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Readers Respond: Does Blanketing Prevent Horse's Winter Coat Growth? Readers Respond

Responses: 11


Does blanketing prevent coat growth? What's the best way to prevent thick coat growth on a horse? Do you think blanketing is necessary? Please comment on blanketing and preventing coat growth. Share Your Knowledge


I have read the comments here today and it strikes me that many owners are thinking about what's best for them not their horses as in as much as clipping the winter coat out. Most owners should know what is best for the animals they own like the climate, whether their horses are turned out and for how long, breed, condition and age. There is no hard and fast rule to blanketing, it should be what's best for the horses/ponies not what makes life easier for the owners
—Guest lynn

It depends...

I have 2 horses (one 14yoMorgan/Arab who is a hard keeper & one 18yo QH easy keeper) I do put a blanket on my Morab because he is hard to keep weight on, also on my big QH because he is older and doesn't eat as much. They are outside 24/7 and on pasture 24/7 in the winter, they eat the dead grass out there, and both of them get 10lbs of hay in the morning and 7lbs of hay + grain at night. I think my QH would be ok without a blanket, but our winters are very cold here and I get worried about him. My Morgan/Arab does have a heavier blanket on though, he is smaller and has less body fat the my QH. I think it depends on your situation to decide if your horse needs a blanket or not.
—Guest Keegan

Winter riding/health & owner preference

I completely agree with Christine, when riding in the winter months if your horse works up a sweat it is safer and quicker to cool out and dry the horse with a shorter coat. Horses burn energy and need more feed to keep warm and blanketing helps cut down extra feed costs. Just remember it is important to take the blankets off to groom their coat on days they are not being ridden otherwise you could miss seeing blanket rub spots or other coat/health issues. I have seen some people just throw blankets on in the winter and never take them off accept once a week or longer. Not a good practice in my opinion.
—Guest gcfarmgirl

turnout and lighting dilemma

When I took my horse home from the trainer I was not sure as to whether or not I could keep a show coat on him through our cold winter. With a 250-300 watt bulb on a timer from 6am to 10pm my appendix gelding has kept his great haircoat for 3 years now. He has a 12x30 ft stall with large doors leading outside to a probably a 100x60 ft paddock. Other than closing the doors when it is below 30' at night,and blanketing/unblanketing consistently, that is all I do to keep his coat short, slick and shiny.
—Guest Cyd

Coat growth

Contrary to what people may tell you, horses grow hair according to the length of sunlight in the day. (Similar to leaves changing colors and falling off of the trees.). Temperature change has very little to do with it! However, without a blanket, a horse kept under lights would get a "fuller" looking hair coat. When our body's or our horses get chilled, our hair "stands up", thus the importance of combining lights with blanketing. Of course all our non-show horses get to grow hair- and do just fine without blankets on even the coldest of days;)
—Guest Cyd

A rug this year...

I am in the UK, I got my horse in january this year and he came to me (good doer - welsh D) with only a lightweight rain sheet. His previous owner didnt ride him much so he wore nothing or the rainsheet when it rained! When I got him his fur was like a bear. this year I am going to rug him a little more, starting now (with the rainsheet) and only go to a medium over the codest parts of the winter. I know he doesnt NEED a rug but like others I dont want to deal with the thick coat, full of mud and the sweat which he will get when we ride. that is just my opinion, I dont want a furry horsey! But agreed totally that horses can easily survive with no rug.
—Guest 98maddy

horse's job/health & owner preferance

It depends e.g I have 3 horses: 1 pregnant easy keeper , 1 easy keeper pregnant Welsh pony & one rescue TB; all have rugs for different reasons. The common ones though are: I want them to expend less energy staying warm since I turn mine out 24/7,= less grain needed for healthy weight. A shorter coat will dry quicker if I choose to ride & my horse sweats. I don't ride often enough to warrant a clip. I keep at least a sheet on as a time saver , I hate grooming through layers of caked on mud before I can ride. In addition the TB came off the track in October ,was injured & in poor condition. I am still trying to put weight on her while she re-couperates over the winter. She has a VERY wooly coat but I wanted to let her be outside not stalled & still use her energy for gaining weight. Could she survive without a rug? sure but I would have to feed her more = more $s! The others I want to show in the spring & don't want to deal with sheding a thick coat out. None HAVE to be rugged.
—Guest Christine

were they blanketed before?

horses before they were kept by humans and even somtimes then, didnt wear blankets. unless your horse was blanketed every winter before you got him then i would suggest gradually taking off the blanket, like once a week without a blanket then twice a week and so on until they get used to it. my horse never really had a blanket on her except for maybe when she was younger and needed it, but other than that she wouldnt need one unless it got below 10 degrees F.
—Guest toxacomi

Horse Blanket

Under severe cold I provide a blanket (below 10 degrees F for multi days) other wise she developes a coat that will take her through a New Englang Winter.

it really depends

it really in my opinion depends on your horse. Weither or not they are on field board or stall board makes a big difference. how thick is they coat, i've seen some very puffy thouroughbreds as well as not, most ponies also puff up more then hores to. all in all it really depends on your personal situation.
—Guest sarah

Don't Blanket

The easiest way to avoid problems caused by blankets is not to use them. Most horses don't need them anyway, unless they are old or sick etc....
—Guest abbyW

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Does Blanketing Prevent Horse's Winter Coat Growth? Readers Respond

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