Choosing A Winter Blanket

October 25, 2023 147 view(s)

Choosing the Perfect Winter Blanket for Your Horse: A Comprehensive Guide
 
As the chilly days of fall and winter approach, horse owners face the crucial task of keeping their equine companions warm, cozy, and well-protected. With a plethora of options available, selecting the ideal blanket for your four-legged friend can be a stressful endeavor. This guide will walk you through the considerations and steps to take when choosing the perfect winter blanket for your horse.

 

Assess Your Horse's Needs

1. Does your horse have a heavy winter coat?

Horses typically grow a thicker winter coat to fend off the cold. This natural insulation varies from horse to horse. You'll need to consider your horse's coat length when choosing a blanket. Other factors such as age and overall health can also affect the length and condition of your horse’s winter coat.

 

2. Do you show during the winter months?

If you participate in shows during the winter, your horse might have a shorter coat or be clipped. If your horse has a shorter winter coat, or is clipped for showing purposes, you will want to ensure that they are adequately blanketed when the temperatures drop.

 

3. Does your horse live inside or outside?

If your horse lives inside, they may need to be blanketed with stable blankets when the temperatures drop to keep them comfortable. If your horse lives outside, and has no protection from the elements, it will be extra important to have turnout blankets that are waterproof and provide your horse warmth and additional protection from the elements. If your horse has access to a shelter during rain, snow, and wind, you might have different blanket requirements compared to a horse without shelter.  We have a variety of Country Pride blankets to cover all your blanketing needs, whether your horse lives inside or outside.

 

4. Is your horse aged or dealing with health conditions?

Older horses and those with health issues might require special considerations based on their body condition score and coat length. Senior horses may have a more difficult time providing natural insulation to their bodies. A well-chosen winter blanket can provide added comfort and protection.

 

 

Turnout vs. Stable Blankets

Turnout Blankets

For horses that live or spend a lot of time outside, there are various options like rain sheets, midweight, and heavyweight turnout blankets. These blankets provide protection from the elements and can keep your horse warm and dry in inclement weather. These blankets typically have tail flaps and hind leg straps to protect your horse’s blanket from shifting in the wind. Tail flaps can also help guard against the wind and help rain or snow slide off the blanket or sheet. Most turnout blankets also have shoulder gussets which are beneficial for horses with broad or large shoulders, offering a better range of motion to deter shoulder rubs. As a bonus, some blankets and sheets will come with a neck cover to provide your horse additional warmth and protection against the elements, such as the Country Pride 420D Fitted Rainsheet with Neck Cover.  If you’re wishing to be in Hawaii instead of the cold this winter, you’re not the only one; Dress your horse up in this fun midweight Country Pride Glacier turnout blanket to protect him in style. My favorite heavyweight turnout blanket is the Country Pride Paladin High Neck blanket because the high neck provides additional warmth for your horse without needing a full size neck cover. This blanket may be ideal for horses that have access to shelter against the elements, but still need a bit of extra warmth.

 

Stable Blankets

Horses kept indoors can still benefit from blankets when temperatures drop to keep them warm and comfortable. Stable sheets, midweight, and heavyweight stable blankets are great options depending on the temperature. Big Dee’s carries a variety of stable blankets, some have closed fronts and others have open fronts. Consider your horse's temperament when choosing between open and closed front blankets. Open front blankets are easier to put on for head- or ear-shy horses. They are also adjustable. Closed front blankets need to be lifted over the head. They tend to shift less and may fit better on a horse with narrow shoulders. One example of a closed front stable blanket is the Country Pride Heavyweight Quilted Stable Blanket. An example of an open front stable blanket is the Country Pride 420D Nylon Sheet. My personal favorite midweight stable blanket is the Country Pride Sentinel Channel Quilt Midweight Open Front blanket, because it is affordable, great quality, easy to put on / take off and easy and fun to personalize with a logo or embroidery if desired. Some blankets have belly bands that provide extra insulation and security for your blanket, such as the Country Pride Squall Ultra Heavyweight Stable Blanket.

 

 

 

How to Measure Your Horse for a Blanket

Measuring a horse for a blanket is important to ensure that the blanket fits properly. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to measure a horse for a blanket:

You will need:

- A soft, flexible measuring tape

- A helper to assist with the measurements

 

  • Step 1: Prepare the Horse
    • Stand your horse on a hard leveled surface making sure that he or she is nice and square.
  • Step 2: Measure the Length
    • Using a soft measuring tape or a long piece of string, place one end in the center of your horse's chest. Measure from the center of the chest, along the left side, to the middle of the tail. Be sure to cross over the point of shoulder (widest part of the shoulder), and that you keep your tape pulled tight. If you used a piece of string, once you got the length, simply compare it to tape measure to get your horse's size.
      • Measuring is usually easiest with the help of a second person, however if you have to do it alone, draw the tape along your horse's left side as far as you can, once you have reached as far as you can, mark the spot with your right thumb AND take notice of the measurement. Then restart measuring from that point to the furthest point of the rump, then simply add the two measurements together to get your horse's size.
  • Step 3: Choose the Right Size
    • Use the measurement you've taken to select the appropriate blanket size. If the measurement falls between sizes, it's generally better to size up for a looser fit rather than having a too-small blanket that restricts the horse's movement.
  • Step 4: Try the Blanket On
    • After receiving your blanket, try the blanket on your horse to ensure it fits properly. Make sure it lies flat against the horse's body without any excessive wrinkles or tightness. The front closures and surcingles should be adjustable to ensure a snug fit.

 

Remember that the fit of the blanket is crucial for your horse's comfort and well-being. An improperly fitted blanket can cause discomfort, chafing, or even injury. Also, be aware that horse breeds and individual horses can have varying body shapes, so measuring is always the most accurate way to determine the correct size.

Choosing the perfect winter blanket for your horse doesn't have to be a stressful decision. By considering your horse's specific needs, the prevailing climate, and their living conditions, you can make an informed decision. The right blanket, with the right fit and features, will keep your equine companion snug and content throughout the winter. Remember to consult with knowledgeable staff at Big Dee’s for expert guidance and explore the wide range of options available to meet your horse's diverse needs. With the right winter blanket, your horse can brave the cold in comfort and style.

Our customer service phone line and live chat options are open from Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm | Saturday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Please let us know if you need help choosing a blanket for your horse!

 

Click here to shop our full line of Horse Wear

 

Written by Marissa - Big Dee's Customer Service Representative

Previous article:
Next article:
Comments
Leave your comment
Your email address will not be published