As an equestrian, it is so hard to know when to blanket your horse during the winter. As a hobby farm owner with her horses at home, I found two articles describing what you need to look at as you decide to blanket or not.
The first article Should I Blanket My Horse In The Winter? by Dr. Lisa Nesson published on IronGate Equine Clinic made recommendations based on hair coat, types of blankets and their fit as well as the basic requirements for roughage, water, and shelter. She talks about the hair coat’s abilities to withstand cold weather without a blanket, which allows the hairs to trap insulating air to keep the horse warm. She even included an infographic to help readers decide when to blanket.
The second article published by the Feed Room, When to Blanket a Horse: Ask the Expert, Marcia Hathaway, Ph.D., answers this question by setting out some keep points about shelter and weather conditions, as well as age and body score. She mentions that horses continue to grow their winter coat until December 22 and start to lose it as the days start to get longer near the summer solstice.
Horse Blanketing Checklist
Based on these two articles and my experience as a horse owner, I have listed three things you need to check before deciding to blanket your horse:
- Examine coat condition – If your horse has a thin coat, put a blanket on.
- Check age and health – If your horse is very young, very old or has underlying health conditions, put a blanket on.
- Evaluate body condition – If your horse’s body condition is less than a 3 on 9, put a blanket on.
Now you know what to consider before blanketing your horse.
My name is Chloe. I’m a passionate equestrian, horse lover and hobby farm owner with three horses in my care. I’ve been riding (on and off) since the tender age of 6 and love to discuss anything horse-related. Feel free to connect with me at @eqnextdoor on Twitter or Equestrian Next Door on Facebook.