To blanket or Not to blanket?

Budwitmorgans

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Jan 20, 2021
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I am an older rider, driver of three Morgan’s, two are retirees and one is a grandchild’s show horse soon to be bred. I am left in charge of the horses as grandkids are in college. These horses were blanketed years ago at the trainers. Now they get daily turn out and spend most of their winter in the fields. My question is if the weather here in Michigan gets really cold and snowy do I put a horse not blanketed before February suddenly into a turnout blanket? These are Morgan’s who get a reasonable coat in winter.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I think if they’ve grown a good winter coat and they have access to shelter they should be fine without. But perhaps have blankets on standby just in case if you are worried, if you find they are shivering you could then pop one on.
 

Budwitmorgans

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Jan 20, 2021
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Thanks you know I never worried years ago when they were at a training barn and grandkids were not in college! All of a sudden they are my responsibility.
 
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Budwitmorgans

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I feel really bad when I see them in mud outside. I know I have to wait for mud to dry beforeI I brush it off. I hate to see them caked in it. Can a horse get a disease from being stood in mud outside for long periods? What is mud fever?
 

Jessey

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There’s a few ailments they can get from being wet for prolonged periods, but if they’re healthy it’s not generally a problem, just keep an eye on their skin for any upsets/lumps/bumps/hair loss and you’ll be able to nip it in the butt if anything does start.
 

Budwitmorgans

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Jan 20, 2021
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There’s a few ailments they can get from being wet for prolonged periods, but if they’re healthy it’s not generally a problem, just keep an eye on their skin for any upsets/lumps/bumps/hair loss and you’ll be able to nip it in the butt if anything does start.
I had a mare years ago that picked up a skin infection that took a year to clear and lots of iodine shampoo and fungal medicines. She ended up fine but was very sensitive to midges and summer insects and strong fly spray. She lived with botanical natural fly spray. She was sound though and a good eater.
 
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Mary Poppins

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I feel really bad when I see them in mud outside. I know I have to wait for mud to dry beforeI I brush it off. I hate to see them caked in it. Can a horse get a disease from being stood in mud outside for long periods? What is mud fever?
My horse lives out without a rug and gets caked in mud in a daily basis. I actually think he goes out of his way to roll in as much mud as possible. He is happy though and the mud has never caused any problems for us.
 

chunky monkey

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The horses natural body grease should help to protect them. Sometimes with the mud on the coat and the damp weather it can cause things like rain scald or mud fever. If there stood in a muddy field you could always paint on some pig oil and sulphur on the legs. The oil stops the mud sticking to the feather and fur. The sulphur is a natural anti bacterial.
 

Huggy

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I have a hairy cob. My rule of thumb is that if he's shivering (never happens!) I'll put a rug on. I did put one on during a particularly wet spell, but honestly don't think he really needed it. He has heavy feathering which I worry about in the mud, but so far, touch wood, he's been fine. Follow your gut, if they look utterly dejected and miserable, pop one on.
 

Trewsers

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I have a hairy cob. My rule of thumb is that if he's shivering (never happens!) I'll put a rug on. I did put one on during a particularly wet spell, but honestly don't think he really needed it. He has heavy feathering which I worry about in the mud, but so far, touch wood, he's been fine. Follow your gut, if they look utterly dejected and miserable, pop one on.
Yes definitely if they look utterly dejected and miserable - I found when we got Zi he really needed his rug or a rain sheet. Something rather alien to me having had two very robust older ladies that never shiver or look cold!(Well, Chloe once in a blue moon maybe!!!). Zi actually shivered - not something I'd seen before.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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It depends on the horse, doesn't it. My old boy, a retired racing Arab, would die if he were left out in the cold without a blanket (this is in the UK, where it typically rains rather than snows) but my youngster laughs at all weather conditions.

I think horses generally find snow easier. Certainly my dear departed pony Ziggy loved snow, and it was the only time he was ever really clean in the winter!
 

PePo

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I so think it depends not just on geography but the microclimate of the yard/field. I'm in UK and my partially clipped native pony has lived out rugless all year so far but we're well protected from the wind in our little microclimate :D My boy as pretty much rugless all other years but he used to come in at night.

My friends native has to wear a no fill rug even in the summer as if it rains as he just shivers whereas my friend's Arab lives out all year rugless. The native 'should' be better in the rain than the Arab :D

It was -6 overnight at the weekend and mine was fine and it warmed up and snowed the next day, he was also fine! I'd only rug him if it was going to be cold and wet but he's a pretty hot horse and always has access to hay to warm himself up internally.
 
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chunky monkey

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Definitely depends on the horse. I slid my hand up under the rugs at the weekend. Both wearing the same rug makes and styles. One felt cold, the other was warm verging on too hot. They had only been stood in the field no running about. Explains why hot boy is now moulting.
 
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