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My horse is a Morgan who grows a winter coat like a bear:  1 1/2
inches long and dense as a beaver.  Virutally any kind of exercise,
even walking, produces a sweat that will then simply *not* dry,
even eight hours later.

What I have found effective for a coastal Massachusetts winter climate is:

 - Give a full body clip around mid October.  This is before it gets really
   cold so your horse doesn't suffer too much from exposure during turn out.
   But by the time things get really cold in January, the coat has grown
   out enough (in my horse's case, to about 3/4 of an inch) to provide
   enough insulation to keep him warm during turn out, but not so long
   that it generates excessive sweat and cannot dry.  By the way, I
   don't clip the ears.  On really cold days (like 10 degrees), supplement
   with a turnout rug.

 - Polar fleece sheets.  These were recommended on ridecamp last year and
   I bought two of them and I absolutely *love* them.  They definitely
   speed the drying process while keeping the horse warm.  As others have
   said, the top sheet will become quite wet as the evaporating moisture
   condenses upon hitting the cold outside air.  I usually strip the
   top one off about half way through the drying process (now about 3
   hours).  I like the sheet form better than the cooler form because I can
   let the horse loose in his stall as he dries.  Once he's dry, it's
   back to turn out.

Having your horses at continual turn out does complicate things considerably.
I would not turn a horse out loose in a polar fleece sheet.

Hope this helps!

Linda B. Merims
Massachusetts, USA

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