‘Going Under Cover’ – Blanketing Decisions
Article re-posted with kind permission by Equine Guelph: http://equineguelph.ca/index.php
New ThermoRegulator Healthcare Tool launched by Equine Guelph
Nature has provided horses with a coat for all seasons, as every horse owner can attest during the hairy days of shedding season. Long hairs rise up creating an insulating layer in the cold months. Sleek shorter hairs part in the hot season to help the horse stay cool, but there is much more to thermoregulation than the length of hair coat.
“There are health factors to consider when deciding whether to blanket or not, including a horse’s age, health and body condition score,” says Equine Guelph director Gayle Ecker. Exercise will also be a consideration if the equine is asked to perform higher level athletics in a cold climate. Once a horse is clipped, you are committed to making blanketing choices.
The ThermoRegulator Tool will lead horse owners through an interactive body condition score module. A horse classified as thin will have a hard time staying warm in winter. Turnout environment will also play a role in deciding if you should blanket. Take into consideration how windy or cold the forecast is and if there is access to shelter or windbreaks.
Frequently asked questions are addressed such as: how to measure for a blanket, choosing the right type of blanket, routine maintenance, preventing rub marks and fitting the challenging horse with prominent withers or large shoulders.
To learn more about thermoregulation and to decide if your horse is a candidate to be covered by a blanket − go to the ThermoRegulator Healthcare Tool.
Tool Link: http://equineguelph.ca/Tools/thermoregulator.php