Barn Management: Blanketing horses

Just got Little Girl’s first blanket ordered. This is the same blanket I bought for Big Guy a few years back and it has stood through 24.7 turnout with other horses. Since Tee’s blanket is Royal Blue and Black, thought I’d go for Orange and Black for Zee.

My general plan on blanketing horses is that I buy a tough middle weight blanket that can shed rain and blanket during icy rain days or when the temps go below 40 overnight. I also use a Shoulder Guard once they are in blankets most of the time to prevent blanket rub. I go with an underblanket liner when we go 20 and below or when the bad winds blow in.

Our current boarding situation does have a shelter – a 3 sided loafing shed, but it’s also on a side of town that is relatively flat which means the wind will be worse. There is no sheltered barn to groom or tack up – it’s all done at a hitching rack. This is all cool with me but it means that I will do more to keep the horses comfortable since they have 24.7 turnout in all sorts of weather.

Purpose of blanketing my crew – 1.) it keeps them cleaner; 2.) since their cleaner I spend less time grooming in the cold as well as they are more prepared for work (saddle or otherwise); 3.) helps the horses maintain weight throughout the winter as they are not burning fat to keep warm; and 4.) they shed quicker/grow less of a winter coat for spring prep.

We don’t have a long or really bad winter here, so I waffled about spending the money but I know me, and once the really bad ice storms hit here with 30-40 mph winds, and windchill temps below 0 I will be worrying and fretting that she doesn’t have anything. The difficulty is that around here those bad weather days may last a day or too and then it will go right back up to 60 degrees! Then all the blankets have to be yanked off until the next bad storm comes out of nowhere.

BTW I love Schneider’s blankets – tough, tough, tough! It’s also a great place to shop if you have Arabs as they have many halters and bridles specifically sized for Arab heads which can be very hard to fit.

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