Forget the apps, weather tracking, that fake Colorado State blanketing study and the endless Facebook arguments — this is the definitive article about blanketing that should go viral this year.
You can definitely tell the seasons by the weather: right now, the air is crisp (and rainy, in my corner of Horse Nation) and sometimes in the morning there’s a little frost turning every surface to silver. You can also, of course, tell the seasons by which debate is raging on social media: right now, it’s blanketing. Winter must on its way!
It’s a weird phenomenon: everyone has an opinion, and everyone’s opinion is correct, and everyone’s opinion is more important and correct than the one before it — or at least that’s how a lot of us act, for reasons still unknown to me (and trust me, I fall into the trap myself). Whether or not you blanket your horses and why is annually the source of much vitriolic debate, with blanketers and non-blanketers alike all claiming the superior moral ground for why they do what they do. The only debate where people seem to get even more sanctimoniously righteous is when they’re talking about helmets (we’re not even gonna go there right now).
So to help everyone out this season, as the days and nights get a little chillier, we’ve put together the ultimate blanketing guide:
- If you feel that your horse needs a blanket, put one on.
- If you feel that your horse doesn’t need a blanket, don’t give him one.
And really, that’s all you need. Everyone in the horse world is quite capable of reading a book, browsing the internet or consulting with other horsemen about what’s best for their own animal. If someone asks for an opinion, you should offer one. Otherwise, blanket and let blanket — or don’t, if you don’t need one. See what I mean?
It takes all kinds of kinds to make up the equestrian world: western riders and English riders, recreational riders and show riders, professionals and amateurs, beginners and veterans. There are as many schools of thought regarding literally every aspect of horse care as there are riders among us, and that’s okay: part of what we at Horse Nation love about the equestrian world is that it’s made up of so many different people from so many different walks of life, united by one all-consuming passion for horses.
This winter, let that be your guiding thought: we’re all here for the same reason, no matter if we choose to put another layer on or not.