We have three very different horses with three very different sets of needs. While I would prefer NOT to blanket and clip (because let’s face it, when you do self-care at home, you’re the one pulling blankets on and off twice a day!), the reality is that I do both.
CashCash is 25, and while he started out the year in great weight, he’s steadily lost it since September. He’s not as interested in eating as he used to be, and it can be a real struggle to get him to finish his 2 scoops of Senior twice daily. And yes, his teeth have been checked, he’s UTD on wormer, etc. Older horses just sometimes don’t eat as well, and for the first time, he’s showing his age a bit.
Cash grows a thick winter coat, but because he’s not as fat as usual and is not eating well, I don’t want him to waste a single calorie on staying warm. Therefore, he gets blanketed when it’s below 50, and below 40, he gets a liner plus his blanket.
Eat, liebschen, eat!!!
RedYou’d think that Red, with his pony-esque stature, would grow a winter coat like a yak. In reality, he grows less hair than most OTTBs I’ve met, so he gets cold pretty easily. And while he’s in good weight right now, toward the end of last winter I had to switch him from his usual Lite feed to Senior to keep the pounds on. Given that, I also don’t want him to burn any calories staying warm. He usually gets a sheet around 50, and below 40 gets a blanket. If it’s cold/windy/rainy, then he gets a fleece under his blanket too (his blanket is older and not as warm as it once was).
I prefer my fleecy jammies when it's below 40, tyvm.
PaddingtonPaddington was all set this year for a Michigan winter, and then he moved to Texas. He’s got a coat about like a woolly mammoth. Unfortunately, last week it was 82 degrees, and the poor guy was drenched in sweat just standing there in the shade. While 82 is not the norm for winter here, mid 50s to mid 60s is, and even that is too warm for the amount of hair he’s sporting. A clip was in order, but I wanted to take off as little hair as I could get away with.
I started off just clipping the underside of his neck, his chest, and part of his belly, but he was still sweating buckets. I ended up doing what’s called a blanket clip, and that seems to be working really well for him. When I’ve ridden him, he’s gotten a bit damp on his back but dried and cooled quickly, and he’s stopped sweating when he’s just standing around. Since he’s clipped, he gets a blanket at around 45 or so, although even with the clip he could probably do without, or even with just a sheet. His ears and sheath have been toasty warm despite the near-freezing temps we’ve had here – it hasn’t gotten above 40 since Friday! And I certainly don’t mind if he burns a few hundred extra calories keeping warm!
I must eat moar to grow moar hairs!