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Horse Care and Comfort



I have been having trouble deciding if I should put a blanket on my horse she is a 8 year old mare who has a thick winter coat but the barn that she goes in at night is not very warm and lately it has been getting between the 10s and 20s at night. She has a light sheet on her right now and seems to be doing good but I just dont know if she should have it on quite yet, at the other barn that she lived at for a couple of years she had a blanket on from October to like April or May but on top of that my friend that owns the horse that my horse lives with thinks that she should NOT have a blanket till later so Im torn between the two =) any ideas? thank you!

Kicki -- Sweden
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There's a thread called "Blanket or not to blanket" at this link:
You can find some discussion on the subject in there.
Horses in general, who are used to go outside without a blanket, have enough to eat, and it isn't raining and windy all day, don't need a blanket, but it is very individual, and if they are being ridden, a blanket to keep their backs warm are a good idea. Likewise, if they are working up a sweat, you don't want to let them out wet.
Likewise, if your horse shows signs of being cold, you should definitely consider it.
Beware that you use a blanket that breathes (some sort of lining, like fleece that whicker away body moisture) and isn't too heavy. The latter will flatten the hairs of the coat and press out the layer of air that works as insulation.
Also keep in mind, that it is perfectly OK to put on a blanket only on really bad days, but once you have had a blanket on for say a whole week or more, it will take a week for your horse to readjust if you were to remove it - so wait for the good days before you stop.
Someone told me it was because of the muscles raising the hairs, got "out of practice", but I don't know how true that is.