365 Days in Horse Country – Should I Blanket My Horse?
As the Canadian winter continues to gain a deeper foothold, you are probably wondering whether or not you should be blanketing your horse.
This age –old question stumps horse owners the world over whenever winter blows into town. The answer depends on your horse and just how cold he really is.
Although the air may be quite chilly outdoors, if your horse is healthy and has a good winter coat, he will be able to comfortably withstand it without being blanketed. Nature equipped horses with winter coats that do a terrific job if insulating the horse against cold and wind.
That said, there are times when you should blanket your horse. Here are some examples:
- If your horse is sick, recovering from an illness, or is very thin, blanket him in cold weather.
- If your horse does not have shelter from the rain or snow, cover him with a water-resistant turnout sheet to help him stay dry.
- If you horse is old, it’s a good idea to give him at least a light blanket in cold weather. Older horses are less able to generate heat than their younger counterparts.
- If your horse is a very young foal and you are experiencing a cold snap, get him a foal blanket to help him stay warm.
- If your horse has been body-clipped (his winter coat removed with clippers), keep him in a blanket during the winter.
Remember to remove your horse’s blanket during the day if the air warms up, and put it back on when the sun goes down and the temperature drops.