Owning a horse is a big responsibility. Learning horseback riding is definitely not the only thing you need to worry about. This is a living being we are talking about and you need to keep it safe and healthy. Everyone who has ever owned this animal can undoubtedly confirm that they have quickly become strongly attached to the creature. Consequently, they always take good care of it.
Taking care of your horse consists of giving them the best food and getting them all kinds of necessary equipment. High on the list of the necessary equipment are blankets. Yes, you have heard that right. I’m talking about blankets for horses. And, these are definitely not the same as the ones you can find in your home. So, you can forget about wrapping the animal in one of those.
Today, most owners are confused about these products. They can’t decide whether their animal needs the best horse blankets out there, or whether they can regulate the body temperature themselves. Additionally, even if they decide to use the products, they don’t know when and they don’t know which types to get. Well, if you are one of those people, read on! You just might find the answers to your questions.
Does My Horse Need A Blanket?
It is unquestionable that the body of your horse is capable of handling and enduring all kinds of temperatures. If you have had the animal for at least a year, you have probably noticed how their coat starts changing and growing when the outside temperature is about to drop. However, this doesn’t mean that they should be left to their own devices at all times and even if they have a super thick coat, you need to consider blanketing them.
Speaking of a super thick coat, it can sometimes do more harm than good for these animals. That’s why their owners decide to body clip them. And, if your horse is body-clipped, then there is no question about whether you should protect it from the weather conditions. This is common sense. You took away their means of protecting themselves, so you need to provide them with a substitute.
Furthermore, even if they do have a coat, a blanket is a good way of keeping that coat dry during rain. Of course, this also depends on you and the reason why you own this animal in the first place. But, chances are that you won’t keep them in the stable during the whole winter. In any case, investing in a product like this can really be useful for the creature. So, don’t try to save your money while compromising your horse’s health.
When Does It Need One?
Naturally, you don’t need to cover your horse for the whole year. Although, there are also those summer sheets, they serve a different purpose. So, we will leave them be for the time being and focus on the ones used when it gets colder. One of the main questions that people have about these products is linked to the time period of using them.
Of course, you don’t want to cover your horse up when it is not cold. That way, it might get too warm, and the difference in its body temperature and the outside temperature can cause them to feel a little under the weather. On the other hand, you don’t want to wait for the animal to start shivering. Sure, if you see your horse shivering, don’t start panicking. It’s just a normal reaction of its body because it is trying to warm up on all its own.
So, shivering is a pretty clear sign that the animal is cold. But, waiting for this sign to appear is not the best idea. There is a simple rule you can follow in order to make sure that you are keeping your horse warm, but not overheating it. If the outside temperature is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, then it needs a lightweight blanket. If it hits below that, you should think of getting a mid-weight one, and if it’s below 10 degrees, then get a heavy-weight cover.
Here’s more on that: https://www.horsefeedblog.com/2017/12/ask-the-expert-when-to-blanket-a-horse/
What’s The Difference?
Following the natural course of thought, I must assume that you are now wondering what the difference is between these three types. And the answer is also pretty logical. But, still, I need to explain why these three categories actually exist and according to which criteria the blankets are categorized. Understanding this will help you realize why it isn’t a smart move to buy just any blanket you come across.
The blankets are categorized according to the insulation factor. Manufacturers have recognized this need and they are now producing light-, mid- and heavy-weight covers to suit the requirements of different temperatures. Basically, the heavier – the warmer. That’s the whole principle behind these products, and, as you can see, it is completely reasonable.
However, when choosing the blanket, along with thinking about the weather, you need to take a few more factors into consideration. Of course, this does depend on the conditions of the environment. But, it also depends on the coat of your horse, as well the way in which it is managed – i.e. if it is kept outdoors or indoors.
If you feel that you are still not knowledgeable enough and don’t really know how to pick the perfect blanket for your horse, there’s no need to worry just yet. Your manufacturer and supplier will definitely offer you some useful guidelines and help you decide on the product that works best for your animal. All you have to do is ask.
And, last but not least, don’t forget to take the size into consideration, as you really want the blanket to fit. Once again, you can get valuable guidelines and tips from the manufacturer. Additionally, you can always do your own research in order to learn how to measure your horse with the aim of getting the perfect blanket.