I have never blanketed or used a sheet on a horse. Our winters are fairly mild, occasionally getting into the high 20's with some rain and rarely snow. My horses are out 24/7 with a windbreak shelter. We've always just let them develop nature's blankets with maybe extra hay or some grain when the weather is particularly nasty.
However, my old horse has lost weight over the summer and is becoming a hard keeper. He also seems to be more and more sensitive to the cold. Last weekend we had a light rain and the weather was in the high 70's, low 80's and he was shivering a little. So I would like to get him some sort of turnout blanket or sheet for the winter.
Would just a sheet or a light blanket be best give our weather situation? I'm thinking of using it only on damp days and when the windchill is low. He'll have his normal winter coat. What are some good, but low cost brands? Any other information or suggestions would be appreciated.
You might want to post your horse's breed & build as it will make a difference as to which sheet or blanket brand will fit best.
I've always liked the 'hug' style from Dover but I also really like the fit of the Smartpak blankets on a high withered Tb.
A couple of things to keep in mind - you can buy both a cotton sheet & a rain sheet so that your horse can wear them separately or in combination depending on the weather. A full rain-proof blanket would be the next step up in terms of warmth.
Let your horse tell you what feels good and adjust your blanketing from there. Good luck!
The best money I ever spent on horse clothing was on my Rambo rain sheet.
This, exactly so.
I'd buy the best quality sheet you can afford (Rambo = awesome, I like the wugs) and perhaps some sort of liner. If you have a fitted fleece cooler, that would work too, for warmth under the sheet if the sheet is ever not enough.
I also find this time of year to be the TOUGHEST on them, temp wise, as their winter coats haven't quite come in and they're not used to the chill. You might find you just need something a couple times in the fall on the wet, windy days and then he will acclimate and be fine for the rest of the winter.
He's an older QH, on the slim side. He's not really sway backed or high withered but he's lost weight so his topline and hips are really prominent. He is gaining weight though. I don't want to spend a lot of money because TBH, he's really old and if he really starts to suffer from the winter, I will put him down. I'm looking at some Weatherbeetas from Valley Vet and I believe Joules is the other brand.
If he's out with calm, non-blanket ripping companions I really like the Amigo rain sheet. It is so lightweight (which is good as it won't mash down his coat as much). The price is right too -- Adams has it for $70 right now. The downside is that it rips really easily. I put it on our pony who's lowest on the pecking order and someone in the herd bit the pony's butt and ripped the sheet completely.
While I also like Rambo I would not spend that much money on a blanket that is going to be used for only one or two years, or so it sounds.
Schneider's Stormshield sheet. It's got an 80gm fill, which makes it more than just a rain sheet, but not as much as a medium weight blanket. It's a really really nice weight. It's waterproof and breathable, and while I wouldn't purposefully leave it on on a sunny 70* Winter day, it's happened, and my horses haven't been any worse for the wear - no sweating.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET