In the winter we blanket our horses to keep them cleaner, and dry. But it’s also very important, especially here where the winter is 6-8 months of wet, cold, muddy… Oregon. I blanket typically from November to May. It’s important to get their blankets off a few times a week to brush them but also to take the blankets off completely for a few dry days to let their skin breathe. This helps them get muddy, roll, get all the itchies and to let their coat FLUFF!
Horses coats aren’t meant to be flattened like the blanket does. Their natural response to elements is to fluff out. This means their coat looks like it’s standing on end. It’s a good thing! That’s what keeps them warm and dry. Yes they’ll be mud muffins but nothing a short brushing with a curry comb before putting the blanket back on won’t hurt.
Remember, when putting the blanket back on, NEVER put it on a wet horse. Make sure they’re dry. If you do blanket a soggy pony, you are welcoming bacteria to breed, this causes rain rot and their hair eventually falls out and it’s painful to the horse. So it’s best to avoid all that and if it’s raining, they don’t have their coat on, it’s ok. Wait for the next dry day.