Horse's Winter Coats:
Horse's coats are composed of two types of hair: a fluffy undercoat that acts as an insulator and a stiffer protective coat called guard hairs. The outer coat helps to shed rain and collect moisture to keep the undercoat clean and fluffy so that the undercoat can provide insulation. The undercoat provides insulation by trapping body heat and air, it is dense and soft and acts like the lining of your jacket. The hairs are attached to a layer of muscle that moves the hair as needed to provide additional insulation. When the hair is standing up, it will give the horse a puffed-up look to trap more air in the fur to keep them warm. Their hair can even point in different directions to deflect wind and weather.
Reasons to Blanket:
- If you have clipped your horse and they no longer have enough of their winter coat to keep them warm
- Your horse has moved from warmer climates and hasn't adapted to the colder climate yet
- You have an older horse that has a hard time staying warm
- Your horse is a hard-keeper who has trouble holding weight during the cold months
- It isn't only cold but it's wet
- There isn't adequate shelter
Reasons not to Blanket:
- You can save money and not purchase a blanket
- Generally, horse's grow enough hair to act as their own blanket
- When temperatures suddenly rise you don't have to worry about your horse overheating if the blanket isn't removed in a timely matter
- No blanket repairs
- You remove the risk of them getting caught up in their blanket
December 09, 2020
I believe it is a personal decision to go along with what YOUR horse needs whether to blanket or not.
I found out the reason I was going through so much feed was because my older/hard keeper would get cold in the night and shiver her weight off. She started wearing a blanket at night and on colder days. WHAT A DIFFERENCE, both in her and my feed bill.