How many blankets does your horse need?

Okay, we moved from California to Minnesota four years ago and my Morgan mare has probably adapted better than I have.  Maybe I have a blanket fetish?  There’s a cooler and a spare; a waterproof duck for rainy days, a stable blanket for cold nights; a liner for the stable blanket on even colder nights; then a medium weight turnout blanket and a heavy weight turnout blanket.  The storage for all these blankets takes almost as much room as she does.  I need a reality check.

11 Responses to How many blankets does your horse need?

  1. Black Eye Beth says:

    Boy did this post make me chuckle to myself. I have a couple of horses at home that get night turnout and have been hiking out into the pasture every night to put blankets on them when its dark and gets colder than I expected. I know that they are horses and have hair and all, but I hate the idea of ANYTHING (human or animal) being cold. I am sure my horsey neighbors think I am crazy but I sleep better at night knowing they have on their “jammies”. I also have the sheets, the winter turnout blankets but most importantly they all must have RAINCOATS so they don’t get wet…stupid, I know, but it is that whole cold issue I have!

  2. kad says:

    Hello My Name is Kelli and I have had a blanket addiction for over 20 years… The first step is admitting! I am a little too ashamed to reveal numbers yet, maybe someday!

  3. colwilrin says:

    We are located near Buffalo, New York…Place blizzard joke here _______________

    The horses have nylon sheets they wear in the warmer weather, mostly to keep show coats clean and the flies off.

    In the fall/winter, they are left unblanketed until it gets cold. After OKC, the show horses need a bit of “naked” time to get those winter coats to pop out.

    Once it is blanket time, a Schneiders Super Quilt is really all ours need. Those suckers are warm.

  4. Black Eye Beth says:

    Come on…spill it…the more you talk about it the better you will feel (or at least you will make us feel better is you have more than we do!!)

  5. Black Eye Beth says:

    Berwerking, There was a good post on blanket types a few days ago and the Schneider quilts that colwilrin talks about got pretty good reviews.

    ps I should have also mentioned that while our Century home is poorly insulated, cold in the winter and has no AC for the summer, my dog kennel is very insulated, has it’s own furnace and has its own AC…hmmm…maybe I DO have a problem!!

  6. colwilrin says:

    I just got a great visual of your daughter curled up in the kennel with a dog and her favorite stuffed animal!

  7. bewerking says:

    It was the earlier blanket question that got me started thinking about this and also how I could justify buying a couple more to swap out if one needed washing. Ack! But if there is a reality check it is when it comes time to wash and dry them. Anyone want to share their tips on this? Washing by hand or via car wash doesn’t seem to get them clean enough. I know that if you want to keep the waterproofing intact, washing should be minimal but spring cleaning can really become a chore.
    Yes, and I would add that I am also a Schneider blanket devotee. They are warm, comfy and durable.

  8. Kim Viker says:

    Hi Bewerking,

    We also live in Minnesota, and don’t use blankets… to make it even more of a challenge, we don’t even have a barn or designated stalls… but we do have a large facility that the horses can all get into when they want. Guess what?… they hardly ever use it; only when it is windy. They would rather be outside in their pastures eating.

    Where are you located in Minnesota?

  9. bewerking says:

    I board at a private barn outside of the Cities.
    The horses have .5 acre dry lot with a three sided shelter during the day and sleep in the barn. It does amaze me how they seem to cheerfully accept even bitterly cold weather. Somewhere I read that horses could tolerate subzero temps as long as they had access to hay and were able to stay dry. I think they do prefer to frisk about to warm themselves but I like to know that at night they can relax out of the elements.

  10. Kim Viker says:

    Hi again!

    You are right about horses being able to tolerate colder temps. What really keeps them warm is access to plenty of fiber (as in hay) and also water. The real problem with them being in the elements is when they become wet when it is cold. Blankets can be counterproductive in a situation such as ours. The natural hair coat of the horse is (in and of itself) a great insulator. In colder temps, you will be able to notice the longer coat standing “more erect” rather than laying more “flat” on the body. When the haircoat stands “up” the insulating properties are most efficient. A blanket will flatten the hair and remove some of these properties (this is also why wet horses have problems). We always check the horses if it does become bitter cold, (especially for shivering); that would be a big hint to us that blanketing is warranted.


  11. beth says:

    Good information, Kim. I do wait until midwinter to do any blanketing and then only when I think conditions warrant it. You make a good point of making the decision “by the horse”. With the shelter available, two warm buddies and plenty of good hay to munch on, she is probably much more okay than I think. NO MORE BLANKETS!

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