While horseback riding is a great hobby for kids and adults alike, if you want to expand your hobby or you have aspirations for getting your own horse one day, then you will need to know more about how to care for them. Of course, there is a lot that goes into caring for a horse, and we cannot possibly cover it all in one go. In this article, we are going to cover blanketing, which is key for making sure your horse is comfortable and at the right temperature, which is imperative for its health. Keep reading to learn more.
How to Tell if Your Horse is Too Hot or Too Cold
The first thing that you need to do is to learn the telltale signs that your horse is either too hot or too cold. If your horse is too hot, then, just as people do, it is likely to start sweating, which you will likely notice along their necks or behind their ears. They may also start breathing more heavily or trying to remove the blanket themselves, or they could seem a little more restless or even lethargic. Conversely, if your horse is too cold, then they might shiver or tuck their tails. They could start trying to huddle for warmth or pacing. Feeling just behind their withers often gives a good indication of their temperature.
There are different blankets for different conditions, so it makes sense to have various options at your disposal. Luckily, the new arrivals from Horseware will have you covered. If you are going to buy some new blankets, you should measure your horse first to ensure a good fit. Most brands will have a size guide if you aren’t sure, but you need to have those measurements.
There are a couple of closures that you should be aware of; you need to do them up properly not only to keep the blanket actually on the horse but also to make sure the horse is comfortable. There are front straps that need to be fastened properly to ensure that your horse still has movement and freedom. The blanket may not have front straps instead, having a v-front closure, tend to be easier to do up.
There may also be surcingles which is the name given to the straps that go under the belly; again, they should be secure but not too tight. Tail straps, as the name would suggest, is a strap that the horse’s tail goes through to secure the blanket during windy weather. Once you have fitted the blanket, your work isn’t done. You should continually be checking the fit over time and adjust as necessary.
Finally, over-blanketing your horse is far more likely to lead to issues than under-blanketing because it can cause infection, colic, weight gain and even laminitis from overheating and sweating. If you aren’t sure whether to go for a heavier or more lightweight blanket, you should opt for the lighter one most of the time.
Blanketing is an important part of horse care because it helps to keep their bodies at the right temperature and keep them comfortable. Realistically, blanketing is pretty straightforward, too, they are easy to use, and common sense tends to tell you when you need them. However, it is important that you ensure that the fit is right and that the blanket is used and removed at the right times.