Blanket or No Blanket: Navigating Temperature Drops for Equine Comfort

When temperatures drop, many horse owners wonder whether they should blanket their horses. Much like us humans reach for a cosy jacket when the temperatures plummet, our equine companions also need protection from the cold to stay comfortable and healthy. So, should you wrap your horse in cosy layers to ward off the cold, or trust in their natural ability to weather the elements?

It’s a decision that goes beyond mere warmth – it’s about understanding their unique needs and navigating the delicate balance between protection and freedom. If you want to keep your four-legged friends cosy and content during the chilly months, choose resilient horse sheets and blankets as they offer a blend of durability, comfort, and style that’s sure to please your four-legged companion.

With a range of designs to suit different needs and weather conditions, you can find the perfect fit for your animal, whether they’re spending their days frolicking in the pasture or resting in the stall. The medium horse blankets provide just the right amount of warmth for those milder days, while the heavy ones offer extra insulation for when temperatures start to plummet.

Is Your Horse Clipped?

sheets for horse
Source: freepik.com

If your equine friend is clipped, this is a big reason why you should consider blanketing them. Clipping a horse in the dead of winter might seem counterintuitive, but it’s a strategic move to help them regulate their body temperature more effectively. When they finish a vigorous workout, their coat gets damp with sweat. Left to their own devices, that wet fur could spell trouble as the mercury drops. Clipping helps them cool down faster post-exercise, reducing the risk of catching a chill from a soggy coat. 

But before you reach for the clippers, remember that clipping comes with its own set of responsibilities. Once those shears have done their work, it’s essential to use horse sheets and blankets. Whether they rock a full-body clip or opt for a sleek hunter cut, those newly exposed patches of skin need protection from the elements. Blanketing becomes especially crucial during turnout when your animal is exposed to the whims of Mother Nature. 

As the temperature gauge dips below the 15-degree mark, think about breaking out the horse blanket. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Your four-legged friend is your best barometer, so keep a close eye on their behaviour and comfort levels. Are they shivering? Huddled in a corner of the paddock? These are telltale signs that it’s time to wrap them up snugly. 

Now, if the thought of clipping sends shivers down your spine or if the animal’s workload isn’t substantial – don’t fret. You can keep their winter coat in check with a little help from your trusty blanket collection. By choosing the right horse blankets in Canada, you can help prevent that thick winter coat from transforming your animal into a walking furnace. But beware: Once you start down the path of blanketing, there’s no turning back. Consistency is key, as a season spent swaddling in blankets can cause the coat to lose its natural insulating properties. 

How Does It Adapt to the Cold?

Consider your horse’s individual needs. Are they old, struggling to maintain their body heat as efficiently as they used to? Or maybe they’re a lean machine, with little extra insulation to keep them warm when the temperatures take a nosedive. Don’t forget about the Houdini horses who can effortlessly wriggle out of their horse blankets. 

But just because you’re reaching for an extra layer when the cold sets in doesn’t necessarily mean your horse needs one too. These magnificent creatures are masters of adaptation, with a natural fur coat that’s tailor-made to keep them cosy when the weather gets chilly. Keep a close eye on your four-legged friend’s behaviour and body condition. 

If you notice them shivering or their coat becoming wet from melted snow, it’s a clear sign that they might need a little extra warmth to weather the chill. And remember, a wet blanket is no friend to a cold horse, so be sure to dry them off properly before bundling them up. 

How Do You Choose the Right Horse Blanket?

horse blanket
Source: cowgirlmagazine.com

It can be tough to choose the right blanket from the range of options, so here are some pointers: 

  • Size: To find the perfect fit, take out your trusty tape measure and measure from the centre of your animal’s chest to the centre of their thigh. Ponies usually measure in the 60s, average-sized horses in the 70s, and larger warmblood or draft breeds in the 80s. And don’t stress if you end up with an odd number – most horse blankets come in even sizes, so just round up or down as needed; 
  • Type: Sheets are the lightweight option, perfect for those crisp fall days or if your friend has a penchant for destroying everything in sight. For a bit more warmth, stable blankets and medium-weight turnouts are the way to go. Heavyweight blankets are for the fully clipped horse or when the temperature drops too low. Just be prepared for a workout when it comes time to wash them, as they’re quite heavy;  

But how do you know if they’re too warm? Sweating under the blanket is a big no-no, so keep an eye out for any signs of overheating. And remember, just because it’s raining doesn’t automatically mean your horse needs to be blanketed. If your companion has a penchant for blanket destruction, don’t panic. Double-check for any ill-fitting straps or buckles that might be causing the problem and consider using a non-toxic anti-chewing application to deter any further shenanigans.