That Blanketing Question

Winter will be back and you need to decide if you should blanket your horse.  Many things influence this decision.  Does your horse have a shelter from the weather when outside?  Is your horse barn kept part of the day or night?  Do you clip your horse in the winter for faster drying after showing or training?

Most horses can tolerate moderate winter temperatures without a blanket if not clipped, in good health and have a shelter.  My horses fit all those things but I just feel better if they have at least a light blanket during the colder months.  Here in Maryland our temps can turn on a dime and my horses are older.  I find a light blanket works for most of the winter and I think it helps them save a few calories that would be spent keeping warm.  I also have a heavier blanket I can use if we get some unusually cold days, but you can also layer with something under the light weight blanket in an emergency.

My horses love to be out as much as possible and I believe it is better for them to be outside and moving around then standing in a 12×12 stall when its cold.

Feed and nutrition are also important because a horse generates body heat through digestion. Most importantly provide good forage, usually hay.  As your horse digests hay gut activity warms the body.

Another overlooked issue for winter is water.  Horses are mostly eating dry forage and feed over the winter months, please be sure they have access to good clean water 24/7.

Please be sure dental care is up to date as they will be eating dry hay instead of fresh grass all winter.

If you are not sure what types of blankets are best for your horse and climate where you live I invite you to give us a call.  We are horse people too and have decades of knowledge to help you make the best decision.

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