will know which layer of blankets you are detaching.

    If you sew at all, polar fleece blanket liners are easy to make, just use a sheet pattern.

    Frosty4 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    I have used the blanket app before and wasn’t happy with the suggestions. It always seemed to want me to over blanket. It doesn’t take into account things like coat thickness or length or the overall health of the horse.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Frosty – that is interesting. I don’t have apps, because I have a stupid phone. I agree with G&S, and definitely dry is more important than weight of the blanket. If you are dealing with a lot of snow (we rarely have any here), I would also consider putting hay in the run in, so they need not stand out in cold, wet and wind to eat it.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I always layer blankets. I have 1200 denier turnout sheets and then can layer under it depending on the temperature. My thoroughbred is not happy if too warm or too cold and I have an Irish knit anti sweat sheet that she has on under any other blanket so she won’t get hot. then I don’t have to worry if it gets a little warmer than I expected.
    My belgian warmblood gets cold and she has a cotton woven chill chaser under her blankets . its light and then I don’t have to put as much on her. She starts to complain that everything is too heavy if she has more than 3 layers on.
    I find a mid weight under the sheet works pretty well most of the time. if its going below zero then they get the heavy weight on. I find the anti sweat sheet on the TB and the chill chaser on the warmblood really simplifies things.
    They go out every day and they live in the snow belt south of Syracuse NY. They have a run in but never go in it. they are in the barn at night as it is too harsh , always windy and too many coyotes to be out at night

    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 3

    I did layering for a number of years, and when I got my new horse I just had problems with it. No matter what kind of liner (fleece or nylon) I used it would always shift on her. I always used 2 sets of leg straps, and it still shifted so I had to change my blanketing plan this year.

    My mare doesn’t grow a great coat, and it take until December for her to fully get what little she does grow. She lives outside 24/7 unless the weather gets really bad like snowing bad and the temperature is going to drop or something like that. She does have a lean to that she can go into. Anyways during the 40/50 degree weather during the day I use a sheet no fill. 20/30 degree weather I will use a light weight 80 to 100 fill depending on what brand of blanket you use. Teens and single digits I will put on a medium weight usually around 220 fill. And below zero I will put on a heavy weight with a hood. The system that I have in place she seems to stay comfortable.

    I will take into rain/snow and the wind chill (I check weather everyday) If it says its going to be in the low 40s but really windy and rainy I’ll put on the light weight. Same with if it’s the 20s, and the wind chill is bad I’ll put on the medium weight. I am on a self care board, so I’m able to change my blankets more. I hope this helps some.

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