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December 23, 2009

Winter Blankets and Fuzzy Coats

This is Easter, our very old horse. We adopted her many years ago from a local horse rescue organization.

Easter had a bad knee when we got her, so she was only ridden "lightly": walking mostly, a very little trotting sometimes, and short sessions. Our daughter learned to ride on her. As the years have gone by, Easter's knee has gotten much worse, so she is now just a pet, a "pasture ornament" as they call it.

This year we bought a blanket for her for the winter. On a recent morning I took the blanket out of the package to put it on her and adjust all the buckles and straps. What a surprise it was when Easter did not want the blanket on. She's never given us a lick of trouble except to pick up her left front hoof, because she has to put all her weight on her bad right knee to do so. We understand that, and our farrier is excellent with her. Easter is a grand old lady and we all treat her as such.

I did finally get it on her and all buckled up. She accepted it when I insisted. She looks nice and warm now. We bought a nylon turnout blanket so it would withstand hard use and is waterproof as well. We were also careful to get one that wasn't too heavy for her to wear. I didn't want to get a canvas blanket with a felt lining; it could chafe, would be heavy, and it would get wet if it rained. After quite a bit of searching, we finally found and bought one for her. As the days have gone by, she has gotten better about letting me put it on and take it off.

Easter is sway-backed, which causes the blanket to ride down on her withers more than it should, but it will still keep her warm in cold weather.

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The goats all have fuzzy coats now that it's cold. I only have coats for newborn kids but am thinking that it might be good to have a variety of sizes on hand. We have three does that are hopefully due to kid in January, and I'd like to have more than just two newborn-size coats. They are so easy and quick to make in any size; the expense is the fabric. I'd love to find a large bolt of fleece or quilted fabric on clearance price; wouldn't that be nice?

Here is a past post on making kid coats.

Related website: Goat Coats

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