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  • - Mary Sutliff

    RE: [RC] Blanketing, winter weather, and bathing horses - Sue Brown

    > I also live in western Washington, actually quite near Sue and we ride
    > in the same area.  I have stopped using rain sheets on my horses as
    > have let me know in no uncertain terms that they would rather just
    > under the overhang on the barn thank you.  
    We have too many horses here now to have them roaming in and out of a
    barn or overhang, which is how we did it when we first moved here and
    had just our own horses here (and didn't have to have different pasture
    areas for the mares and geldings.)  We also have to have some separate
    "diet" paddocks for the airferns. <g>  In this part of the country, you
    have to have some place where they can come into (or under) dry off at
    least once a day...keeps the scratches and rain rot at bay.
    <snip>         We also ride alot in the
    > rain.  
    I'll vouch for that!  We see Mary and her lovely gaited horses quite a
    lot!  She's one of the regular few "other rig"s in the parking lot when
    no one else is out riding. <g>
    <snip> no blanket unless the weather
    > is especially rotten.  
    I didn't use blankets (except on my one and only Arab mare and only on
    really cold, rainy days) for the first 10 years we were here...despite
    my trainer's pleas.  He would come to work with my giant 17.2h dressage
    horses and they would always be covered with mud -- poor James would
    have to clean off the saddle area before riding and just that would
    sometimes take several minutes per horse!  That's a lot of horse to
    scrape mud off of, even just the saddle area!  Finally bought some
    blankets when I started teaching and needed dry horses for the
    students...and then finally understood why James wanted me to have dry,
    clean horses for him to work. :-(  (Sorry, James...if you're listening.
    Now I have nice, clean little horses that don't get their thin skin wet
    and cold (have mostly Arabs and not big warmbloods any more)...and
    they're all better dressed than I am!  Students can remove the blankets
    and almost have a horse clean enough to put the saddle right on their
    I found the blanket that fits the best and is the most durable (after
    trying several different brands over the years) is by Classic
    Cover-ups...and runs about $250.  As I replace their old blankets, I'm
    buying this brand (can only afford about one a year!)  They don't rub or
    hang funny, don't need to be taken up in the shoulders, and are very
    sturdy.  The horses also all wear Jammies (stretchy t-shirts for horse
    <g>) under their blankets so they don't rub.
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    Re: [RC] Blanketing, winter weather, and bathing horses, Mary Sutliff