Does My Horse Need A Blanket?
By Suzanne DeVries
Your horse needs a blanket because their natural oils and dirt that keep them warm in the wild are removed each time you brush or curry them. When you clip your horse, you then remove all of the additional warm hair. Most stables are not heated, and it is critical that you compensate for the loss of heat by using some sort of a blanket. A horse will begin to lose weight if not kept warm enough. Of course it is always important to feed more hay in the winter also.
If your horse is outside in very cold weather, you will need a strong turnout blanket for that time. It would be great if you could afford it, to have two blankets. One for indoors and one for out otherwise select a blanket that will work inside and out. An outdoor blanket must give your horse the freedom to move when he bucks, rolls and kicks.
Some types of Blankets to Consider
Fleece cooler/blankets can be used after a workout and your horse needs to dry off. Put the fleece cooler on to remove moisture. Fleece is a excellent material to wick off moisture and keep your horse dry especially if he is sweaty and the weather is cool outside. It will keep his body temperature more balanced. Wool coolers/blankets can be used for the same purpose. Wool cooler are a heavier material and will keep the horse warmer. Wool is also nice for those extra cold nights when you need a blanket liner underneath your winter blanket. They also work well after a workout. Stable Blankets work well for those nights when your horse is in his stall. They do not work well outdoors and are usually designed for indoor use only. Finally there are heavier styles of Winter Turnout Blankets that are durable, ripstop, weatherproof and breathable. These are workable for indoor and outdoor use.
What is the correct size of the Blanket for my Horse?
Just take a tape measure and measure from the middle of the chest to the tail, along the side. If your horse measures a 78 buy that size. If you want to be sure of the right fit buy the next size larger. But be cautious as every manufacturer is different. Some have smaller or larger cuts than others. So check before buying. Surcingles and legs straps are nice to have to keep your horse’s blanket in place in the even they roll or lie down. But, it is important that they are not adjusted too tightly so that you horse cannot move around comfortably. There should be a hand’s width that will fit between the horse’s belly and the surcingle, tight enough so that they cannot catch a hoof.
Leg straps should not be tight and not so loose that they are low near the hocks. A horse’s legs could easily become tangled in these. It is better to loop the leg straps around each other before connecting to the snap. Snap them to the opposite side.
Remember !!!! If in doubt check with someone with more experience to keep your horse safe and happy this winter !
Please visit my WEB SITE at http://www.adirondackhorsetack.com or my EBAY STORE at butterfly7171
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