To Blanket……Or Not To Blanket?
The answer is yes and no. Let’s start with the no. The horse has the ability to poof out his coat, thus providing him with a layer of air, which gives him a layer of warm air next to his skin. A blanket will flatten his coat and sometimes depending on the blanket can make him colder than if he wore no blanket at all. If a horse is healthy and has access to good hay, he will not need to wear a blanket in a stall or in a pasture.
Now, the yes part. If you ride often, show, or it is an older horse, then bring out the blankets. Notice I said blankets, not blanket. Your horse will need a nighttime blanket, a turnout blanket and rain wear. All these need to be kept in good condition so your horse will not get tangled in broken straps or get sore spots from an ill-fitting blanket.
Remember, a horse’s coat is governed by the amount of daylight he receives and not the temperature. So when the days begin to grow shorter, he will start to grow a winter coat even though the days are still warm.