Blanketing Q&A

Crisp fall air signals a perennial dilemma for many horse owners: To blanket or not to blanket? And if you opt for the added cover-up, which blanket is best? Our five-point Q&A will help you make those decisions and more, so you can see your horse th
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Crisp fall air signals a perennial dilemma for many horse owners: To blanket or not to blanket? And if you opt for the added cover-up, which blanket is best? Our five-point Q&A will help you make those decisions and more, so you can see your horse through this season and the frigid one ahead in comfort and good health.

Does my horse really need a winter blanket to stay warm when winter rolls around?

There is no simple answer, and Carrie Finno, DVM, of the University of Minnesota, recommends assessing each individual horse's needs. Considering the factors below will help you do so.

Hair coat–A horse that grows a thick winter coat might not require any blanketing, says Finno. Cold weather causes your horse's hairs to stand on end, which creates an insulating effect with warm air trapped near the skin. In fact, putting a blanket on a furry horse can reduce that insulating power by flattening the hairs. However, if your horse's winter coat is skimpy or if you body-clip your horse, then a blanket might be necessary to make up for what's missing

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Written by:

Sushil Dulai Wenholz is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She’s written for a number of leading equine publications, and she has earned awards from the American Horse Publications and the Western Fairs Association.

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