Temperatures are beginning to drop, particularly at night, so it’s time to break out the blankets in order to keep your horses comfortable. The age old argument of when to blanket and how much is rampant as the cold weather approaches, so we put together a handy list of pointers for blanketing.
1. Check on the nightly low, and when that low is expected to happen.
The nightly low may be 30 degrees, but that coldest part of the night may not happen until the early morning hours. Check the hourly forecast before deciding on a blanket, as you don’t want to over-blanket and risk your horse sweating when the temperature is warmer, only to develop a chill when the low hits.
2. Factor in age and health.
Older horses, horses who could use a few more pounds, and horses susceptible to illness are among those with which you should exercise more caution when it comes to blanketing horses. If your horses are turned out at night, be sure to check the forecast and perhaps give another thin layer to a horse who may have trouble warding off the chills on their own.
3. Think about clipping.
If you ride your horse during the cold months, consider body clipping. Even if you do not do a full body clip, there are several options to eliminate some long hair in areas that will sweat more. If your horse is turned out with a heavy blanket and a full winter coat, you run the risk of sweat and ensuing chill. Theoretically, a horse’s natural winter coat is sufficient in many colder temperatures, but the sweat that occurs from a heavy work can cause other problems without proper aftercare.
4. Make sure your Denier of choice is appropriate.
A blanket’s denier level translates into durability. A higher denier number indicates a tougher exterior layer on the blanket, which means less risk of tears or damage, which would allow cold air and moisture through. If you have a horse who plays with others in turn out, make sure you’re investing in a blanket with a heavier denier – the higher cost is worth it when you’re not constantly replacing blankets!
For blanketing choices for every horse from Kensington Protective Products, click here: http://bit.ly/2d2OzpSHDM
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