The New York City Council passed a bill this month mandating blankets on working carriage horses during the winter. My 1875 cavalry manual states that working horses should under no circumstances be blanketed except in camp or stables. I'm interested in comments.
Does this new bill state specifically WHEN the blankets should be used? Does it mean while working? Or, when standing waiting for a passenger? Or, back at the barn? In any event, if blanketed, it would prevent the horse from growing and utilizing its natural winter coat, and smashing down the fluffability of the horses winter coat (which provides the insulation). As well, a horse could overheat, sweat, get chilled, and get sick with improper usage of blankets.
under no circumstances I have ever had to blanketed my horses even in the coldest cold spells here in Alaska but at the same time we do not work are horses out during this time of year, blanketing them dose tent to make them lose there ability to keep there own heat in with there winter coat and I know that the winters there do in no way get as cold as we get up north. But blanketing a horse dose tend to get them use to it more and more that blanketing them tends to make it a necessary thing for them as they get use to it.
Up here we tend to use an insulated barn stall that even at -40 below outside it is 20 degrees warmer inside the stall and we tend to keep the water truff full at all times as they need it to help keep warm
If the horses are blanketed from when they start getting their winter coat on through winter then it shouldn't be a problem really. I never blanket my horses but as long as the blankets are kept clean and all fasteners are safe it works. I would asume though, that the bill is because the carriage horses stand for sometimes long periods of time. Usually a horse out in pasture in the middle of winter would be walking around and foraging for food which keeps them warmer than simply standing and not eating at all. I would say that the only time they would need to be blanketed is when it is snowing that wet heavy snow and is windy because then they could get a chill easier. I'm sure whomever took issue with the horses standing around in the cold without any blankets on was a yuppie who baby's they're horses lol. Either that or they have no horses at all but are an animal "activist" and think that if you look at an animal cross-eyed it's animal cruelty.
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