Your horse may occasionally need a blanket in chilly weather to stay warm and comfortable. In the months preceding winter, horses naturally develop a thick, warm coat. Although most horses stay warm without blankets due to their thick winter coats, there are a few common situations where blanketing is necessary. These include:
1. You clipped your horse coat.
If you take off your horse’s thick winter full coat, it becomes more vulnerable to the cold and will require additional warmth from a pony blanket.Even though clipping your horse is a common, safe activity, you will still need to take additional care of it in the winter.
There are numerous reasons for clipping horses. The following are the primary reasons:
- Grooming the horses for horse shows in winter.
- Controlling sweat during rigorous workouts in the winter.
- Getting rid of a damaged coat and promoting the growth of a healthy coat for the upcoming season.
- Lowering the level of coat maintenance.
2. If your horse is getting older
Your horse’s capacity to control its body temperature declines with age. Additionally, they struggle significantly more to sustain their weight as well as physical condition. Horses’ capacity to digest fiber and consume protein can decline by up to 5% and 15% as they age. Therefore, elderly horses lose weight and become more prone to the cold because they do not obtain as much energy from their food. If they lose fat before winter or experience health issue that makes them expend more energy fighting the disease, it can worsen their ability to stay warm.
If the winter is not too harsh and your older horse has maintained great condition and outstanding health, you might not blanket them. If you don’t blanket your horse, check on them frequently to keep in check their weight and health.
You should cover your older horse with horse sheets right away if they begin to shiver, but you don’t need to use a particularly thick blanket. According to research, medium-weight blankets appear to raise the temperature of horses’ fur equally as effectively.
3. Your horse lives in a barn most of the time.
Horses who reside indoors typically don’t develop a thick coat. A horse who has spent the entire year in stalls feels cold and uneasy when they go out to pasture for the day because of their short, lustrous coat. Give your horse a blanket outside in the cold to avoid this problem, and make sure they stay warm. They should have their blanket and horse pad removed as they return to the stable to prevent overheating.
Because the horse is just feeling cold today
There are times when you just need a blanket because it’s cold. Your horse may have a thick coat, and the weather may be milder than usual, but they may feel cold sometimes. For a variety of causes, your horse could feel the cold. They might have sweated, and the chilly wind allows them to cool off. They could be underweight or not feeling well. Whatever the cause, you should cover your horse as soon as possible if they are chilly.