Megan asked in PetsHorses · 2 months ago

When to blanket a horse?

I live in Alberta and soon we will be getting -65 weather, I just got a new Arabian. I have no prior experience with Arabians, -65 weather, or rugging so I have no idea if he has to get rugged because he’s a warm blood. I was hoping I could find help on weather he desperately needs one or not. I hope this doesn’t sound bad for me not knowing, all our previous quarter horses have been fine with our previous weather, I’m just worried because he is a warm blood the weather will effect him differently.

Update:

Thank you to everyone who helped, it was very helpful indeed, by the information given I’m sure I’ll be able to find the right facility, or blanket, for his needs. Thank you again! :)

8 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    When it gets cold. 

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  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I sure hope your horse is NOT outside for long in -65 degrees!  He needs a good stable/stall where it stays warmer with doors closed and plenty of straw for bedding.  May not need a blanket when inside the stall if its out of the wind/cold, he will need it when you let him outside for no more then 10-15 mins in that kind of weather.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Megan, Arabians aren't warmbloods. You're misusing and confusing that term. The Arabian as a breed is considered to be a "hot blood" because these animals were originally bred in the deserts of the Middle East and north Africa. All modern horse breeds have at least some Arabian genes in them, regardless of what breed you're talking about. The Quarter Horses you previously owned had Arab genes in their ancestry. Where I live, we own several TB's and TB crosses, and they definitely have Arab blood in them. Arabs are a tough, hardy breed that evolved in extreme conditions, including both high heat and extreme cold (because all deserts have both kinds of temperatures every day) as well as rugged terrain and mountains.

    Now, about your question of whether or not your horse needs a blanket. I'm inclined to say no, for several reasons. People put blankets on horses, Megan, to make THEMSELVES feel better, rather than because it actually benefits the horse, which it DOESN'T, in most cases. The only time blankets ever make sense is if a horse has been partially or totally body clipped, if they are extremely debilitated from something like illness or surgery, or if they are in heavy or intense training in the winter time. The exception to this is in the case of a foal that is born during the winter months. That does happen, and it's the reason why manufacturers make foal blankets. Nature meant horses to grow winter coats for a REASON. Blanketing interferes with this natural process, and it puts horses at risk for injuries when the blankets become torn or twisted. I personally have known a couple of horses that ended up dead, Megan, because they got their legs caught in blanket straps and suffered life ending fractures.

    I live on the east coast, on the Delmarva Peninsula, and believe me, we get our share of bitter cold, snow, and ice in the winter too. No, it doesn't get as cold here as it does where you are, but that doesn't mean we don't have issues with weather in the winter. Our horses (we have 5 of them at the moment) all live outside year round, and normally only come in to eat, work, travel to shows and competitions in the summer, get their teeth, feet, shots, and worming done, and once in a while to see the vet. Otherwise, they're out all the time.They've got sheds they can stand under to get away from the rain, wind, and snow, and we feed them lots of hay. They also get beet pulp (soaked, NOT dry) with their feed twice a day, and that really helps them stay warm and keeps weight on our older horses.We use stock tank heaters to keep the water troughs open in freezing weather.

    The only time our horses are ever inside because of weather is when we have a combination of sub freezing wind chills, low temperatures (20 degrees or below is our set point) and snow, rain, or freezing rain. Then they come inside overnight, and we feed them hay and grain, and use heated buckets for water. But they're always out again the next morning. In the summer, they're out on pasture during the day and in the barnyard at night.  We never blanket anybody if we can possibly help it, even in the coldest weather. As long as horses have enough hay to eat, and they have shelter from the wind, they do just fine.

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  • 2 months ago

    A mid weight, water proof blanket.  Must be waterproof.  This may not be the winter to experiment with blanketing.  You can do that next year after you have gotten to know him and seen what type of coat he gets.  I would def. put a blanket on him, and make sure you take it off every day to groom him and then put it back on.  Also, unlimited hay.

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  • Amber
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    That sounds brutally cold to me. I would definitely up his feed and make sure he has constant access to somewhere warm and avoid stabling him at night. Stabling forces a horse to stand still, out in the pasture they can move around/run around and this helps. Give his plenty of access to hay. 

    Just keep an eye on him. He may grow a winter coat when his body reacts to the climate you have. Or is he used to the low climate all ready? Have a blanket ready just in case. And be prepared to need to warm him. Place his blanket on a radiator  before you go to visit him, once it's quite warm, fold it up, place it in a plastic bag to retain heat and go check his temp. If he feels cold, put the warm blanket on him.

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  • BOBBER
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    He will be fine as long as he has good feed and water as well something to break the wind. We live in northern mn. Our horses prefer to be outside..

    Source(s): horse owner 50+ years
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  • Eva
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    -65 sounds pretty brutal. A lot of it will depend on where your horse is coming from and what conditions he was exposed to there. If he's inside at night and there other other horses in the barn, he may not need anything. If he's out in the cold and/or wind he might need something. Observation is your friend. If he's thin, older, not much hair coat, etc. he may feel the cold quite badly. If you notice him shivering excessively (a little is ok) then he needs one. The worst thing you can do is over-blanket and have him sweat underneath it. Horse's hair stands on end when it's cold and insulates them a lot. The air space keeps them warm. He'll also need lots of good hay and adequate access to unfrozen water.

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  • Joan H
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    It depends to some extent on what kind of facilities you have for him. If you don't have a barn with other animals to help keep him warm, there is no question that he needs to be rugged.

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