Blanketing is a common practice in horse care, especially during colder months now that the temperature is dropping. However, when it comes to a healthy horse, the decision to blanket or not can be a matter of debate. One compelling reason to choose not to blanket a healthy horse is the natural benefits of sunlight. Sunlight plays a vital role in a horse’s overall well-being, particularly in stimulating hair growth. Horses have a natural mechanism for adapting to the changing seasons. As winter approaches, they grow a thicker coat to insulate themselves against the cold. Allowing your healthy horse to experience natural sunlight can help regulate their hair growth cycle, ensuring that their coat develops correctly and efficiently.
Moreover, blanketing can restrict a horse’s ability to regulate its body temperature naturally. When horses are covered excessively, they may not be able to thermoregulate effectively, which can lead to overheating or excessive sweating. This can, in turn, make them more susceptible to skin conditions and fungal infections. By allowing a healthy horse to experience the full range of temperature changes and sunlight, you’re promoting their overall health and well-being. Of course, it’s crucial to monitor your horse’s condition and adjust your approach as necessary, but for many healthy horses, embracing the natural cycle of hair growth and temperature adaptation can be a wise choice.