We are experiencing our first winter storm as I type this post. Although it’s only December 1st, we will likely have close to a foot of the white stuff before it ends. I tucked the horses up in their winter blankets for the event.
In general, I’ve gotten a lot less obsessive about blanketing, the longer I’ve taken care of the horses, even though they are out 24/7.
Until they are clipped, I’m pretty comfortable leaving them naked as long as it’s only cold and not wet. Zelda, in particular, grows a good winter coat and her body mass is sufficient that with enough hay, she’s fine. Curly, also, with her special curly coat stays pretty warm. Freedom is a bit trickier. He loses weight easily, so I tend
to blanket him earlier than Zelda. Even though I stuff him full of food, including a large helping soaked timothy/alfalfa cubes, he uses too much energy staying warm. Although I rarely see him shiver (ironically, if she gets wet, Zelda will shiver), he starts to look ribby over the winter.
For the most part, I think we worry about them too much. But I do sleep a bit better when I know they’re all wrapped up.
3 thoughts on “Tucked into Blankets ahead of the storm”
(was not aware you had an equine-IT-programming dept.)
good blankets, if well cared for, last a long time. Obviously, yours are the case.
Blanketing, as your flow chart indicates, must be taken on a horse by horse basis. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s rain we worry about more than cold. Oh, sure, it gets cold…this morning it was 16 ° F. BUt no wind, and no rain. Rain is the killer, at least here. Rain rot is fairly common here, even in deer! (they call it ‘hair slip disease’ but to me, it looks like either rain rot or mange. No deer has allowed me to get close enough to examine it.)
I like to have two blankets..one on the horse, and one drying out. Sometimes the latter process takes a while…