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Maryann at MiniV

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We do NOT blanket (rug) unless the horse is ill or old and obviously cold and shivering. To make sure the horse isn't cold, I check the arm-pit. If it's warm, the horse is okay. To blanket a horse (unless it's sick or chilled) can be counter productive, IMO. It mushes down their fur and doesn't allow the natural insulation a horse has with their winter coat to do its job. Blanketing also doesn't encourage the horse's winter coat to grow. People who show will blanket their show horses for just that reason, plus they obviously don't have their normal coat.

Horses tolerate the cold better than heat. Their comfort zones are much cooler than ours. Once winter hits and the temps start hitting 20F and BELOW, we increase their hay amounts.... We've actually DOUBLED their hay when it's really really cold. Hay warms them up from the inside out!
 

charlottein

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I don't blanket. We live in Colorado and they are outside with a run-in shed. If it is super cold, as it gets occasionally like -2 F, I make sure to put out extra hay at night in the shed and check occasionally to see if they are wet or cold. But they just enjoy standing in the snow anyway. But I don't clip either and they are healthy, not elderly and grow thick coats.
 

MaryFlora

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Like Maryann, we do not normally blanket. We also keep hay free choice from October thru about May. They are able to come and go in the barn as they wish, and the Ritchie waterer is heated.

We do close the barn doors at night when raining or during a heavy wet snowfall.

Even though our MN winters can be very cold, the ponies handle it quite well.

Gosh, can’t believe winter is lurking around the corner! o_O

Mary Flora
 

chandab

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Normal, healthy minis with full coat; rarely need to be blanketed. If it's going to be cold and wet, perhaps a rain sheet, so it doesn't take hours for the wet hair to dry.
Horses that are thin, metabolic or clipped, may need a blanket.
I rarely blanket, but still have a few blankets on hand, and even bought a couple new ones this year, as the price was too good to pass up.
I have one that will likely be blanketed at least part of the winter as she is thinner than I'd like her to be; we get cold, so I don't want her to waste energy trying to stay warm, so will blanket and feed her up.
The Polar Vortex did have me blanketing a few that had never needed a blanket before.
 

arrelle

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I'm blanketing mine this year; but it's partially to try to keep him from growing a huge coat.

My (big) show horses stay in sleezies and sheets starting in the 50s to keep their coats down. I'm sure that depending on when shows really start back up (the COVID factor), I'll body clip my mini - but he came to Texas from Ohio in November 2019 and was dying from the heat in early March because his body had planned on a northern winter. 😂 I'm hoping to remind his body that he lives in the south now, and doesn't need to prepare for snow.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I used to have an older mare that didn't handle cold well, and she got a blanket when it was cold. If it's a cold rain, I make sure they have hay under the shelter and they can stay there if they want to. But mine are on pasture and can move about, grazing, to stay warmer. One problem could be a bossy horse that won't let another under the shelter. Have to keep an eye on that. I will be keeping an eye on Dapper Dan this winter, as he is 24. But he has thick, pelt-like coat and doesn't seem bothered by cold.
But, no shivering is allowed. Any horse that shivers gets a blanket.
 

Pitter Patter

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All my animals have blankets at hand, even my llamas. However, I don't use them constantly so they develop a good winter coats. I don't have a barn so I watch to see if anyone is shivering, sickly, etc. They all get extra feed in the winter. If it's especially wet out or very cold with wet and windy conditions I put them on some. When weather improves I remove them. My senior mini who is still way thinner than I like to see is definitely wearing her blanket this winter. She shakes when it is 50 out or she gets wet. The llamas really won't need theirs as they have full wool this year. I have a very large (abt 300 pounds) wether goat as well. He also has blanket which is rarely worn as his coat is fairly good. He usually only gets it on during very extreme weather (He is older now too). Goats are supposed to have draft free housing, which he is very adept at wrecking! When I say extreme, it is usually during polar vortex's etc. with sustained high winds, freezing rain etc. Most years we get about 2 weeks of sustained -20F. Then they all get blankets! Regular snowfall usually isn't a problem. So I guess I am trying to say, it all just depends!
 
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I used to have an older mare that didn't handle cold well, and she got a blanket when it was cold. If it's a cold rain, I make sure they have hay under the shelter and they can stay there if they want to. But mine are on pasture and can move about, grazing, to stay warmer. One problem could be a bossy horse that won't let another under the shelter. Have to keep an eye on that. I will be keeping an eye on Dapper Dan this winter, as he is 24. But he has thick, pelt-like coat and doesn't seem bothered by cold.
But, no shivering is allowed. Any horse that shivers gets a blanket.
Dapper Dan. Hat a fab name x
 

Grace and Millie

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The worst thing is flipping blankets. If I'm blanketing I have light, medium and heavyweight options available. Our temperature fluctuates so much that it can warm up or drop 20° in a day. It will go back and forth like that in the winter and I'm sometimes changing blankets twice a day. I'm always afraid if I don't that they'll either sweat because they're over blanketed or be cold because they don't have enough. this year I'm thinking of leaving my naked because I'm very impressed with how their winter coats work and mine are fat so I want them burning all of the extra calories.
 

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