How to Know if Your Horse Needs a Blanket
As the temperatures drop, many horse owners may wonder whether their equine companion needs a blanket.
Deciding whether or not to blanket your horse can be a tricky decision, and it depends on several factors such as your horse’s breed, age, weight, hair coat, and living conditions. Here are some tips on how to determine if your horse needs a blanket:
Observe your horse’s hair coat
The hair coat of your horse can tell you a lot about how he’s coping with the cold weather. Most horses will grow a thick winter coat when the temperatures drop to help keep them warm, and this coat is usually enough to keep them comfortable in most conditions. However, some horses may not grow a thick coat, or they may have a thin or patchy coat due to age, illness or other health issues. In these cases, a blanket may help keep your horse warm and prevent him from shivering in the cold weather.
If you body clip or keep your horse under lights to reduce their coat for performance reasons, your horse will definitely need blankets to replace that insulating factor.
Check the temperature
When deciding whether or not to blanket your horse, it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature outside. Generally, if the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and your horse doesn’t have a thick coat, he may require a blanket to stay warm and comfortable. Outside of that general rule, always observe your horse’s individual reaction to different temperatures and adjust accordingly.
Kensington offers blankets in multiple weights that are appropriate for a variety of temperatures, in a variety of sizes, from mini to draft:
Plus, you can complete coverage with Neck Covers.
Think about your horse’s living conditions
The type of shelter and bedding your horse has can also influence whether or not he needs a blanket. If your horse is kept in a warm, dry barn with plenty of bedding, he may not need a blanket even if the temperature drops below 40 degrees. However, if your horse spends a lot of time outside or is kept in a drafty barn, a blanket may be necessary to keep him warm.
Consider your horse’s breed
Some horse breeds are naturally more adapted to cold weather than others. For example, breeds like the Shetland Pony, Icelandic Horse, and Canadian Horse have thick, dense hair coats that help them stay warm in cold weather. On the other hand, breeds such as the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse have thinner coats and may require a blanket to stay warm when the temperature drops.
In conclusion, deciding whether or not to blanket your horse depends on several factors such as your horse’s breed, age, weight, hair coat, and living conditions. Always observe your horse closely and adjust accordingly. If you’re still not sure what your horse needs, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for advice.