Friday, December 11, 2009

To Blanket or Not Blanket?

To blanket or not blanket, that is the question.  As a horse owner I've always been in the blanket camp.  Even when I was younger I had a summer sheet on during the summer and a winter blanket on during the winter.  You have to remember, during this time period it was unusual to see pasture horses blanketed - that was reserved for the fancy show horses that lived in a stable.  

But today, as we head into the cold snap (well, a deepening cold snap), my horses stand naked.  Well, not including their natural winter coats.  And I while I sort of feel I should layer them up I have to wonder where this "you are an evil rotten horse owner if you do not have the best winter blanket available on your horse" attitude has come from.  Really, do they NEED winter blankets?  Probably not.  In reality, if your horse has food (enough calories for the weather), shelter (from the wind) and water, they should be able to naturally survive the winter weather.  

I have to wonder what has caused this change in attitude on my part.  Thinking back, it may relate to all the skin issues Whiskey had last year.  Towards the end of the year I gave up and pulled her blanket off and she hasn't had one on since.  Neither of the babies have ever worn one.  And I'm okay with that.  Let's face it, they're all just hanging out.  Nothing is being worked.  They have shelter, proper nutrition, water and a routine vet and farrier plan.  Do they need blankets?  

Ironically enough, I'm considering purchasing a doggy version of a blanket for Reba.  I'm just not happy with the amount of hair she's grown.  To put this in perspective her coat is probably as thick as Tessa's who lives in the house.  While Reba is not a long (or rough) coat like my other dogs I feel she should have more hair.  I have to wonder if I put a blanket on her if she'd try to shred it.  Of all my animals she's the one I worry about the most and check on when the cold gets harsh.  

1 comment:

The Canadian said...

Naked is best!!!! Hehe