Brrr...it's cold out there! Sunny, but danged cold and supposed to get colder tonight and tomorrow. It's supposed to get down to negative real temperatures tonight with significantly colder wind chill temperatures. Two years ago I would have been in panic mode wondering how many layers of blankets I should put on the horses tonight to keep them toasty. What's too many? What's too few? Who wears what? And then I would have been up and outside checking on them several times in the night to make sure they were warm. Worry-wart mode.
This year, I'm not worried about it so much. It's not going to sleet or rain, which is my big indicator about whether to put a blanket on or not. No moisture falling from the sky, no blanket. All three beasts are super fuzzy with thick, warm winter coats of their own, and truth be told, they are all a tad on the pudgy side. They are well-insulated naturally and don't need my interference to stay toasty. I'll throw them a couple extra flakes of hay and maybe add a touch more grain to their evening meals to offset the increase in calorie usage, but I'm not going to obsess over blankets. Their water is on the warm side because I got the good tank heaters this year, I can see steam rising from it in the morning and they are drinking well. And they will all get a quick grooming tonight to knock any remaining mud clods off 'em that might interfere in their ability to stand that hair up and create a pocket of warm air against their skin.
These are outside horses. Yes, they can escape from the weather if they want, but more often than not, they don't, so I'm done worrying about them. I've also noticed that for fully fuzzed horses the blankets don't really keep them any warmer (in dry conditions) than their own insulation. If wet stuff like sleet or ice is falling from the sky, they'll get waterproof sheets just to keep them dry. As long as they are dry, they are warm.
I'm just lucky all my beasts are fat, fuzzy, healthy and happy or I can guarantee I'd be in full worry-wart blanketing mode right now.