Layering Blankets vs. one blanket?
When blanketing which is better using a turnoutsheet on top of a stable blanket or a turnout with fill?
Obviously one blanket is easier to deal with for the people putting them on but is the warmth the same for the horse?
- Rosi MLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The one problem with using a turnout sheet over a stable rug is that when it rains, the under rug does stand the chance of getting wet. Water still manages to find a way into and under the turnout sheet.
I'd go with the turnout rug with the filler.Source(s): Over 40 years of training horses, riders and making/repairing saddles and tack. HPTS!!!
- EverbelyLv 51 decade ago
Personally, my answer would be neither. Blankets tend to mush down the coat and actually make the horse colder by taking away the natural insulation the air in his hair coat give him. Also he can no longer take advantage of the warmth the sunlight gives when it soaks into his coat.
But, if you think you have to blanket, a turnout with fill is probably warmer if the horse does need the warmth.
I've had horses for almost 50 years and have always lived in the north where we deal with temps down to -30 and regularly in the 20s below and I've never blanketed except for a very few special circumstances.
- Learning DailyLv 71 decade ago
depending on how cold it is and if its raining or sleeting we layer
My old guy is 35 now and contrary to all the people who will scream its horrid. We do not Stall. He has a run in shed in a 1/2 acre paddock at night or foul weather and he cant be run from it. Durring the day they have access to 10 acres of fields. Our horses have lived this way for 30 years and are healthy and living well. In the winter they get a lined turn out rug during the day if its raining or sleeting/snowing. It the sun shines and its freezing or above they get no blanket. At night they get a different turnout and a extra wool liner to help hold the heat.
Horses like people sweat when warm. They will sweat under a blanket and if you leave it on, the wet blanket wont really keep them warm. So changing to a lighter blanket in the day. And layers of different blankets at night helps the old boy to stay nice and warm.
- 1 decade ago
Everyone is making good points about horses being naturally adapted to the cold, it's true they are, however, that was not your question.
Anyone who maintains their horse in serious competitive condition through the winter and lives in a cold climate knows that you cannot allow the thick natural coat to grow.
It will cause your horse to get too hot too fast when riding and will take forever to dry when done, seriously limiting the work you are able to do.
When I am actively showing a horse they are either blanketed to prevent a heavy winter coat or clipped if they grow one anyway. Here is my strategy for blanketing.
A blanket of appropriate weight for the temperature in the barn (sheet, full on winter blanket etc.) During brief periods of extreme cold I use a fleece liner under their blanket.
For inclement weather turnout ideally, I swap them to a waterproof blanket with fill. However over the years I have had several people who turnout at my barn refuse to swap heavy blankets on my 16 to 17hh horses (I know I saw the question about the heights, they are warmblood dressage horses, they really are that tall.) So I improvise with thin rain sheet over the top of their stable blanket as to not add too much weight.
Personally I think that less is more, I shouldn't NEED to layer but I've found that in reality sometimes I have to. I think that its important to keep them warm if we aren't going to allow them to grow their natural coat, and that is more important than the ease for us.
As long as the layering isn't leaving them too warm or cold and isn't impeding their movement, it should be fine.
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- 1 decade ago
Horses are made for cold weather, and actually do a lot better in cold than in warm weather.
Blankets actually inhibit the body's natural mechanisms and make it harder for the horse to keep himself warm.
Here's a really interesting article about how a horse regulates its body temperature.
How, one way the horse keeps himself warm is by constantly moving around to generate body heat. So, if you keep you horse stabled in the winter, he might need a blanket. However, if you turn out your horse, he'll probably be much happier without a blanket.
Our horses live in central Kansas and are outside 24/7 and never get blanketed. This includes 2 draft horses in their mid-20s. They all do fine in the winter, even with temperatures close to zero.
The other exceptions to this are if you have a sickly horse or horse in poor health, as they won't be able to properly regulate their body temperature. Or, if you clip your horse, he won't have the proper winter coat to keep himself warm.