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Old 07-30-2012, 08:56 AM  
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At what temperature do you blanket?

I know it's a little hot to be thinking about this now, but I've been blanket shopping (lot's of sales in the summer, no one is buying blankets!!!).

But just out of curiousity, at what temperature do you blanket?

My horses were always boarded, so they did the blanketing as part of their service. Now that they are home, I am not sure when to do it!

I've been thinking once it hit's below 30? I know many people choose not to blanket, but my horses will still be worked regularly, so I would like to keep a blanket on them.

Any advice?
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:04 AM  
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Well, I don't blanket in the off season, ,even though I still ride. If I haul to an indoor arena, it is not heated, and otherwise I ride outside
However, if you wish to keep a shorter hair coat and blanket, the timing is as much related to day light hours as to temps. In fact, people that actively show when the daylight hours get shorter, have their horses under lights
I don't know the daylight hours in your location, during the various months, but here, when I wished to show into late fall, I would start to blanket in late Aug, regardless of temps
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:23 AM  
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Agree with above, we ride in an indoor heated arena in the winter and the horses get blanketed at least lightly in late August/early September to ensure they don't get too shaggy for showing and indoor riding.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:23 AM  
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I only have one horse that I blanket and that is my 30 y/o mare. She doesn't grow much of a coat (yes I give her a chance to grow it), and she is a hard keeper. For her I have a medium weight water proof/breathable Weatherbeeta Orican. I put it on her if temps are going to be consistently 32F and below. I also have a light rain sheet that gets put on her (with nothing else) if it is going to be cooler (32-40F) and raining/sleeting/snowing.

Those 2 blankets keep her good all winter long here. Our temps rarely *knocks on wood* get down to single digits.

I also don't show or ever ride indoors.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:27 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
I know it's a little hot to be thinking about this now,
but I've been blanket shopping (lot's of sales in the summer,
no one is buying blankets!!!).

But just out of curiousity, at what temperature do you blanket?

My horses were always boarded, so they did the blanketing as part of their service.
Now that they are home, I am not sure when to do it!

I've been thinking once it hit's below 30?
I know many people choose not to blanket, but my horses will still be worked regularly,
so I would like to keep a blanket on them.

Any advice?
First, I would determine my purpose for blanketing, as Smilie said.
As long as horses have a shelter, and PLENTY OF HAY,
they really might only need a water proof, medium fill, 'turn out' rug for extreme conditions.

Horses produce energy, ie. body heat, from the the digestion of long stem fiber.

Conditions that I would blanket in, here in the mid Atlantic region,
would be wet cold conditions, or WINDY and wet cold conditions,
ie. freezing rain, or windy, freezing, wet, conditions.

Of course, I have a 30 year old gelding, Red, who is 'Cushings', with excessive hair in winter,..,
he gets a blanket, as needed, due to age, and his lack of body condition due to age.
But often, he gets too hot under that blanket, so I just go with a rain sheet, no fill.

Red has an entire wardrobe, but he doesn't wear it much anymore.
Zippy tends to appreciate his rain sheet in the wet cold,...,
BUT my boys like to be out in the weather as much as possible.

I find that rain sheets, or water proof turn outs, work great over the normal winter coat.
Plenty of hay is what keeps them warm, the 'turn out sheets' keep them dry.

JMO
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:14 AM  
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Born... to me an awful lot would depend upon your climate, how much riding you actually do during the winter cold months, how much your horses sweat and what and where you ride... outdoor ring, trails, indoor arena- is it heated or not?

Many variables to consider.

So, if you want to keep a sleek coated horse with a minimal coat growth expect to blanket when the night temperatures reach around the 40 degrees steady and the days light is getting shorter... but before you blanket you are using sheets to protect those coats... sheets on when the temperatures are in the mid to upper 50's in the nighttime, usually around the end of August to Labor Day.
Once on unless you have a huge warm-up they stay on and get heavier in protection to stop hair growth. If you have a unusual cold winter you will be layering sheets and blankets and possibly hoods on those horses working to maintain that "look". You also really need a waterproof t/o blanket along with a stable blanket and a couple of sheets and or a rain-sheet if you really want to do it right. You don't want to use your stable blanket at night if your horse was outside running and sweating under that blanket... that now allows for him to get chilled in a damp blanket..not good. If the weather is mild during the day, you can strip a unclipped horse and let the sunshine warm him, if clipped they remain covered with something.

Clipping may be more what you would want.
Unless you are showing, having a fuzzy horse with a trace clip would allow you to cool him out after riding but allow him to be turned out with his heavy turnout blanket to keep those clipped areas warm. His exposed belly, neck, legs would be very hairy but his chest, throat, girth line, loins and saddle area would be sleek from shaving. If you clip you also need a cooler so they don't get a chill as they walk down cool after a ride.

If you just pleasure ride... I used to just leave mine alone as a kid. Mother Nature took care of how heavy the coat was. I rode most everyday, sometimes got their coats damp under the saddle but toweled my horse dry well and put a blanket on him while walking back to the barn from my parents house where my tack was kept... about a 5 minute walk. By the time we got to the barn, my guy was dry so he was fed in his stall(he had a walkout stall) his grain and hay so he was out of any wind, blanket was removed letting his body slowly re-acclimate to the cold temperatures. His water buckets were both inside and out for his choice of drink.

I live(d) on Long Island so our temperatures and weather conditions were similar to Redboys and so were and are the needs of the horses. It gets colder here than Maryland but not a huge amount... the animals ability of staying dry though, having shelter and eating hay is a must regardless of where you live.

Good luck and Enjoy your horse during the colder months.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:00 PM  
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I ride year round, but don't show. My horse also doesn't grow much of a coat, and *can* be a hard keeper, so I don't want her losing weight trying to keep warm- so I blanket.

I don't start blanketing until Sept/Oct depending on the weather (I'm also much farther North than you are)- but I like my horse to grow a bit of a coat.

Here is my current regime (in celsius!), based on the daytime high:
Below +10 rainsheet
Below +3 150gm
Below -10 300gm
Below -20 400gm
Below -25 add in hood with the 400gm

I also have two blankets for indoors (my horse is stalled at night)- just a cotton sheet when barn temps are above zero, and a 100gm blanket for when temps drop below that.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:47 PM  
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Thanks all!!! I'd say an average winter around here would be in the 30s most days, although we do get a couple days where it sinks to the single digits. Sometimes in the 20s or teens. But mostly the 30s.

I'm not sure if I'll be showing or not yet. Depends on where my horse is at during that time as far as his training. I'll be riding at least twice a week, I'd say.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:31 PM  
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For twice a week riding, you may find that blanketing is more trouble than it's worth. I'm in SC, and I know that the temps can vary a LOT during the day, and when I had boarders that insisted on blanketing, it was common for the horses to end up sweating under their blankets if it warmed up significantly during the day (I wasn't home to unblanket partway through the day). A sweaty horse can then get a chill once the temp drops again. Then you get to deal with what happens if they rub the hair off on their shoulders, or if the blanket gets torn, trying to guess what the temperature will be to decide how heavy a blanket to put on etc., etc. A lot depends on what type of coat your horse develops, some look like wooly bears, and others just get a little "plushy". Unless you're going to be really working that horse hard enough to really sweat or you're SURE you're going to show, I wouldn't blanket. You can always clip if you do end up riding often or showing, but for me, riding twice a week wouldn't be worth the hassle of blanketing.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:57 PM  
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I am in the same climate as you and where I board, policy is pretty much to blanket if the temp is below 40. With Zippy, I asked for her not to be blanketed unless it dropped below freezing, but she had a fairly decent winter coat, is young and was used to being out in the winter. I used a lightweight blanket on her when she was blanketed. This past winter I never noticed her sweating underneath her rug and she still had enough coat that winter riding wasn't a problem for her. I was careful to dry her off with towels if she sweated after a ride.

For Major Charlie, I might let him be blanketed at below 40 for a couple reasons. He's a little senior (17), he's a little underweight still, and much thinner-skinned and lighter-coated than Zippy. I'll just wait and see what works best for him.

The horses at my barn are turned out during the day in winter months, stalled at night, and there is always someone there to remove blankets if the temp rises. Blankets are changed from turnout rugs to stable blankets when the horses are brought in at night.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:22 AM  
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At our barn we blanket if it is under 60F. We ride year round in a covered outdoor arena. We have a rain sheet, a hood, and a 300gm. Sometimes more layers are added in between depending on how cold it is. It's a pain in the rear because every single time a horse is ridden the blankets must be removed and then afterwards put back on. Takes up a lot of time especially in February when we have 3-4 layers.

Back when I had my old horse and lived in the northeast I just did a simple 300gm during the winter months and that was it. We rode 100% indoors during the winter seasons.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:36 PM  
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Here in north florida, even though our guys are kept in at night and get plenty of hay, they get blanketed when it drops to the thirties and below.
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