Horse Blanketing Guide-
Temperatures and what blanket your horse needs tend to be a bit of a fickle beast, and nothing causes more questioning and consideration than the type of blanket your horse should wear! With only one true answer to this most common horse blanketing question….it depends.The “depends” factors include your horse's individual needs, weather conditions, workload and activity to name a few. Here are the top 10 considerations to keep in mind when you are choosing the appropriate blanket for your horse:
1. Temperature and Weather:
Lightweight Sheet: Use a lightweight sheet in mild weather (50-60°F or 10-15°C) to protect against sun, dust, and light rain.
Medium Weight Blanket: For cooler temperatures (30-50°F or 0-10°C), a medium weight blanket provides warmth without overheating.
Heavyweight Blanket: In cold or wet conditions (below freezing or during heavy rain/snow), a heavyweight blanket or turnout rug is necessary to keep your horse warm.
2. Horse's Coat:
If your horse has a thick winter coat, it may need less blanketing than a horse with a thin coat. Horses can regulate their body temperature to some extent through their coats, so consider their natural insulation.
3. Horse's Body Condition:
Thin or elderly horses may require heavier blankets to maintain body heat, while overweight horses may need less insulation.
4. Activity Level:
Horses that are more active or have access to shelter may require less insulation than those kept in a stall for extended periods.
Ensure the blanket fits properly and does not rub or chafe your horse. It should cover from the withers to the tail and wrap around the sides without being too tight or too loose.
If your horse will be outside in rainy or wet conditions, choose a waterproof blanket or turnout sheet to keep them dry.
Opt for blankets made from breathable materials to prevent moisture buildup under the blanket, which can lead to skin issues.
8. Consider Layering:
In extremely cold weather, layering multiple blankets or using a blanket liner can provide extra warmth.
9. Monitor Your Horse:
Keep an eye on your horse's body condition and behavior to adjust the blanket as needed. They should not be too hot or too cold.
10. Consult with a Professional:
If you're unsure about which blanket to choose, consult with a veterinarian or an equine professional who can assess your horse's specific needs.
Remember that individual horses may have unique preferences and tolerances for temperature, so it's essential to monitor them closely and adjust their blanketing accordingly. Regularly check for any signs of discomfort, sweating, or weight loss, which can indicate that the blanket choice needs adjustment..