Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Backup Blanket

Do you have one (or three)?

I never used to, in fact, I didn't own a blanket of any kind for the first several years of horse ownership.  My horse grew a warm coat and none of the other horses were blanketed, so mine followed suit.  When I did finally buy a winter blanket for Harley, he only wore it at night and the temperatures were rarely below twenty degrees Fahrenheit.  He wore the blanket to help him maintain weight.  I never actually saw him shiver or show signs of being cold.  The plan worked very well and that blanket is going on its third season.

However, this year I got an itch. I felt the need to buy a second blanket.  Maybe it was because this blanket is getting on in years.  Maybe it was my need to make Harley feel better in a time in his life when he is not "healthy as a horse".  Whatever it was, I bought a second blanket somewhat on impulse and kept it, unopened, in my dining room.  I wasn't sure if I would use it this year, but that was fine with me.

Then in mid-December when we had some crazy-low temperatures (5 degrees Fahrenheit) and an impending winter storm, my barn owner approached me about the dropping temperatures and what I wanted done with Harley.  I gleefully exclaimed that I HAD a second blanket!

So the backup blanket was hung on his door in preparation for the bitter, upcoming night.  The idea was that he would wear BOTH blankets.

The coldest of nights arrived and I slept soundly knowing my horse was warm in his two blankets.  The next morning I drove out to see him and gawked at how handsome he looked in his new blanket, but when I got a little closer I realized something...

...he was only wearing one blanket. 

Sporting the new blanket

That was odd.  What happened to the other blanket?

I found it in the barn and could hardly believe my eyes.  Ice lined the bottom edge of the blanket where water had run down the blanket and frozen in place before leaving the surface of the blanket.  The blanket could almost stand up by itself!

The icy blanket

I am happy to report that the waterproofing held up and Harley was dry under his ice blanket.  He also did just fine with one, ice-free blanket.  I had never seen anything like that before (I guess I have been lucky).  Thank goodness for backup blankets!

First good snow pics of the farm since winter 2009/2010!

And Sweet Pea's first snow!


  1. Sweet Pea is adorable and looks very snugly and warm in her snowsuit.

    Our horses rarely wear blankets any more. This year on a few of the colder days ( below zero) they did. Never saw a blanket freeze like that. Guess there's a first time for everything. Harley looks very handsome and warm in his new blanket.

    1. She is very snuggly!

      I am lucky we have not had a winter like this before.

  2. ha! you added blankets and I took them away. ;)

    however Harley looks snazzy!

    1. Thanks Teresa!
      I remember reading that on your blog. I would prefer not to juggle blankets. At one point, I had two wet blankets. Hanging them up was tricky, but thankfully we had a warm day and they dried out.

  3. No blankets here. Shy doesn't mind at all :) But she is a fuzzy beast!

    1. That is a wonderful thing! The Haflinger that I used to ride was so hairy that we called him Harry. ;)

  4. I don't really like blanketing unless it's necessary but this year our weather is been flip-floppy (60 degrees last Saturday and 20 degrees this one? EW) and our horses, other than the mini, have Summer coats. :P I had to buy one on a spur-of-the-moment type thing for way too much money but Red had to have it, I only have one but I should probably invest in a second. The BM keeps several spare blankets out there for anyone to use but Red is WAY too muscular for them and basically pops out.

    1. Funny how you described Red's physique and the blanket. :)

      Blankets seem to beget blankets, which is not a pattern that I like. It is nice that your BM keeps extras for others to use and I agree that this winter has been wacky with the temperature changes.

  5. Husband called on his way to work this morning to tell me it was showing -36F outside. Dee is wearing two blankets and I'm still freaking out!

    We had a couple horses get frozen blankets earlier this winter. It had gone from rain in the afternoon to below zero in the evening and everything was pure ice. Fortunately I threw my blankets on after the rain stopped!

  6. The picture of you with your baby is gorgeous!

  7. This was the 1st time I've seen blankets do that too! Laz's was a stiff board and I thought about putting his rain canvas over his mid weight but he was soooo toasty I didn't BUT nice to have a back up for sure! Stay warm! :)


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