Two week's ago, I wrote about our horses shedding as we are getting very close to that time of year once again. To stay on the theme of spring, this week's post is going to be about blankets.
For most of us, the winter blankets should be put away and the other blankets are taken out. There are so many blankets to choose from and sometimes it is hard to know which ones we should be using. Hopefully, the information I will give you below will help you decide a little easier.
Coolers are helpful when you want to cool down your horse after a good ride. Since it is still a little chilly outside, you want your horse to cool down without freezing and getting sick because he was sweating. That's why you would put a cooler on your horse after your ride. A cooler allows air to circulate under the blanket to cool your horse down without him getting cold. All you need to do to use a cooler properly is to take off your horse's tack, put on the cooler and walk him around. Once his breathing has come back down to normal and his body temperature is the same throughout his body, take off the cooler and brush him down.
A fly sheet does pretty much what its name implies; it helps keep flies off of your horse. Sometimes a horse can be very sensitive to flies, especially if they have a cut. A fly sheet allows you to minimise the amount of flies that land on your horse. That way, he can still go out into the paddock or stand in a stall without always having to fuss with those irritating bugs.
-Waterproof Turnout Blankets-
This is another obvious one. A waterproof turnout blanket allows you to let your horse out in a paddock while it is raining. (It's really just a rain jacket for horses!) It will keep your horse dry while still enjoying the outdoors. It also gives him a little extra protection from problems like rain rot.
A stable blanket is really made for the horses who are off to a competition early the next morning. The blanket allows the horse to stay clean all night so that there is less things to worry about the next morning. (To keep the legs clean throughout the night, they will usually put on stable bandages and then change them to shipping bandages before they load the horse into the trailer too.) Stable blankets are typically more padded than most blankets and should really only be used for overnight purposes as your horse can get too hot if he has it on all day.
I hope you now know more about the different types of blankets and what they are used for. Remember to only use them for their purposes and nothing more. The really isn't a reason to be putting on a blanket on your horse if it is sunny outside unless there are a lot of flies or you just finished a good workout.
I also have heard about people putting on waterproof turnout blankets on their horses in the morning. But by the afternoon, it wasn't raining any more and the horses still had their blankets on. When the owners came back in the evening, they found out that their horses were hot all day because of the blankets and were too tired to be ridden. If you are not able to be around your horse all day, try to make arrangements with the stable's staff to take off or put on a blanket on your horse when it is needed. That way your horse will always be comfortable.
Thank you for reading my blog. I apologise for the post being a little bit longer than the usual ones. Hopefully this information was useful to you. I wish you all a great rest of the weekend. Another blog post will be up next week as usual and a few more "Equine News" posts as well. Take care!