My current barn doesn't really cater to show riders. I'm probably the only client that's competition oriented. In winter, a lot of the horses pull their shoes and chill out since their riders don't want to ride in the cold and the ice. Even the schoolies are ditching their shoes or at least their hind shoes while their work slows down. Most of the barn is hairy, bare foot, and happy. Then there's poor papi.
Theo is still in shoes all around (now with rim pads and ice cleats) since he's being ridden five times a week for an hour at a shot by me. And when I ride him, it's not plopping around at the trot for a bit. It's strength work and jumping and other things that chip up feet. He's also the most aggressively clipped horse. One other horse in full training is in a trace clip, but Theo is the only one that is in a blanket clip and that was body clipped multiple times. He's the one naked boy on the property. It's better for his health since he's not constantly over heating and damp, but it does leave him a bit unprotected.
Since most of the horses are going au naturel, there's no blanket change service. The horses are just wearing a turn out to keep the rain off or some of the thinner coated horses are in mediums now that we're below freezing during the day. No need to swap out blankets except when the temps do something really radical. This is my first time at a barn without blanket change service.
With a naked pony that leans toward getting cold and Mother Nature being ridiculously temperamental, keeping him appropriately dressed takes a lot of planning and pieces.
Theo's current wardrobe:
Baker Irish knit
Baker fleece dress sheet
Smartpak square cooler
Baker turn out sheet
Smartpak turn out blanket (medium, 220g)
Smartpak turn out blanket (heavy, 360g)
Smartpak neck rug, no fill
Smartpak neck rug, 220g
This week we're managing a swing from 40* high today to a low of 2* tomorrow night. Mother Nature needs to settle with this nonsense before she gives me the flu. So today he spent a couple hours in his fleece sheet, enjoying the sun and a bit of hand grazing where the snow had melted back. I specifically aimed to ride near sunset so I could blanket him for the night without him baking. With a cold front coming in over night, temps are going to keep falling through the night and into the morning. He needs his heavy for a morning of 19*, but it was close to 40* at sunset. Ugh.
I ended up throwing on his heavy but leaving his neck rug off and his naked neck exposed. The lady that was closing the barn tonight offered to throw his neck rug on after it dipped to about 30* to keep him from over heating. This way he's all armored as the temps continue to drop without getting sweaty. Tomorrow I may be throwing the fleece dress sheet on underneath to deal with the potential 0* night, depending on how he's doing. He usually makes it pretty clear if he's cold, clamping his tail down and kind of huddling in on himself.
By late this week, he'll be back in his medium as temps rebound to the upper 30's.
It's a good thing he's cute, I swear I'm spending more time organizing his wardrobe choices than my own.