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As temperatures fall and snow amounts start to rise we see an influx of people needing blankets and wanting to know when/at what temperature to blanket there horse.
You need to take in a variety of factors when it comes to blanketing your horse. Is your horse body clipped or does your horse grow a heavy winter coat? What is the temperature out side and what are the weather conditions outside?

Horse is Body Clipped vs Heavy Winter Coat

You will probably be blanketing your horse sooner than most as their short natural coat is not going to keep them as warm as other horses that grow a heavier winter coat. As temperatures start to reach 40’s and upper 30’s you may be looking toward a medium weight blanket (220g fill) and something heavier as temperatures drop below the freezing mark (440g fill).
If you have a horse that grows a heavy winter coat then you may not need to blanket your horse until temperatures drop down into the sub-freezing range. As for weight a medium weight blanket (220g fill) should suffice unless you see sub-zero temperatures on a regular basis. Some of this will depend on the weather conditions but if your horse isn’t showing signs of discomfort from the colder temperatures then they are most likely fine.

Temperatures & Weather Conditions

Knowing what the weather is going to be like is key! For us Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan winter weather can change in an instant. One day in the 40’s and the next in the low teens.
Medium weight blankets are most typical for this area during the colder months (30’s and below) and lightweight turnout blankets are good if your trying to keep rain off during those warmer winters (40’s). If we would have a repeat of 2013/2014 you might want a heavier weight blanket (440g fill) to deal with those extremely cold days, especially if your horses remain outside and  do not have a way to get away from the wind.
Around here turnout blankets will keep your horse warm and dry during those windy and snowy days. But if conditions get worse you may want to bring your horses inside if able. If your horse is wet from snow or rain there is a likely chance your horse will become colder much quicker.
Obviously shivering is a clear sign that your horse is cold and should be blanketed at that point until they stop. If you notice signs of your horse showing discomfort with the weather it might be time to blanket as well.
Unfortunately there isn’t a magic temperature as to when to start blanketing your horse. However we have included an approximation of blanket types for temperatures below.
The factors above will play a big role as to when you should blanket, as well as your close observation and connection with your horse.  You will have to be the one that makes the final call as to wether you need to blanket your horse.
Approximate Temperature Guide:
Not Clipped
No Blanket
Light/Medium Weight
No Blanket/Light Weight
Medium Weight
Medium Weight
Heavy Weight
Teens and Below
Medium/Heavy Weight
Heavy Weight + Hood
If you’re looking for winter blankets you can take a look at our Winter Turnout Blankets on our website.
Note: This is an approximate guide and your experiences may differ. Our personal experience tends to be to not blanket our horses until they show signs of needing/wanting one. We do stable our horses at night and have means to block off wind from going through the barn where their stalls are. We will also keep the horses inside if the outside temperature and weather conditions would be unpleasant for them.