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Blanketing question

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LindsayLu

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So I’ve had my new guy for a week now and am starting to think forward to the winter weather that is just around the corner. We are in Canada and do have temperatures that reach -30° Celsius at times.

The backstory on him- when I picked him up last week I was advised he has not been outside in the past 7 years...actually hadn’t even left a stall except to breed a few mares during that time apparently. No dental or vet work during that time and very limited farrier care(a trim every couple of years). My farrier and vet have been out to assess and start getting a plan in place for him. My farrier has started the rehab on his feet and thinks they should correct with no issues overtime. Dental work will need to be corrected over multiple visits as well.

My concern is him handling the weather. He is slowly being introduced to turnout and seems to be adjusting well. He has a paddock with a shelter and does come into the barn at night. Should I be blanketing him this winter to help with the adjustment? I blanket my regular size horses but they are shown and in regular work. Miniatures are completely new to me and I want to make sure he’s as comfortable as can be.
 

Cayuse

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I would plan on having a blanket or two for him util you know how he will handle the cold, better to have a blanket and not need it than need it and not have it. My minis wear blankets because even though they get a heavy coat, they still show signs of being cold sometimes. Good luck with your new guy. It sounds like you gave him a quite an upgrade in his life!
 

MajorClementine

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Have a blanket on hand. You will sleep better knowing he's warm. It only took a couple of sleepless nights knowing my horses were shivering before I bought everyone a blanket. I blanket mine during spring and fall rains. If they get soaked they get really cold. High winds cut through their hair as well.
 

Taz

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I agree, have a blanket or two. I have one with a similar history, she gets a summer coat in the winter and a winter coat in the summer :rolleyes: 🤦‍♀️. If you don't have somewhere near you to find blankets and need to order them online Greenhawk has some mini blankets that fit well, don't get any from Pleasantridge, they don't fit well at all.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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Agree with everyone.... It's ALWAYS wise to own blankets, just in case. (We have over 40 horses of different sizes and have own two or three blankets of EVERY size possible.) We accumulated them over the years. My suggestion would be to have one heavy and one light one. I'm assuming you know how to measure your fellow for the right fit?
 

LindsayLu

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I agree, have a blanket or two. I have one with a similar history, she gets a summer coat in the winter and a winter coat in the summer :rolleyes: 🤦‍♀️. If you don't have somewhere near you to find blankets and need to order them online Greenhawk has some mini blankets that fit well, don't get any from Pleasantridge, they don't fit well at all.
That’s perfect! I was going to ask next where the best place to get mini blankets from was. Thanks!
 

LindsayLu

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Agree with everyone.... It's ALWAYS wise to own blankets, just in case. (We have over 40 horses of different sizes and have own two or three blankets of EVERY size possible.) We accumulated them over the years. My suggestion would be to have one heavy and one light one. I'm assuming you know how to measure your fellow for the right fit?
My other horses all have 4-5 blankets each lol I think they’re better dressed for winter than I am. I just wasn’t sure how many people blanketed minis that weren’t clipped for showing etc as they seemed to be so hairy but so small at the same time :)

The exciting part is now I get to do some shopping for him!
 

Pitter Patter

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My other horses all have 4-5 blankets each lol I think they’re better dressed for winter than I am. I just wasn’t sure how many people blanketed minis that weren’t clipped for showing etc as they seemed to be so hairy but so small at the same time :)

The exciting part is now I get to do some shopping for him!
Star Lake has some that seem to fit my minis well. I have a Kensington blanket for minis and it fits well. I like the kind with the belly band as it helps keep the belly warmer AND fewer straps to deal with constantly coming undone . They also stay on the horse well with the rolling, playing, etc. Although they are "winter" blankets, they seem to be much lighter than the full horse size (not because of size...thinner). I am thinking of getting lightweight stable blankets if layers are ever needed. Keep an eye on your little one and watch for shivering. Here we have had some pretty horrible winters with sustained temps well below 0F. Even that isn't too terrible if it isn't wet or blowing. Unfortunately all of those things usually hit us pretty hard. Like the others, always best to be prepared just in case. Not all need it. You will know. I even have light blankets for my llamas! (more for dryness in very inclement weather, but they are not usually bothered). My 300 lb goat wears a horse blanket as well he seems affected more by the cold, but unfortunately it doesn't usually stay on more than a day (he's a stinker!). Today it has been in now the mid to lower 30's for instance. Only my elderly mini with no fat reserve and suffering from acorn poisoning has her blanket on today (It did rain last night too and she sometimes gets the boot from the others from the walk in shed.)
 
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I agree with everyone else, it's best to have a blanket and not need it, then to need one and not have it.

Just for an example of how ignorant some people are, I had the Humane Society called on me about 20 years ago because my horses were...outside! In the daytime, during the winter.

The barn I had at the time was nicer than my house. 38' x 80', with eight 12x12 stalls, heated tack room, wash stall with heated water, and 2 OPEN run-in doors, that were hard to see from the road, since they were at the farthest end of an 80' long barn! So because whoever called didn't see the open doors, they reported me for abuse, because my horses "couldn't get inside"! (2 horses I was boarding at the time WERE inside, or they'd have seen 4 horses!)

Anyway, I just picked up 2 of these blankets from Big Dee's for $50 each. They fit pretty well and they seem really durable for the price.

20201014_101022.jpg
 

Cayuse

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Big Dee's is the best! Love their blankets and my harness, like Marsha's, is still going strong and the one I use the most. I spent big bucks on a custom harness and it's not as comfortable (except for the bridle, I do use the bridle) on either one of my minis as my Big Dee.
 

HeshWalker

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The thickness of the coat is also pretty important depending on the whether. Not all blankets are made the same and each horse can handle the cold differently depending on many factors, like their age, breed and coat thickness. Cowgirl University has a great and simple write up for when you should and should not blanket your horse.
 

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