To blanket or not to blanket…

That is the question!

It’s getting to be about that time… blanket time.

I’ve been in barns where nobody wears a blanket… EVER…!! “they’re horses!  ummm, hello? they’re used to the weather!!!”

…and i’ve been in barns where we have bunches of blankets… i.e. “this blanket is for after a bath, this one is for after riding, if the weather’s 49deg and under they wear a lightweight, 39deg and under a medium weight, 29deg and under…”

You get the idea :)

So what’s the right answer?

Well…

…it really depends.  Horses are outdoor animals (obviously).  They are USED to being outside; their bodies are made for it.  Horses naturally grow a coat that should and usually will sustain them through almost all weather conditions…

HOWEVER, it truly depends on the horse; not every horse grows a thick, luxurious teddy-bear coat.  If a horse is older and/or underweight, they especially will need a little padding to keep out the weather.  Some owners purposefully keep their performance horses clipped in the winter, and these horses absolutely need to be blanketed.

My opinion (take it for what it’s worth!) – natural is best; hold off on blanketing until the weather demands it to allow for the most normal growth of the winter coat.  Blanket when only absolutely necessary, and always make sure the oldies and the skinnies are extra warm and toasty!

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