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  • Clare Long

One Helpful Hint to Knowing if your Horse is Cold

(From Clare's article archives, Circa 2010-2015)

I believe that all horse people out there will benefit from these 3 simple Helpful Hints (I have gleaned from my 40 years of caring for and loving the horses in my life), for getting through the winter comfortably and safely with their wonderful equine counterparts.

Question: How do you know if your horse is cold?

Answer: Feel their ears!

If the tips of your horse's ears are cold, then your horse is cold.

That is how I decide if I am going to blanket each horse or not.

It is a bit tricky if your horse is wet.

When wet, most horses' ears are cold and they would probably appreciate a rain sheet or blanket.

Question: How do I know if my horse needs a cooler after exercise?

Answer: If your horse is steaming, then they need a cooler.

The cooler is to keep the warmth in your horse's body rather

than letting the warmth escape in the form of steam.

Question: When should I blanket?

Answer: In our temperate California climate,

I will usually only blanket to keep my horses dry.

I don't like it when my horses get wet and chilled.

Often they shiver, which, in my book, is unacceptable.

Almost all horses will appreciate a waterproof sheet or blanket to keep them dry and comfortable when it is raining.

As far as the cold is concerned: Most horses will grow

enough coat to keep them warm in the winter.

Especially here in California, where the thermometer

pretty much never gets below 35 degrees.

Note: Because of this fact, I never go with blankets heavier than a Medium Weight (approximately 220 polyfill).

I don't think your horse needs a Heavy Weight blanket unless

you are in a climate that gets colder than that (think snow!)

Exceptions: Some horses do not grow enough of a winter coat to stay warm.

Again, check the tips of their ears to see if they are warm enough.

Usually, Thoroughbreds are the ones that need blanketing for warmth,

even on dry days and evenings.

We all know that this is because Thoroughbreds were bred to be in stalls,

warm and cozy, not out in the elements.

Another exception is for horses that are too thin. I always blanket these horses. Reason: I do not want them to lose any calories trying to stay warm!

Other tips:

Please be sure that your horse's blanket fits them properly, and that it is indeed waterproof!

Feel free to go to my website page "The Products I recommend and why"

for the blankets I highly recommend.

Note: If you slip your hand under the blanket at the shoulder,

your horse should be cozy warm.

If they are sweating, they need either a lighter blanket (sheet), or they need to be left "naked."

In addition, please check out my Blog and corresponding video for: "Blanketing and Unblanketing: Proper technique, Safety tips, blanket fit" Featuring Clare and her beautiful model "Weltmeyer" aka Welty: 16.2hh, 14 year old, bay, Imported Hessen (German Warmblood) gelding


I think that is all I have time for this morning.

I hope you found these Wintertime Helpful Hints useful.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss further, or have any more questions.

Looking forward to visiting with you soon, and be sure to give your horse an extra hug and kiss for me.

Best, Clare





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