Question about Riding When Wet


Langshan Lover
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
Claremore, OK
Well, it's been raining all last night and all day today. The high has been in the mid 80s for the past week with the lows in the 60s.

Max is all sorts of soaked and I was scheduled to have a ride with him today with another person. Is it still ok to ride him if he's wet?

Also, it's supposed to dip to 35* tonight. I'm afraid with him being wet and the cold weather he'll be shivering tonight. Should I go ahead and get a blanket for him or do you think he'll be alright?

He's either a 76" or a 74"...I need to remeasure.
Awesome! We'll consider his butt ridden then!

Now, should I get a blanket for him because of the cold temperatures tonight along with him being wet?
Riding when wet: most times you can do it as long as your saddle pad is suitable, but since the only way to know is to try and see what happens (there are some pads that don't do so well), I would not do a real long ride.

Cold just-above-freezing rain is a good reason to put clothes on a horse, IMO, especially if he is really soaked or a bit of a wuss or is not used to the cold. I would not buy a blanket however -- what you want IMHO is a water resistant turnout sheet/shell. The horse will dry himself off under this, and be warmer, and be protected against any more 35-degree rain that falls... without getting sweaty, and without getting a whole buncha blanket stuffing all soaked so that it is hard to dry out. I am not at all saying a waterproof turnout sheet is obligatory in these circumstances -- many horses are fine without it -- but if you are concerned, or if the horse does turn out to get shiver-y, it is a good thing to have. Make sure it fits properly though, a mis-fit sheet is far worse than nothing.

Good luck, have fun,

I hadn't thought about a sheet...I just figured he needed to be dry and warm.

Is the turnout sheet a good substitute/replacement for a heavy blanket in freezing rain/snow? Or should a heavy blanket be used in those instances?
I do not personally believe in using an insulated blanket except in the case of a show-clipped horse in VERY cold winter areas. A horse who is allowed to get fuzzy (even if he is not naturally very yaklike), or somewhere where "cold" is 15 F, is best off IME in a waterproof turnout sheet (or it may be called "water resistant" or a turnout "shell").

The thing about heavy blankets is that a) they lie tight against the upper parts of the horse (no airspace) and squish the hair down, meaning they are not necessarily as warming to the horse as you might expect, and b) it is REAL easy for a hrose to start getting sweaty under them. In most cases the thing that keeps a horse warm is just having some dead airspace around its fur -- which a waterproof turnout sheet accomplishes very well without overheating the horse when the weather is warmer.

For reference, I have two TBs (one is 22, one is 10) and a half-Lipizzaner pony who live outside basically 24/7/365 (I bring them in maybe three nights a year, usually not so much for cold as for prolonged hard wet snow from the south). Most of the winter, the TBs just wear waterproof turnout sheets and the pony is nekkid. I don't blanket the TBs (with midweight turnout blankets) or put the pony's waterproof turnout sheet on unless nighttime temps are going to be below -10 F or so... and this is more just so that they are comfy going out in the windier parts of the pasture rather than just hanging out near the shed, otherwise they do not really *need* blankets. They all do FINE and are perfectly happy and hold their weight well.

Really, in your shoes I would only buy a waterproof turnout sheet/shell, nothing else unless I was planning to show heavily all winter in a fashion that required keeping the horse in a full body clip.

JME, good luck, have fun,

Awesome! That makes things much easier and a bit cheaper! Now just to get his correct size and we're good to go. No, I don't intend on clipping at all or showing this winter. He's too fuzzy right now and too light in color to do well in anything other than western pleasure right now.
You could always spend some time with a 'sweat scraper' and work alot of the moisture off him, maybe towel dry after as well. Do you guys ever have to worry about fungus/mold growing on the fur/skin when you put them away wet and under a blanket/sheet? Probably not a problem if it is so cold at night, but I was wondering since you mentioned warmer day temps.
Oh I'm sorry, I already intended on sweat scraping him and toweling him before and after. I've never had an issue of fungus growing on him, but this is the first time it's rained in a month or more.

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