I know as the weather turns cooler, we think it may be time to blanket our horses.
Photo 2006 K. Blocksdorf
After all, it feels good to layer on
a cozy sweater when the air gets chillier. But depending on age, condition and how you work your horse, it may not need a blanket. I really think that horses are happier without blankets.
Image: 2007 K. Blocksdorf
After all, who always wants to wear something that's heavy, and pulls and tugs as you move, as even the best made, best fitted blankets can do. Of course, a blanket that fits well is going to be more comfortable for your horse than one that doesn't. But even carefully fitted ones can wear away the hair coat on a horse's shoulders and mane. And an extra layer of lyrca or whatever may only mask the problem, not solve it. Not only can the hair coat be damaged, but if the problem is left long enough, muscle damage can occur.
This year, I don't plan on blanketing Trillium unless absolutely necessary. This means she'll get a blanket if the weather is particularly wet, very windy or extremely frigid. I plan on letting her grow her own winter coat. Many people dislike that, especially if they plan to compete over the winter months. So how do you make decisions for your own horse? Will a blanket prevent your horse from growing a thick winter coat? How do you care for a blanketed horse? Here are some articles that may help.
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