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You should do this in cold weather when the horse is wet, usually after a workout when the horse is soaked in sweat and is hot, he will catch a chill fast if you don't blanket with straw/hay. After sleigh rides in Northern Ontario our draft horses are soaked in hot sweat, even tho the horses are hot/warm they NEED their blankets until their hair is dry. We can't turn the horses outside soaked in sweat and we don't want to keep them in the barn so we put their blankets on and pack hay or straw (whichever is cheaper) under the blanket. We only keep the blankets on the horses until the horse's hair is dry. The straw/hay keeps the blanket from packing the horses hair down and helps air flow to dry the hairs, the blanket traps heat and provides a wind break. If you blanket without that hay/straw layer it will take longer to dry(causing very itchy skin) and pack the horses natural insulator/hair to the point where it can't do its job. That and in wet/damp freezing rain storms is the only time we blanket the horses and we never blanket without the straw/hay, the horses stay outside 24/7 with free access to hay & water and a good windbreak with roof, no need for blankets otherwise for our horses.

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Q: Thatching is putting straw under your horse's rug or blanket When would you do this?
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