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Horse blanketing is a hot topic in the winter. It’s widely debated with some insisting it’s unnatural and others refusing to go without them. Much like people, horses are individuals. It’s important you look at their unique needs before you jump on one side or the other.
If you aren’t sure whether your horse is a good candidate for wearing a blanket, then consider these top reasons.
You may want to blanket your horse if…
- You decide to clip them.
Many riders clip their horses because they ride frequently throughout the winter. A fuzzy horse tends to get sweaty really fast! They also take a while to cool down and dry out. By clipping, you can make them more comfortable.
Because you’re removing their natural hair, it becomes your job to replace it with blankets. You’ll want a variety to pick from, including a sheet, medium and heavy weight.
2. You have a skinny horse.
Whether they’re older and struggle to maintain weight or a recent rescue, a skinny horse will struggle to stay warm in extreme temperatures. They’re less efficient at creating body heat.
3. They have a thin coat.
Some horses simply fail to grow a thick winter coat. Sometimes, it’s because of their breed, age or health. If you move a horse from a warmer climate, they may also lack a plush coat for the first few seasons.
4. No shelter is available.
If your facility lacks shelter (even trees will do), then you should consider blanketing. The worst is a cold, wet rain. This can quickly soak your horse and give them a chill.
5. Save on feed expenses.
In order to stay warm in cold temperatures, your horse needs to eat a lot. They burn quite a bit of calories! Your blanketed horse won’t need a dramatic increase in food, since they have some extra warmth.
Remember, blanketing is a commitment. Don’t start it unless to plan to keep up with it throughout winter.