United Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Winter is Here!
Keep your horses safe and warm during winter. Good feed, warm blankets, trimmed hooves, dewormed, and vaccinated. Not all horses need a blanket, but for those who live in rainy areas, a blanket allows your horse to stay dry and warm despite wet conditions.
Horses use food to regulate thermal energy to stay warm. A waterproof blanket will help keep your horse warm as well. A blanket can reduce your feed costs by keeping your horse externally a degree or two warmer.
There are many types of blankets available. The biggest concern with blankets is ensuring your blanket does not weigh so much that it decreases the loft of your horse's own hair coat, but at the same time is breathable, waterproof, and has a warm liner. Proper fit is also needed.
To measure for proper fit, use a tape measure (cloth is best) and place one end on the sternum of your horse at the base of their neck across the point of their shoulder, wrap the measure along the length of the side of the horse, across the point of the back of the hip, and stopping at the side of the tail - do not measure to the middle of the tail. That will give you the average length of blanket you need for your horse.
Then, find a blanket you like and that fits your horse's body type. Some are cutback at the wither, great for higher withered horses, some are high neck, great for horses who have little to no shelter, and others have long sides, short sides, reflective tape; stretchy leg straps, belt-like leg straps, or no leg straps at all.
You know your horse and their likes. With so many types out there enjoy a good day to find just the right one for you. So, to reduce feed costs, blanket your horse if needed, especially in wet areas, keep their skin clean by grooming daily, and enjoy winter knowing your horse is comfortable outdoors.