Blanketing 101

As temperatures are dropping into the single digits here in KY, the blankets are getting a work-out. I know that blanketing is a hot topic and I have read several well-researched articles about why horses should, shouldn’t wear blankets. which blankets are best, and when certain blankets should be worn…..SO CONFUSING!

I love these videos from Smartpak. They really capture the essence of what goes down in my barn every day from November-March

Stuff Riders Say- Blanketing Episode 1

Stuff Riders Say- Blanketing Episode 2

So, here is my opinion on blanketing:

Horses can be just fine without blankets if

1. They are used to being in that climate

2. They are in good health, body weight and condition

3. They are able to grow a full, think hair coat

4. They have some form of shelter in their pasture

snow horse










Horses need blankets if:

1. They are somehow compromised i.e. geriatric, ill, in poor body condition

2. They have been body clipped

3. They are new to a cold climate

4. They do not grow a full, thick coat

5. They do not have any access to shelter in their pasture

horse in blanket









Which blanket when?

This is something that you just need to figure out with your horse. Every horse is different. For example, this morning when I turned out the horses at our barn and the temperature was -5 F with the wind chill, we had 2 horses double blanketed, one horse in a light, and one in a heavy. My thoroughbred that cannot grow hair needed 2 blankets layered, while his pasture mate, a large pony mix, needed only a heavy. Their metabolisms are all different. We just take the time to figure out what works best for our own horse and we blanket accordingly.


DoubleOhSeven in his heavy blanket on a chilly morning in VA












 Stay warm out there!!

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