After reading Jen’s post over at Cob Jockey I wanted to answer her question in a post of my own. Growing up with horses I never blanketed unless it was going to be below zero and even then we only blanketed two of our horses, one who had trouble keeping weight on and one that didn’t grow a great coat. I started really blanketing when I got Sora who not only dropped weight but also didn’t grow much of a coat. She was also a freeze baby and would stand outside of the shelter shaking and looking miserable at 40 degrees or below. I never rode much over the winter so I wasn’t concerned with keeping a horse comfortable in work.
Katai now is a different story. She is a fluffy pony that has no trouble maintaining weight and who would grow an incredibly fluffy coat if allowed. Last winter I blanketed her pretty regularly through the beginning of winter to keep her coat a little less dense since I did plan on riding through the winter. At that point I had a sheet with no fill, a medium weight blanket with 200 fill, and a heavy blanket with 300 fill. I did pretty well for most of the year but around the middle of winter when it was apparent that it was going to be extremely cold and long I wasn’t riding as much I slowly transferred her to being without and she developed a great coat midyear.
The problem with having a horse that does grow such a warm coat is that if I do want to ride, which despite what J might think I really do, she will sweat like mad and I will never, ever, ever get her dry. I’ve already begun blanketing to try to keep things reasonable and in the next month or so I plan to clip. Clipping her is made trickier by the fact that after last year’s attempt to desensitize her failed I waited until the last month to begin again. Luckily she is taking to it really will with some help from H and is already close to the point where I could start soon. When I get to that point I want to make sure I have what I need to keep her warm.
To handle the cold and give myself as much flexibility as possible I, like Jen, have decided to go with the Rambo liners. Currently I only have the 100 weight but I plan on getting the 200 weight as well. Katai is amazingly good with blankets and her main sheet only has one small snag on the tail flap after being used consistently for two winters now. That sheet is a Saxon that I bought on clearance from State Line Tack at the amazing price of $45.
I will be able to put the 100 and 200 gram liners under it which will be awesome! I also have a 300 gram blanket from Just For Ponies that cost me about $125. The beauty of this is that since I could also put the 100 and 200 gram liners under that it gives me every weight from 0 – 500 or even 600 all for about $290. That is basically six or seven blankets for the price of one :-)
I will do a more in depth review once I have had longer to try this system out but at this point after wearing her cheap sheet with the 100 gram liner under it for about a week she has kept everything in excellent condition and both the sheet and liner have stayed nicely in place.