Blanketing in the winter

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Atara

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I was wondering how many people here blanket their horses in the winter, and for those who live in Canada, where do you get your blankets from?? I would like to put a blanket on my mare just to kind of break the wind and wet, but I can't seem to find anywhere to buy a blanket from, and if I buy from the states it usually takes a long time (and that was only with little things!)

So any advice on blanketing in cold weather (it gets down to -40 Celcius some times, I don't know what that is in Farenehiet) or places in Canada to buy or places with fast delivery in the states that would be great!!

Thanks a lot.
 

Minimor

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We get the -40C weather here too, and honestly, as long as the horses have shelter (shed? windbreaks?) so that they can get out of the wind, they do fine. We never blanket ours and very seldom do they seem cold. There have been a few frosty mornings when they might be a bit chilly, but they go out & run around a bit & then they're warm again.

Bowlin Farms (Nova Scotia) sells blankets-- www.bowlinfarms.com

and there's a place in Alberta (Wolf Creek Miniatures? I think??) that sells blankets.

The only time we would blanket is if we had a sick horse or one that's been clipped--not that we clip in the winter, but even a chilly fall night can be cold for a clipped horse. Otherwise, they all do fine with just their own fuzzy coats!
 

Relic

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As a rule we never blanket anytime except if a horse is sick and for when they are clipped for shows in the spring -40C doesn't really bother them as long as they have shelter from the wind. l don't know how far you are but Doreen from Drayton valley makes the mini blankets custom or off the rack she usually has a booth set up at the shows and is reasonally priced and does a lot of business. l use her blankets hoodies slinkies and necksweats for around the barn they wash and wear really good and are not as pricy as the ones for going to a show with so we had a lot of them made special to custom fit each horse. Lorraine from Wolf creek my neighbor also sells the better ones l have a few from her and they are excellant but twice the cost because they are a brand name.
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Forgot to add the Paddock in BC is very fast with sending anything you order over and they sell everything from blankets to carts for minis.
 
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justaboutgeese

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We do not clip and we do not blanket. The boys run in and out all winter long and unless its a blizzard they are pretty much outside. The have a nice draft free building with fresh bedding but are only in it in inclement weather. They are more apt to spend time in it during the cold fall rains than a snowfall. In blizzard conditions with high winds you can watch them standing in the doorway looking out. We have hay racks in and out and fill them everytime they need it. Good hay 24/7, beet pulp soaked in hot water and sweet feed. They look like mammoths but never seem to get cold or show signs of discomfort. Personally unless you have them clipped or plan to show them in early spring I would let mother nature provide for their needs.
 

shminifancier

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Same here,, no clip,, no blanket,, and I provide run in shelters 24/7,, no locking them up either..They can come and go as they please,, Mother Nature knows best
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If they get sick and I have never had one get sick but if one did then would change things for just that one
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And at times we have been known to get to 30 Below zero....
 
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Mona

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I never blanket my minis in the winter.(exception to the rule has been in a few instances where I have purchased from Florida or something, and horses were not yet climatized and needed help keeping warm a few times throughout the winter)

I live in Northwestern Ontario where i can easily get to 40 below, and much colder even with the windchill considered in. As a general rule, if the horses have their full winter coats and have a windbreak/shelter, they do not require blanketing.
 

Atara

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Thanks everyone for the great advise, and thanks Relic for the information on the woman who makes blankets here in Alberta!!

I think the general consensus is no blanket, but here is another question... everyone seems to have run in shelters... however the field my mare is in only has a open shelter with one side wall, a back wall and a roof.

Atararesized9.jpg


Here is a picture in which you can kind of see it... though it's not a very great picture, do you still think she would be ok without an occasional blanket in extreme weather? (Which hopefully won't be to often!) I could also potentially bring her in the barn, she is boarded at a stable, but I am not sure they would have room for just "occasional" indoor boarding.

Thanks again everyone, and it's kind of nice to hear down to earth people, not like most of the riders I know. (they all have 6 different blankets for each horse!)

P.S. There will be bedding in the shelter... they had just cleaned the dirty bedding [email protected]
 
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EAD Minis

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[SIZE=14pt]I blanket roy at night in the winter!!I live in Ontario and bought 1 blanket from ebay, one from my friend and one from Greenhawk. Good luck!![/SIZE]
 

susanne

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Is there any way you could close in the two ends up to about4 or 5 feet, either with plywood or even by attaching two heavy duty tarps?

Also, does that shelter protect against the prevailing winter winds?

If so, that should give plenty of shelter. If the prevailing winds hit the open side of the shelter, you could always close in half of the front as well.
 

keeperofthehorses

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We don't usually blanket the shetlands in the winter (and they are never clipped), but we bring them in out of rain and cold winds. Snow doesn't seem to bother them as long as there's no wind. I do blanket my big horses when it goes below 20F. They are thinner skinned and don't hair up nearly as much as the shetties, and will drop weight in a cold snap if I'm not careful. If they are blanketed though, I make sure they stay dry, as a wet blanket is worse than no blanket at all.

My vet told me that increasing their caloric intake will help more than any blanket ever could, and to just be very aware of each animals condition throughout the winter and adjust feed as needed. That's what my vet told me (covering my backside).

I've found good deals on Ebay as well, although this time of year they go for closer to retail prices. In the summer, you can find new blankets at clearance prices, especially if you aren't picky about colors. I know, doesn't do you much good right now.

Since we're on the subject, I just picked up my big horse blankets from being cleaned and repaired at a local tack shop. It was only $36 to have both cleaned (filthy dirty big 78" & 80" blankets), two straps repaired, one strap clasp thingy replaced, and a few rips in the liners fixed. They look brand spankin new; a great deal, and I didn't have to put them in my washer!
 

Kim

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Hi Atara,

As long as the shelter protects your horse from the wind, and any rain/wet snow it is just fine. You might want to test it out on a stormy day to make sure that there is a spot that your horse can stand that is dry and wind-free, and if there is not, then Susanne had a great idea in adding a tarp or plywood. Giving your horse lots of hay to munch on will help keep him warm, too. Also, your horse looks like a good weight from the picture, but minis, being so fuzzy, can fool the eye and look fatter than they really are - make sure that you periodically feel your horse's ribs and hips to make sure that they are well covered.

Where in Alberta are you? We have gotten Showcase Horse Products in Cochrane to make us blankets before, and they do a great job.

Also, for your information, if you are interested in meeting more mini owners, the Western Canadian Miniature Horse Club annual meeting is coming up on October 22, in Red Deer, and we would love you to come!
 

EMB

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I was real pleased to see this topic today of all days.
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I had such a stressful day with my two girls who just would not stay out of that darn cold rain. When I would feed them I would do it inside thinking they might like their nice warm and comfy bedding but oh no.
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Just wasn't happening. They were like drowned rats all day. The only other time they went inside was to munch hay. I was real glad when it was time to put them in for the night which I do because of all the coyotes around.


I wasn't aware of the Red Deer meeting until it was just mentioned and will really like to take that in. Good time to take out the membership too I figure.
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dmhstacy

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although our coldest temps are very really bellow 0 celcius (lucky us)

I do rug my older horses & a poor doer I have.

They tend to get a bit depressed otherwise and stand as close as they can to house shivering & calling whenever they see you - hence i rug those ones!

re: shelter yes work out which direction your most severe weather comes from and ensure there is shelter on those sides.
 

justaboutgeese

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If it were my horse I would be finding a place inside that building for him. Minis are harty things but when there is a building there it should be used. Winter blizzards on the Praries can bring snow blowing on high winds and temperatures from minus 30 to minus 40 degrees. Its been said that you can get a foot of snow but nine inches of it never hits the ground because of the way the wind blows. Not fit for man or beast.
 

Marty

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Hi Atara, I think you should close that building up a whole lot more for your horse too. I'd leave enough room for her to go in and out, a doorway. Then I would put down something thick for bedding to cuddle up with. They need a good dry place to stand and let their legs and feed dry off too for a while. Don't know what you use for bedding but I'd put something down on the floor for sure. Don't forget the hot water. If you building has electricity, you may want to consider one of those hot water buckets that have built in heaters or something.
 

Ashley

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I dont blanket either. When you do that, it just flattens the hair and makes them colder when they dont have a blanket.
 

Kendra

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Hi Atara!

We're near Calgary, and we never blanket either ... once you decide to put a blanket on your horse, you're pretty much committed to continue blanketing until spring.

We often use tarps to further close in a shelter for whatever reason, you could close up both ends and two thirds of the front of the shelter and have a nice cozy house for your horse!

Hope to see you at the meeting! (And you too Eileen, I've been wondering if you got your girls home yet!)
 

Leeana

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Usually i put a blanket on them in the winter if i take them outside for a walk and its windy. Here in Ohio it gets really cold, really fast!. Morning's are usually about 12degrees Farenheight and it does get up to about 30 tops during the daytime. Night gets pretty bad to. We dont put our's out in the winter bc when there isnt 3 feet of snow out, there is 1 foot of mud. I do take them all for nice walks though every night and if it is kind of nice out and the ground isnt bad they do get out.

If there sick though, blanket goes on!.
 

shminifancier

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Yes I would close the sides of that lean to and bring some plywood over the from to just leaving a opening..Wind still will whip around and get in.. If you could at least do both sides and most of the front then no blanky would be needed.. Or at least close of the sides anyway so they could huddle together in a corner out of the wind...
 

Atara

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Thanks everyone!!

I think I have decided what I will do is close in the sides with Plywood and most of the front, and if that doesn't go over well, I am just going to build a little shed that she can run free in and out of. I'm going out right now to see if they have a horse stall that might just be a little to small for a standard sized horse, and see if maybe I can rent that. I think I will scrap the blanket idea, and just try to work with the shed/leanto/stall!!

Thanks again for the awesome advise!
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