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Blanket or No Blanket
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Blanket or No Blanket

 A very touchy subject for many horse owners. 

In a very natural environment: plenty of acreage to roam, including natural wind breaks and shelter, I would say that one does not need to blanket. With that being said... Not many horses in domestication have a truly natural environment for roaming and foraging. Most are in small paddocks, stalls, and under 10 acres of pasture. 

There is also the work schedules of the owners/partners to said equine that have them on regulated feedings and conditioning. There isn't free foraging and roaming needed for the horse to fuel its internal fire to keep them warm.

Then there is the region of the world in which you live. I am in Texas and truly cold cold nights only happen for a very short period of time. I have not always lived in Texas and I have not always blanketed my horse, nor will I always blanket. When I lived in Indiana I never blanketed my horses. They were used to the cold weather, their coats came in thick and full and fuzzy. However here in Texas things are not all that consistent. This year my horse hardly has any winter coat, we have had another extremely hot and long summer. It is now December and we have had 80+ degree days and then suddenly it will drop into the 30's. This is when I blanket. The horses have no chance to adjust for this much of a variance and I believe I am reducing my risk of colic and illness. 

Is there a "right" and "wrong" answer to this question? I don't think so. I think every horse owner has to look at their own horse environment and each horse individually and make the best decision for their equine needs. 

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I am just a girl who loves horses! Pretty much everything there is about horses from the hooves up. I come from a line of female trainers and horse lovers. I purchased my first horse when I was 15 and haven't looked back. :) I am married to a non-horsey husband who loves me even though he says I am a prime example of "My Little Pony" gone wrong. I am just going to share my feelings and experiences with you and hope that we can learn and grow in our passion for horses together.

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  1. Rene Wright
    Rene Wright
    This topic is such a touchy one because there are so many variances with domestic horses today. I think you did a wonderful job with this blog though. I live in Georgia & while we had a long summer, (not quite like yours) we too dip real low at night then way up high the next day. I decided not to blanket Cookie mostly because she has a 3 sided shelter & I feed her more at night than I do during the day. She also has trees to get under & can use the house as a wind break if need be. Her winter coat didn't come in for a long time & I did worry at first, but I read an article that said horses coats come in when the daylight is far less. Barn lights, street lights can all play a part in how soon their winter coat comes in. I guess if they're in a dark barn/stall for at least 12 hours a day, their coats would come in much sooner, but I don't for-see folks leaving their horses in the dark for quite that long. lol In the end though, it's whatever the owner feels is necessary for their horse, you're right about that. Voted! :)

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