Baby blanketing

We’re closing in on winter and, with our baby’s upcoming weaning, I’m thinking through her management through the colder weather. I have both stable and turnout blankets at the ready. She has a light fur coat but I don’t think it’ll hold up to damp, chilly weather. She will have a stall and friends in the nearby stalls, but it will be chilly.

Thoughts on blanketing? I’ve read pros and cons (straps!) for baby blanketing. I’d rather hear first-hand opinions. Thank you!

I live in Maryland and have never blanketed unclipped babies. Ours have access to shelter in the field and/or stalls at night and in bad weather and have always been fine. They get fuzzy and play hard and it’s never been necessary. At most if they didn’t have a shed and were out no matter what I might do a sheet or light turnout in really wet weather but I definitely wouldn’t bother with stable blankets if you’re not clipping for a show or sale.


I agree. I bring them in if it’s cold and wet but otherwise they are outside unblanketed.


Wind and rain is the enemy rather than cold temperatures, so if there is good shelter available even babies are fine without rugs

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What kind of cold are you talking about?

Will it be cold and wet often enough, that between the choice of stalling for those harder conditions, or blanketing, means you’d rather blanket?

Weanling/yearling coats tend to be really, really dense, much more so than their adult counterpart (and most adults) so they automatically have extra protection even against rain.

My last one didn’t have a foal blanket. I brought them on for the few times it was wet enough along with cold enough temps, otherwise they were out and adults had blankets according to needs

He did get a blanket for his yearling Winter, and it got used maybe 10 times give or take, which is common even with my adults.

A healthy weanling shouldn’t need a stable blanket

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Thank you everyone! It’s good to hear that they’re more rugged than they look. Mother Nature is a wise woman.

This foal’s mom (TB) has one of the lightest coats I’ve seen on a horse. She’s borderline show ring slick in the dead of winter, unclipped. We have to blanket her in cooler weather.

It can get pretty wet around here in winter. Lots of rainy days which makes everything wet and muddy. Plus wind. Cold depends on the year… We’ve had single digit weeks in the last couple of years. Mostly we have nights in the 20s and days in the 30s. The foal will have access to a run-in and overhang area during the day, and a stall at night. What worries me is that she’ll be moving into a stall by herself in January and our barn is unheated (naturally). It’s going to be rather chilly in her new home.

I’ve read a few accounts that say foals have a knack for getting caught in blanket straps. That seems strange in a situation where the blanket is properly fitted?

We’ll be blanketing the rest of the horses anyway, so from a work standpoint adding her to the list would require minimal additional effort. I just don’t want to do anything risky or unnecessary.

the problem is that foal feet are so small relative to their body size, so short of having things uncomfortably snug, it’s just easier for those feet to slip into things

I wouldn’t worry at all about just plain cold, ie that unheated barn in Jan. She’ll be eating lots of hay by then too.

Keep good hay in the run-in/overhang area during the day, but also be ready to put her in a stall for the days that are just too wet for her to handle.

She can get a blanket next year :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for your advice! With have plenty of hay and her old gelding “uncles” in stalls on either side it sounds like she’ll have a comfortable winter, cold or not.

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