Here are some Blanketing Guidelines for a sometimes complicated question. When should you blanket your horse? Just because you are cold does not mean your horse is. Sometimes blanketing can do more harm than good. When in doubt, remember this: Your horse is better off being too cold than too warm! So, how do you know when to Blanket? Here are some basic Blanketing guidelines to go by for the colder Winter Months.
Your horse needs blanketing if:
- If your horse is visibly uncomfortable or shivering in the cold weather
- If your horse is older, weak, ill or recovering from an illness
- If your horse is very young
- If your horse is clipped
- If you show your horse
- If your horse does not have a sufficient winter coat
- If your horse was from a warmer climate and is now in a cooler climate
- If your horse experienced weight loss
Signs your horse is too chilly
- ears are cool to the touch
- coat hair stands up
- the body is tense
- clamped tail
Sign your horse is too warm:
- sweating under his blanket (check all the way back by his rib cage)
- sweating behind the ears
- sweat along the neck
- heavy breathing
Blanketing Guidelines for Stabled and Clipped Horses
- 50 degrees: Turnout Sheet (Stable Sheet indoors)
- 40 degrees: Turnout Sheet w/Fleece Liner or Medium Weight Blanket (Stable Sheet w/Fleece Liner indoors)
- 30 degrees: Medium Weight Blanket w/Fleece Liner or Heavy Weight Blanket (Stable Blanket indoors)
- 20 degrees: Heavy Weight Blanket or Medium Weight Blanket w/Blanket Liner (Stable Blanket w/Fleece Liner indoors)
- 10 degrees: Heavy Weight Blanket w/Fleece Liner (Stable Blanket w/Fleece Liner indoors)
- 0 degrees or below: Heavy Weight Blanket w/Blanket Liner (Stable Blanket w/Blanket Liner indoors)
For a clipped horses a hood, a high neck, extended neck, or combo heavy weight blanket may be needed.
Blanketing Guidelines for unclipped, pasture kept horses
- 50 degrees: NO Blanket
- 40 degrees: Rain Sheet for turnout in inclement weather
- 30 degrees: Medium Weight Blanket or Sheet w/Fleece Liner
- 20 degrees: Medium Weight Blanket or Sheet w/Fleece Liner
- 10 degrees: Heavy Weight Blanket or Medium Weight Blanket w/Fleece Liner
- 0 degrees or below: Heavy Weight Blanket or Medium Weight Blanket w/Blanket Liner and Hood
Be advised: Blankets advertised as stable blankets are NOT waterproof and are designed for indoor use only. WATER RESISTANT does NOT mean WATERPROOF. Even WATERPROOF Blankets eventually will get damp when exposed to rain and snow too long.
When purchasing Turnout Blanket make sure the blanket you purchase is 100% waterproof and breathable.
The best way to keep a horse warm during cold weather is not to buy the best blanket, but to buy the greatest quality hay you can find!