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 Wet horse in winter -- polar fleece???
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  09:11:11 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
Hi, as mentioned before I don't blanket Cloud. Today's an example of when I think there might be exceptions in order. Bear in mind she is NOT shivering, seems perfectly happy.

But should I be at least trying to dry her off? Yesterday was 50s and today is miserable, snowing, windy, slushy snow coming down. Not only is she wet, but also dirty from rolling.

Should I be getting a fleece cooler? The only thing I have is a Gortex sheet, but I'm recalling not to use something like that on a wet horse. It's not lined.

ree7
Advanced Rider

USA
164 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  09:52:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit ree7's Homepage Send ree7 a Private Message
A healthy horse that is not show-clipped or showing signs of shivering or distress really doesn't need a blanket (JMHO). If the horse has a run-in/run-out set up, and it is raining/snowing, she will decide if she wants to be in out of the weather or not.

She will probably enjoy the attention of you drying her and cleaning off the mud, then happily run back outside to play in the rain and snow again.
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  10:37:45 AM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
I wouldn't blanket her either if she's not showing signs of distress.

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  12:42:15 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
I have to go along with everyone else. Both my horses are standing out in our bog(swamp?) that used to be our arena. Standing water and ankle deep mud everywhere... and it's in the low 30's. When the weather is like this, it's hard to tell whether I have horses or pigs! Like Ree7 said, if I took the time to clean them up, they'd be a mess, again, in no time. Do I blanket my horses? No... only if the weather is dangerously cold, say like below zero with -10 degree wind chills or colder for example. Most horses are comfortable anywhere from 55 degrees down to 15 degrees. That'a their comfort range.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  1:27:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
If she isn't acting cold then she isn't cold. If you did blanket it don't go with polar fleece. It's pretty warm and would have her too warm which is just as bad as being cold. 50 degrees and just blanketing for wettness you could get a way with a light weight turn out, not liner needed.
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  6:04:12 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
Advice needed ASAP.

I have flu, dizzy, etc., just outright sick. Daughter went out to muck stall late afternoon and came back in, Cloud was looking very cold, had icicles (which she gets because she tends to stand out there IN the snow). Dirty, icy, a real mess. We went out there equipped with hair blowers and melted the ice globs clinging to hair. Got most of them. Brushed her, curried, etc. along with that but she's really dirty and hair not easily fluffing.

It's COLD. Predicted tonight is a "real feel" of minus 10 with real temps above zero (ranging from 5 to 15). High winds. Brutal. The only blanket I have is a Gortex sheet. If lined, it's lined with more gortex (2 pieces of fabric one grey inside, dark green outside, but 2 pieces). Nothing snuggly about it in terms of soft warmies but...

My question is, should I put that on her? We dried her as much as possible. My sense of it is the Gortex could add some warmth. At the same time, however, it could flatten her hair and deprive her of the fluff factor and/or trap in wet.

I've been depending on Jenny today and yesterday because I've been really sick. Dizzy spells, etc., now some nausea and other unfun things. I think it'll take 2 of us to put it on her (gortex) and I have no idea how she reacts to blanketing. I tried to coax her into her stall to get her out of the wind, but she wasn't having any of it. Barn makes very loud noises in winds and freaks her out. She wants a clear shot at the door to the outside and I think feels vulnerable in stall.

Gortex sheet or not?? We fed her hay, gong to give her more than her winter ration. Will check on her in about an hour, but need to know your best advice, Gortex sheet or not?

Sister used to keep horses in Northern NH (much colder than here) and never blanketed them and she's been fine up to now, including a couple zero days, but weather has taken a turn for "brutal." I don't know whether the gortex sheet would be the best thing I could do or the worst.
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  6:05:12 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
PS I don't have the polar fleece. Was thinking of buying one from a friend. Woman at Stateline said they were great for absorbing wet so I thought it would be a good thing to have. I have the gortex only.
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ree7
Advanced Rider

USA
164 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  6:15:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit ree7's Homepage Send ree7 a Private Message
I stick by my original opinion " A healthy horse that is not show-clipped or showing signs of shivering or distress really doesn't need a blanket (JMHO)."

Even at a minus 30, our horses have done just fine as long as they have a barn to get into when they want. I can't imagine having the flu, with weather moving in, and you are considering blanketing a horse that is not trained to a blanket. Give the horse plenty of extra hay, make yourself a nice cup of hot tea and relax, I bet she will do just fine.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  6:20:26 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ree7

I stick by my original opinion " A healthy horse that is not show-clipped or showing signs of shivering or distress really doesn't need a blanket (JMHO)."

Even at a minus 30, our horses have done just fine as long as they have a barn to get into when they want. I can't imagine having the flu, with weather moving in, and you are considering blanketing a horse that is not trained to a blanket. Give the horse plenty of extra hay, make yourself a nice cup of hot tea and relax, I bet she will do just fine.



I couldn't have said it better, myself.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  6:24:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
OTW, The answer is simple. Horses shed water quite well. Rub your finger against the direction of the hair on their back. If the fine hair close to the skin is dry they are okay. If the skin is wet use a sweat scraper and get the excess water off. We use a wool cooler that "wicks" the water to the surface of the coller in less than 1/2 hour. Check to see if the skin is dry, if so you are away. If not use another wool cooler to complete the job. Not a good thing to blanket a wet horse with a blanket that does not draw out the moisture and leave the horse dry. Have used a hair blow dryer if necessary to complete the job.

Unless a really blowing driving rain most times the horses will be dry next to the skin.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Edited by - Hook on 01/16/2006 07:03:54 AM
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  7:00:37 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
Thanks guys. She was pretty matted, that's what concerned me. Jenny just went out to pour hot water in her bucket to warm it up. (Stupid de-icer was off. I cracked the surface but wanted hot water in there as well to speed things up.)

Hook...
"Check to see if the slin is dary is so you are away."

Sorry I can't deciper, brain is not working... at all. I hope there's nothing wrong with halving again her winter ration of hay, I told Jenny to give her another 5# (total 15# tonight). I understand just the process of eating the hay warms them up, so figured she should have at it. My understanding is more hay won't hurt them, it's grain not to increase too fast. Yes??? Been giving her 10# morning and night.

This is brutal, brutal weather and it's not a civilized time to have the flu. Jenny just came in and said she looked normal again. Eating her hay, very happy to see more coming. I was gong to go out there with Jen and see if we could muscle the barn door closed more, but Jen said as she went out there (flapping roof part) was a huge bang, and Cloud ran outside. Then came back in right away, hopefully she's getting used to it. I think that's why she was outside in the weather, hated those bangs.

I don't know if she's dry underneath the outer layer, I think she is. Jenny said where the icycles weren't, she was fluffy. We got most of the icicles, and I think the hair dryers helped warm her up to give her a fresh start. Never seen her act quite like she was when we were doing it. Very wary at first about the hair blowers but frankly I didn't have the wherewithal to have her spooking, I just couldn't spend time babying it. I let her sniff it, then turned it on and got it on her right away so at least she could feel warmth to offset the strangness. She got used to THAT right away as soon as she realized what it did. Really glad about that.

Jenny said she looked fine when she just went back out with the hot water. So I think it should be okay.

Thanks a bunch for the hand holding, I didn't know which way to go on the gortex sheet. Couldn't predict if "get it on her ASAP" or "don't even think of it if she's wet underneath."

Rambling, sorry... going back to bed for a while again... Your lack of alarm is putting me more at ease. Will check on her later again...
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  10:10:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Your weather doesn't sound that bad!! You should see the weather we get.

I agree never blanket a wet horse unless you are using coolers or layers to pull moisture out and then changing them as soon as they need it. Do you feed her inside? If so she will stay in there long enough to eat. Ice build up does not equal a cold horse. Is she shivering? If not she isn't cold. Push your fingers into her coat with the back of your fingers next to her skin. A warm horse feels warmer next to the skin. A Cold horse will feel cold.

Can you lock her in the stall or run in part? If it worries you that much and since you don't have the proper blankets that would be the best thing for the both of you. Just make sure she has enough hay to keep her happy. Yes you can up the hay like that as long as it isn't straight alfalfa you can up it by quite a bit when they need to stay warm. She should learn to stay in the barn even if it is windy out because there might be a time you have to stall her.

Ten to one she isn't nearly as upset about this as you are. Horses handle the cold and weather a lot better then we do. They are more cold weather animals.
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Saddletramp
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
2546 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  10:39:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Saddletramp's Homepage Send Saddletramp a Private Message
OTW-

I'm also in agreement here....unless a horse is completely dry, the gortex is going to contain the dampness and not allow it to dissipate. And unless she is visibly shivering, she is not as cold as you might think. Mine get frost all over their eyelashes, whiskers, etc. and look like little woolie mammoths, minus the tusks, but are quite content and comfie.

I have kept grass hay in front of the old guy 24/7, if he is not on pasture, with no ill effects.

Hope you get to feeling better soon!

-Saddletramp

"She never moved the stars from their courses,
but she loved a good man and she rode good horses"
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  05:40:43 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
Stormie -- Maybe I'm overreacting to the weather, but when they say "real feel" -15 and the temp is under 5 above, and you go out there and your legs get numb pretty fast, that's cold to me.

Shivering -- That's what got me alarmed. Jenny went out there to do something and came back in right away, and said she WAS shivering. That's been my benchmark all along. Jen said her hair was plastered down with dirt AND icicles AND wet. I bundled up and we went back out. I didn't see the kind of all-over shivering I expected, but there was some -- lower legs, thigh, here and there.

Enclosing in barn -- Until I get that barn re-roofed, I can't do that with the high winds making roof panels flap and bang. She freaks and runs out of there. She'll come back in when it stops but I do believe if she couldn't get out she'd break her way out. Her stall she just wants nothing to do with other than to pee in it. It's in a corner and its door is not a strait shot to the outside door, to the contrary. And to top it all off, the "intended" 48" door to her stall ended up being 36" which I think makes her feel more trapped in there. I had Jenny put her hay in there, and she ran in there long enough to grab as big a mouthful of hay as she could, then brought it (whatever she could carry) out of the stall and into her indoor pen. It was like watching a game of "hot potato." She didn't want to be in there one second longer than necessary. We quickly saw that was just making life difficult, so brought it into the indoor pen where she has windblock.

As for teaching her to stay in there, the ONE thing I was told when I got her was that she hates being enclosed in a stall. Prior owner said if I closed even the barn door she'd try to kick her way out.

Now isn't the first thing that comes to your mind... trailering? She trailered over here beautifully. Walked right on, backed right off. Susan (driving) said she moved very little en route. But I guess a stall spooks her.

I have a feeling if the wind weren't making things smack loudly, I'd stand a chance, but with it as is, she gets scared and really needs an out.

Haven't checked her yet this morning (5:30am). Still sick and everything hurts from pounding headache to muscles feel like I've been lifting the barn itself, but not as bad as last night. I'll go out around 7am.

GORTEX SHEET: I can see the wisdom in not using that over wet horse, but also saw the wisdom of putting it on long enough to melt her icicles. So what is a gortex sheet used for? I actually picked it up very cheap, a local school sells off any tack they aren't going to use. It's a "Classics Coverup" Gortex... her size and $15. It has a couple of small rips, otherwise fine.

Any suggestions what I should buy to just warm her in an emergency? I hear ya all about the underhair being warm and dry, but *IF* at some point it's not and I have to do something, what should I have on hand? Lady I bought trailer from has a fleece sheet she bought for $80, will sell for $50. I guess I'm just not sure what I should use, either for situations like that or trailering. Lady at Stateline Tack said fleece can wick away wet like Hook was describing with his wool sheets. So should I have something like that, or is fleece just not used that way?

Thanks all for quick response.

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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  07:17:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
OTW - corrected the spelling in the other post.
Some of our wool sheets are just wool blankets from Good Will. You can put on them on under a regular cotton sheet to hold them in place. If the horse is real cold I would layer two or three of the wool blankets under a regular blanket to speed up the warming process. Once she is dry a breathable weather proof winter blanket would do the trick. No problem with the Gortex IF she is dry underneath. Warm Water will certainly help and be much appreciated. You can tell if a horse has enough natural insulation if when it is cold the snow on their back does not melt.

Take lots of Vitamin C and one of those hot lemon drinks and don't get chilled yourself. Hope you will get over the flu soon.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  08:31:30 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
Awww, Hook, it wasn't your spelling, it was me just unable to put 2 and 2 together. NIce surprise this morning, I climbed back into bed to warm up before going out to do Cloud, and my daughter slipped out the door and did everything, including dump the wheelbarrow! I have about zero strength and fighting nausea about now. At least this flu is changing, that shows some progress (optimist). I hate being sick, hate it.

Okay the human wool blankets sound like a good idea. Having been told I don't need blankets if Cloud's fur was wintered enough (which it is) I didn't buy anything. All I have is the gortex sheet. I'm thinking if she got into trouble and I'm unequipped, putting a couple of those under the gortex sheet (just to hold it in place) for just long enough to wick away some wet could be an okay thing, yes?

I'm trying not to blanket her anymore than necessary.

This morning she seems a-okay, just fine.

I like your benchmark about icicles not melting means body heat is being contained. What we had last night was her long shaggy fur had matted and icicles formed on those peaks (which hung down so peaks not a good word). We melted as many as we could then towelled. Still some but couldn't get them all -- hair blowers out there in face of 18mph freezing wind barely seemed warm, not hot. Took a long time.

But again, she sure seemed okay this morning. I went out there as Jenny was finishing up, not a shiver on Cloud.

LEt me know if there's anything wrong with wool or acrylic blankets under gortex sheet -- not to leave her in, but in case we get into that situation again. Mainly if she's wet and it's cold and on top of that windy so windchill on top of wet becomes a threat.

Also what ARE fleece blankets used for? Seller of trailer has a fleece one she'll sell for $50 (bot new $80 and doesn't sound like it's been used much). I was going to buy it just to have SOMETHING I can use in an emergency. If blanketing was going to be standard, I'd go at this differently, but I'm trying to just have emergency setup since I'm so constantly advised not to get into the blanketing cycle.

Also what's gortex normally used for? I went to Classic CoverUps site and these all say highly breathable and waterproof. Seems one way to cut the cat is to put it on her before the rain/snow, except there again, I don't know what that does to their natural body adaptations, I don't want to screw that up.

Edited by - OnTheWay on 01/16/2006 08:35:06 AM
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  08:33:01 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hook

OTW - corrected the spelling in the other post.
Some of our wool sheets are just wool blankets from Good Will. You can put on them on under a regular cotton sheet to hold them in place. If the horse is real cold I would layer two or three of the wool blankets under a regular blanket to speed up the warming process. Once she is dry a breathable weather proof winter blanket would do the trick. No problem with the Gortex IF she is dry underneath. Warm Water will certainly help and be much appreciated. You can tell if a horse has enough natural insulation if when it is cold the snow on their back does not melt.

_________end quote missing, don't know how to code it________
Awww, Hook, it wasn't your spelling, it was me just unable to put 2 and 2 together. NIce surprise this morning, I climbed back into bed to warm up before going out to do Cloud, and my daughter slipped out the door and did everything, including dump the wheelbarrow! I have about zero strength and fighting nausea about now. At least this flu is changing, that shows some progress (optimist). I hate being sick, hate it.

Okay the human wool blankets sound like a good idea. Having been told I don't need blankets if Cloud's fur was wintered enough (which it is) I didn't buy anything. All I have is the gortex sheet. I'm thinking if she got into trouble and I'm unequipped, putting a couple of those under the gortex sheet (just to hold it in place) for just long enough to wick away some wet could be an okay thing, yes?

I'm trying not to blanket her anymore than necessary.

This morning she seems a-okay, just fine.

I like your benchmark about icicles not melting means body heat is being contained. What we had last night was her long shaggy fur had matted and icicles formed on those peaks (which hung down so peaks not a good word). We melted as many as we could then towelled. Still some but couldn't get them all -- hair blowers out there in face of 18mph freezing wind barely seemed warm, not hot. Took a long time.

But again, she sure seemed okay this morning. I went out there as Jenny was finishing up, not a shiver on Cloud.

LEt me know if there's anything wrong with wool or acrylic blankets under gortex sheet -- not to leave her in, but in case we get into that situation again. Mainly if she's wet and it's cold and on top of that windy so windchill on top of wet becomes a threat.

Also what ARE fleece blankets used for? Seller of trailer has a fleece one she'll sell for $50 (bot new $80 and doesn't sound like it's been used much). I was going to buy it just to have SOMETHING I can use in an emergency. If blanketing was going to be standard, I'd go at this differently, but I'm trying to just have emergency setup since I'm so constantly advised not to get into the blanketing cycle.

Also what's gortex normally used for? I went to Classic CoverUps site and these all say highly breathable and waterproof. Seems one way to cut the cat is to put it on her before the rain/snow, except there again, I don't know what that does to their natural body adaptations, I don't want to screw that up.



Take lots of Vitamin C and one of those hot lemon drinks and don't get chilled yourself. Hope you will get over the flu soon.

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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  08:53:48 AM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
If Cloud has plenty of good quality hay & a place where she can get out of the wind if she wants to, I doubt that she'll have any lasting ill effects. If I remember correctly, she's in good flesh which will help her too.

Shivering is a way for the body to warm itself & if she's only shivering slightly & just her legs, I don't think you should panic. Horses are tough critters! That being said, I have blanketed Joe when it's been in the teens with strong winds & snow/sleet and he seems very appreciative of his heavy waterproof blankie!

The only reason I blanketed Joe at all was because he just didn't have much of a winter coat & was obviously cold & shivering. Would he have survived without the blanket? Yep... I'm sure he would have made it. Did blanketing make him feel better? I'm certain it did. Did blanketing him make ME feel better? DEFINATELY!




Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  10:16:17 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
PG, she has both those. I wish the barn noises in wind didn't scare her so, if it's that windy (and stormy to boot) that's exactly when she wants to run/stay outside, and that's exactly when she should be in.

I wouldn't call her "of good flesh," she's pretty trim I think. I've been giving her about 10 lbs. hay morning and night, total 20#/day in winter plus 2 qts. grain/day. Based on food formula I read that should be plenty but I'm starting to wonder if I should increase her hay. I have her on straight timothy, it's a coarse hay, not a limp grassy type. I was told that's best for roughage, etc. I don't think there's any alfalfa in it. Last night because it was so nasty out, I gave her an additional 5 lbs (total 15 at night). I'm not seeing ribs (was told visual on ribs is best way to keep them right weight). But then I don't think I'd be able to see them with her winter coat. She doesn't feel skinny at all, but no extra padding I wouldn't say.

I ASSUME what I'm seeing is a good winter coat anyway. No other horses to compare it with, but we had a couple zero / subzero nights a while back and she seemed fine. Last night the wet on top of the cold is what had me worried.

She sure got fast used to those hair blowers though. LOL. Spooked at the noise and odd blowing at first, but once she felt them she got used to them in a heartbeat.

Something else though I meant to ask about, it was really funny. First time I've seen her do this, but she had what appeared to be a major curiosity thing going with everything we did. She'd turn her face toward me and get her mouth up to the brush, curry or hairblower or towel, and the upper lip was wanting to explore everything. Sort of a quiver type thing on that upper lip (not shivering, this was different). Like she just had to feel everything with that lip and check it out... my gloves, jacket sleeves, anything. Pretty amusing, but I've just never seen her do that before. Usually she just stands there for grooming stuff, but she just couldn't get in enough lip-exploring things. Odd reaction, but actually very endearing.

I think she KNEW we were out there trying to help her and once those hair blowers got rolling, I think she knew that WE knew what was wrong (cold), because she went into a "puppy dog" mode I haven't seen before. I do think the hair blowers helped a lot. But man, horses are big. That's a lot of ground to cover with a little hair blower, lol.
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sbower
Clinician



1083 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  2:21:20 PM  Show Profile Send sbower a Private Message
The rule of thumb is for every 10 degrees below freezing, increase your horse's roughage (not grain) by 10%. So if its zero outside, your horse should be getting 30% more hay. And this is assuming the horse has an adequate fat level to start. And that the hay is decent quality.

Hay = Warmth.... much more so than blankets.

I've always thought that the "rougher" the hay is the poorer the quality. My horse eats far less when the hay has large stems. Good quality hay should be green (medium green for grass, deep green for alalfa) small stems with lots of leaves, small less mature seed pods. Ideally hay is harvested right as seed heads/buds start to apppear.

Here a chart to visually grade hay
http://www.equineguelph.ca/news/RFV_chart.pdf

<'\__~
_(( // ====

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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  2:44:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
The sheet you have now is more for warmer weather. Even if a horse is dry if you put this on them when it is cold it will make them cold. It flattens out the hair and ruins the air layer. It would be like you going out in nothing but a windbreaker. It would still be cold to you.

Then they have lined ones, different weights for different temps. OR you can buy just liners to put under lighter weight blankets and sheets. The polar fleece that she has for sale might be for that or just as a warmer after a bath or in a stall or when cooling out. You could put it under the sheet you have BUT it may or may not be enough. If it is a true true Polar Fleece liner it should be extra warm, which can be too warm for some temps and horses. It's normally something you use when it's -30 or more when dealing with a hairy horse. Or it could be a cheaper, thinner fleece or a another type of fabric they call polar fleece it wouldn't be warm enough for that and would be more like a light liner.

To go with a sheet and liner you need to have atleast two liners, a thicker heavier weight one and a lighter weight. If you don't you run into problems of it being too heavy or light for what you need at time.

If she is staying in the run in part she should be fine. If she can handle a trailer then you should beable to get her to stay in a stall with enough time.

I find that horses really like hair driers, even in the summer. It works well to wet a horse down and then use a blow drier to work on getting them use to things that make noise and funny feelings on their skin/hair.

If it was a problem and if I didn't have the right blankets I would have just dried her off, fed her in the run in and left her be. What is cold to us is not cold to them. Yes you would feel cold when you walked outside, you aren't built for the cold like a horse is. Yes when a horse is wet that ruins the 'hair heating system' but that doesn't mean you need to blanket, just dry her off. Many, many horses live without blankets, with a foot of snow on their back and -30 degrees for weeks on end and they do just fine. So I don't think that she will have any problems because of this.

We get really bad weather. The Mid Jan until Mid-end Feb we normally have -20 to -30 degrees day and night with strong winds. NOrmally, because this year has been so odd we got that way back in Dec and then had 40-60 degree weather! Who knows what was up with that. Horses have a harder time with the swings like that when it is cold at night and warm durning the day.

I do blanket, but not normally. Coal gets blanketed because she just can't keep weight on other wise but this is only her second winter.
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  3:32:48 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by sbower

The rule of thumb is for every 10 degrees below freezing, increase your horse's roughage (not grain) by 10%. So if its zero outside, your horse should be getting 30% more hay. And this is assuming the horse has an adequate fat level to start. And that the hay is decent quality.

Hay = Warmth.... much more so than blankets.

I've always thought that the "rougher" the hay is the poorer the quality. My horse eats far less when the hay has large stems. Good quality hay should be green (medium green for grass, deep green for alalfa) small stems with lots of leaves, small less mature seed pods. Ideally hay is harvested right as seed heads/buds start to apppear.

Here a chart to visually grade hay
http://www.equineguelph.ca/news/RFV_chart.pdf



SB, then I think (assuming I'm seeing a "leaf" for what it is and a "seed pod" for what it is, then my hay passes with flying colors. I'm going more by what Susan said when she saw it, she said it was an excellent hay. Dodge Grain (Salem) supplies Rockingham Race Track and they don't buy junk. Price isn't cheap (although I beg to differ) -- I paid $7.53/bale for average 53-lb. bales if buying one ton or more ($8.50 otherwise). I'm pretty much trusting that feed store, owner is longtime horse owner (TBs) and I think used to race them but now just has three. Susan said a coarse hay is better, more roughage. I don't know the terminology for hay but if, for instance, I want to split a flake in half, I have a heck of a time. It's quite compressed, but also tangled together pretty well, and it does NOT break off (brittle) at all. Also a nice color of green and smells really yummy fresh. So based on visuals chart, I think it's likely good stuff. I don't think Dodge carries anything that isn't, he asked if I wanted Timothy grass or straight timothy (doh, what's the difference?) but I said I wanted the meaty stuff (coarse not flimsy). That's what he calls straight timothy.

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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  5:49:16 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Stormie

The sheet you have now is more for warmer weather. Even if a horse is dry if you put this on them when it is cold it will make them cold. It flattens out the hair and ruins the air layer. It would be like you going out in nothing but a windbreaker. It would still be cold to you.

Then they have lined ones, different weights for different temps. OR you can buy just liners to put under lighter weight blankets and sheets. The polar fleece that she has for sale might be for that or just as a warmer after a bath or in a stall or when cooling out. You could put it under the sheet you have BUT it may or may not be enough. If it is a true true Polar Fleece liner it should be extra warm, which can be too warm for some temps and horses. It's normally something you use when it's -30 or more when dealing with a hairy horse. Or it could be a cheaper, thinner fleece or a another type of fabric they call polar fleece it wouldn't be warm enough for that and would be more like a light liner.

To go with a sheet and liner you need to have atleast two liners, a thicker heavier weight one and a lighter weight. If you don't you run into problems of it being too heavy or light for what you need at time.

If she is staying in the run in part she should be fine. If she can handle a trailer then you should beable to get her to stay in a stall with enough time.

I find that horses really like hair driers, even in the summer. It works well to wet a horse down and then use a blow drier to work on getting them use to things that make noise and funny feelings on their skin/hair.

If it was a problem and if I didn't have the right blankets I would have just dried her off, fed her in the run in and left her be. What is cold to us is not cold to them. Yes you would feel cold when you walked outside, you aren't built for the cold like a horse is. Yes when a horse is wet that ruins the 'hair heating system' but that doesn't mean you need to blanket, just dry her off. Many, many horses live without blankets, with a foot of snow on their back and -30 degrees for weeks on end and they do just fine. So I don't think that she will have any problems because of this.

We get really bad weather. The Mid Jan until Mid-end Feb we normally have -20 to -30 degrees day and night with strong winds. NOrmally, because this year has been so odd we got that way back in Dec and then had 40-60 degree weather! Who knows what was up with that. Horses have a harder time with the swings like that when it is cold at night and warm durning the day.

I do blanket, but not normally. Coal gets blanketed because she just can't keep weight on other wise but this is only her second winter.



Okay, well thanks, that's about as good an explanation as I've seen. Mainly it puts me at ease that you are describing weather much worse than what we had -- temp was around zero, "real feel" (accuweather term) was about minus 15. However, something struck me in your post, the day before we hit into the 50s. It was hard to believe we had 50 degree weather one day and at sundown went out to do her without jackets, and the next day, same time, it was miserable cold. Maybe that flip flop in the weather took a toll on her also.

If your weather is worse than that, I don't know how you do it. I found it absolutely miserable. Of course being sick with a likely fever would ahve made that a lot worse.

So... now that I have this Gortex sheet, what do I DO with it? I can't imagine putting it on her in mild weather because why would you blanket a horse in mild weather? Except trailering, so would this be a good sheet for trailering?
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2006 :  9:31:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Blanketing for trailering is pretty touchy because they move alot in the trailer and that makes heat. If you had to blanket in a trailer, like an open stock in bad weather, sick horse, ect a turn out sheet wouldn't be the best choice. Something more breathable and wicking would be best.

Sometimes you do need to blanket in milder weather, like warmer temp but still cold rain. You can layer with if you buy liners. You can toss it over a tacked up horse when it's raining. On the horses I don't normally blanket I have had to toss light sheets on them more in the spring in fall when you get those first or last wet rain snow mix storms. When they aren't really use to winter yet or their are half shedded out already.
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2006 :  08:03:34 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
Stormie, your explanations are good, but I'm still confused in the overall. Starting from scratch with specific scenarios, when would you recommend a gortex sheet (with or without liner(s)

If never, that's okay; I just want to know what I'd use the gortex sheet for. Generally gortex is "highly breathable and waterproof." That's about all I know about it. Would it be something I'd use before a snow storm, ideally to KEEP her dry?

And as to the fleece sheet/blanket trailer seller has, it seems to me from what you write that depending on the heaviness of the fleece, it could serve anything from a warm cozy (maybe too warm in some cases) all the way down to a wicking use, which is what I thought it was (but now will definitely check).

Sorry if I'm being dense here, but blanketing seems to have a lot to it.


Something else occurring to me -- trailer is a dark brown so what ABOUT trailering in hot summer? A dark color would hold heat more. It has a sliding side window up high on each side with screens. It can also be under-way with top back doors open (above ramp door) but what precautions do you take if at the other end of the temperature spectrum
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2006 :  09:55:12 AM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
HOLD THE PRESSES!!

quote:
I paid $7.53/bale for average 53-lb. bales


OMG! You need to MOVE! I've read in other posts what you pay for farrier services and now the price for hay. GEESH!

I paid $2.00/bale for a nice grass mix sprinkled with alfalfa picked up in the field then $3.00/bale for grass/alfalfa mix & it was loaded for me. Both cuttings have way more grass than alfalfa but are leafy & clean.

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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