Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Teach Me Tuesday: Blanketing


wild horses!
It was 19f here this morning (nicely below zero for you Celsius peeps), which means it is officially blanketing season. I used to be a a fancy, full-training type barn with 2-3x daily blanket changes and full body-clipped horses, so it wasn't much of a thing.

But our current barn is less hands-on (and hella cheaper. not complaining).

prisoner says 19f is poo
If I were less serious about riding, I could probably let Courage run around blanket free. But. He hates being groomed, LOVES getting dirty, and is in pretty hard work, which means clipping is critical to keep him comfortable. I'm trying to work a compromise with a partial clip for the present, so his blanketing is flexible, then will hopefully full clip in January.

But there are so many ways to handle this situation. How are you blanketing this year (or at all)?

32 comments:

  1. Unsure. Our barn doubled its cost to have blanket service this year so I'm torn as to whether or not to clip...we're trying to put together a co-op but with baby it's tough for me. He's in a turnout sheet for now and unclipped. I think as much as I hate the look I'm just going to do a little strip clip.

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  2. It hasn't really gotten below the mid-30's at night here yet, so pony is wearing a no-fill sheet at night and naked during the day. He's partially clipped. I also live literally 1 mile from my barn and work from home, so it's no biggie to scoot over and swap blankets during the day!

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  3. Ughhhh! It's cold here at night and warmish during the day. My barn manager wants NO parts of pulling blankets on and off, so my guy is in a sheet. I got major mommy guilt last night when I pulled his sheet and he had been warm during the day. He certainly isn't going to die, but I hate that he's uncomfortable. I might have to do a trace clip this weekend.

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  4. Not blanketing. I may throw Copper's on him if it gets wet and cold. Otherwise they have hay and run ins and no one is clipped.

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  5. It can get down to -40 here (yay for crossover point between F and C so no need to specify), so I feel my horse needs her own fuzziness plus my warmest blanket when it gets to that point. Therefore, I don't clip ever, and I don't blanket until it gets below -10C/+14F at night so that she grows in a nice winter coat. It's an absolute pain to cool out and completely dry my hairy yak after a hard ride before turning her out but that's what I do. I ride all winter but I do plan my training to try and work on things in the winter that won't produce as much heat and sweat. This year I plan to introduce more lateral work (which I'll do lots of at the walk), and work on some ground work type things like standing better at the mounting block. Luckily we've had a nice fall so far, but when the cold hits I obsessively check the weather forecast continuously to figure out which blanket will be most appropriate for each given period.

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    1. Way to find a positive about the -40 thing!

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  6. I won't blanket unless it gets 20 degrees or below, or if we bring in a horse that doesn't have the weight or coat that it needs (which happens a lot because apparently we have a thing for rescuing in the winter...) Even then, some of my horses may not get blanketed. If I see them shiver a ton, I'll blanket.

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  7. no clipping for us (thank goodness, mare really doesn't grow a crazy coat) and our barn will do 2x daily blanket changes, morning and evening. so she's got a sheet and a heavier blanket with specific temperature thresholds for each (also dependent on wet/dry). generally, if it's dry out she'll continue to stay outside 24/7 down to 10*F.

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  8. I have NO idea what I'm doing this year. I need to figure out if my barn even offers blanketing first of all. Then I need to figure out if my horse is going to allow a blanket on him or allow himself to be clipped. Then I have to actually make the decision.

    Part of me wants to keep him hairy just because it's easier- no extra blanketing fee, no worry about whether he'll be okay to clip, no worry about him being a bit nutty when I ride due to not having as much hair. The other part of me hates that I have to be careful how much I work him. Plus he should learn about body clipping as early as possible to ensure that he's good for future owners... so yah no decisions have been made.

    I full body clipped Rico the entire time I owned him aside from one winter that he had off.

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  9. Cosmo is currently fully clipped but getting fuzzy again. We have blanketing service at the barn so he goes in a mid-weight at night and naked during the day, unless it's raining. It hasn't gotten that cold yet, and if he wasn't naked, I would just have him in a sheet. He does get pretty sweaty when we work, so I will at least continue with the trace clip this winter.
    I mean, we're in SoCal, it's nothing compared to where you are. But that's my 2 cents :)

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  10. My barn is a little bit overzealous on the blanketing! It was about 40 degrees out one morning last week, and I was greeted by my unclipped horse bundled up in his medium weight blanket. I appreciate that the barn blankets without any kind of extra fee, though.

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  11. I didn't clip last year and had a few times with a super sweaty horse that I felt guilty with. This new barn I'm moving too has blanket service included in the board, so I'll probably do a minor clip (neck and chest only because those are his primary sweat areas) since I won't have to worry too much about it. We'll see.

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  12. I tend to blanket less than some. In fact, I actually pulled Miles' blanket and hid it because it's just too hot for them right now! But I also haven't clipped Miles at all yet. I'm holding out until December this year... I'll let you know how that works out, hah

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  13. My barn does full service blanketing at no extra charge. Trainer considers it all part of properly taking care of the horses. Most of our horses get some form of clip, and the ones that go south or work hard throughout the winter get a full body clip. So almost everything has blankets. The horses that don't get clipped end up with blankets if it's going to rain/snow (again, she figures it's less work to put on a blanket than to treat whatever skin condition or sickness that happens from being wet and cold and hairy), and once it gets below 25 degrees or so. We usually have pretty strong wind all winter long, so that plays a big part too.

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  14. My horses only have sheets. They're waterproof, wind resistant and that's about it. As long as they are dry and out of the wind- they're warm. Increase the feed a little and they're some happy, hairy yaks.

    **It was 35f here this morning so yes, it gets pretty cold at night in the desert.**

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  15. My barn just added blanketing services this year. We've had to do it ourselves in the past. I'm super excited. I like blankets because I hate grooming so blankets mean a clean horse. I haven't clipped anyone yet because they're all in rehab, but as soon as they're working again, all the hair comes off. We don't have hot water so I can't help them if they get sweaty with a full coat. Shaving is the only option for working in the winter.

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  16. I clipped neck & chest back in September before our 50, something I usually do in October. It's been 34 or so in the mornings but I don't plan to blanket unless it gets exceptionally cold - and frankly probably not even then, she'd still be fine, furry winter pony. But the reality is that we're probably done with any real conditioning rides until March anyway, and longer if we get real winter this year.

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  17. When I get my crap together Ries will get a body clip. Fluffy is hard to deal with.

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  18. Full body clip - except legs. Riva is super hairy and seems most comfortable working in the winter clipped. Light blanket for now - but have a medium and heavy weight with neck cover waiting for the colder Indiana temps.

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  19. Did a trace clip this year and Hampton is wearing a sheet until it gets butt-ass cold and then he will get a liner under that sheet. It's just easier. No nasty sweaty fur to deal with. He seems more comfortable on these warmer, transitional fall days. Almost 70 today. Tomorrow? 43.

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  20. I full body clip when I clip. It's aesthetically pleasing to me and my horse has really dense fur, so even clipped, he's got good coverage. I clipped early Oct and will again in late Dec. My guy goes in turnout sheet w/ hood 24/7, even stalled at night. I find keeping it on drys it out overnight. (PNW rain) I use Med turnout w/ hood when it drops and have a 100g liner to add as needed. I have Rambos. We do have blanketing service, but like I said, the turnout doesn't dry overnight if it's not on my horse. I enjoy a clean horse ;)

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  21. I keep trying to body clip and heavily blanket my shaggy effing mule, and even though it's been in the upper fifties to low sixties every single day this month, he's all, "IT'S NOVEMBER. IT'S WINTER. HERE IS MY FULL WINTER COAT ONE DAY AFTER YOU JUST CLIPPED IT ALL OFF."

    And basically I am just angry about winter coats that don't obey the laws of heavily over blanketing even in warm weather.

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  22. I'm gearing up to give Theo his THIRD clipping session of the fall. I think he's part wooly mammoth. This time I have permission to move from a trace clip to a blanket clip, since he's been coming in from my rides drenched in sweat. He's currently going out in just a rain sheet with temps going from low 30's/upper 20's at night to upper 40's/low 50's during the day. I just ordered some neck rugs for him to take the place of all of that hair I'm removing and he'll be bundled up as the temps drop here in NH. No real blanket service, just one change a day if the weather swings so I have to try to blanket for day and night unless I feel like driving out for an extra visit. By January, he'll probably be in a heavy with a neck rug. We get below zero for lows and teens for highs most of January and he lives out with a run in. He's a princess about the cold.

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  23. I discovered something a little interesting this year, which is that Murray seems to feel "colder" than other horses. I had him out the other day with no blanket on (fully clipped) and other clipped horses were totally fine, but he was jumpy and twitchy around his butt, as if every little breeze was extra chilly. Anyway, that said, I never feel bad when he has his medium on if it's a little breezy -- fully clipped in 50F with medium fill and he's warm on the inside but not sweaty seems just fine to me. Our barn manager will do one blanket change a day but not two, which I feel is very reasonable (she is so NOT paid well enough to do multiple a day). So that's how we do it. Murray lives on, so there's that.

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  24. This is the worst time of year. I'm already needing to do a second clip. Damn woolly mammoth! The weather is fluctuating so much right now and I'm not at the barn everyday so I have to rely on the barn staff to realize/make changes on the fly... which I don't think they actually pay attention too. It's frustrating!

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  25. My beast grew a coat for the first time in her 10 year long life. I was unimpressed. As a result, she got clipped around a week ago. The plan is to have her grow a bit of a coat by the time we get to the really freaking cold part of winter (February), and I can clip her again if I go down to NC over reading week.
    Here's our blanketing regime (in C, not F)
    <10: Rain sheet (with hood [with fill] if <0)
    0 to 5: light (180mg) fill turnout
    -5 to 0: medium (200mg) fill tornout
    -5 to -10 blanket liner (200mg) + light turnout
    <-10: liner + medium turnout
    <-20: all the blankets

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  26. I feel like you've opened a can of worms.... Since Georgie got the full body clip for Galway she's blanketed almost always She had ruined one blanket by November 15th. So, we're onto medium weight #2. She runs hot, so no hood, but that'll happen soon enough I'm sure...

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  27. This is the time of year where it's probably a really good thing that my horses live on our farm, because I would drive a BM crazy. Both my jumpers are fully clipped. Basically they wear something anytime it's below 60f (or 65f if windy or raining)... I know seems crazy, but they have no hair and go to WEF for part of the winter, so are wimps about the cold. The blanketing protocol is as follows
    50-60f: sheet
    40-50f: medium weight
    30-40f: medium/ heavy weight plus sheet
    20-30f: medium plus heavy
    Less than 20f: medium, heavy, and sheet

    However, my polo ponies are turned out for the winter and wear nothing. They grow huge winter coats and get really fat

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  28. I own a giant pile of blankets, but I don't use them ... ever. I only blanket if we travel or someone is sick (has never happened). But then, I live in Central CA where if if does hit the teens, the sky is clear with no wind or moisture. When we have wind or moisture, it rarely falls into the 40s. My horses have a two-sided "indoor" stall/paddock, so they never get wet and the wind rarely blows on them. Added to all that, our afternoon temperatures can soar pretty quickly - even in the middle of winter.

    No help here. :0)

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    1. Oops - forgot to add that I don't clip either. Although Izzy might end up getting a trace clip as that boy gets super sweaty.

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