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Blankets vs. cooler

It has become apparent to me that if I plan to ride at all this winter, I 
need a cooler or different blanket for my horse.  We are so out of shape (or 
she has become anxious from being so herd-bound during her convalescence) 
that she is sweating on short, easy rides.  [I'm not racing her home or 
anything.  We walk as quietly as possible for the last mile before home or 
the end of the trail.]  I do not feel comfortable putting Special into a 
trailer or back out into the pasture even slightly damp.  At home, I have 
been putting my elderly horse's blanket on Special and letting her eat hay in 
a corral.  I check on her periodically until she's dry and then turn her out. 
 However, this is ticking off the elderly mare who appears to resent sharing 
her blanket.

Before I invest in a blanket or cooler, I thought I would check for other 
people's opinions on which is better for our situation.  I do not wish to 
leave her blanketed all winter.  I do not wish to hand walk her dry, 
particularly.  I had some concerns about turning a horse loose with a cooler 
on because they don't look terribly secure to me and I was afraid Special 
might get it tangled in her legs.  However, she does most of her sweating on 
her neck, shoulders and under the saddle.  So, a blanket will not cover a big 
portion of the area where she's wet.  Any thoughts out there?

Rhonda and Special

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