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Choosing and Caring for Your Horse Blankets: A Comprehensive Guide

Horse Blankets: A Guide to Understanding and Choosing the Right Type for Your Horse

As horse owners, we want to make sure that our furry friends are always comfortable. One way to ensure this is by using horse blankets.

Horse blankets can provide the necessary warmth and protection that horses need to stay healthy and happy. Whether you are looking for a blanket to help your horse through the cold winter months, or a sheet to protect them from flies and other insects, this guide will help you understand the different types of horse blankets available and choose the right one for your horse.

When to Blanket a Horse

One of the most common reasons to blanket a horse is during cold weather. Horses can handle cold temperatures quite well, but extreme cold combined with wind and precipitation can cause horses to lose body heat quickly.

When temperatures get below freezing, and the wind chill is high, it is best to provide your horse with an extra layer of protection. Another time to consider blanketing your horse is overnight.

Horses can move around and generate heat, but when they sleep, they tend to be still, which can cause a drop in body temperature. Finally, a sun sheet is another type of horse blanket that can protect your horse from the harmful rays of the sun.

Why to Blanket a Horse

Horse blankets can provide protection against inclement weather. Horses can handle rain and snow, but when its prolonged and heavy, they can get wet and chilled.

Blankets can offer additional protection against the extreme weather and keep them dry and more comfortable. Another reason to blanket your horse is to protect show horses.

Show horses need to look their best, and a clean, well-fitting blanket can go a long way. Young and old horses may need a blanket to keep them warm or help them regulate their body temperature.

A blanket can also be used to protect your horse from sunburn or moisture.

Blanket Sizing Overview

When selecting a horse blanket, choosing the right size is important. An ill-fitting blanket can cause discomfort and even be dangerous to your horse.

To choose the right size, you need to measure your horse from the center of their chest to the point of their tail. This measurement will give you the correct size.

A properly fitting blanket should not be too tight or too loose. It should allow your horse to move freely without being too big.

Blanket Types

There are many types of horse blankets to choose from. The right type of blanket will depend on the specific needs of your horse.

Some common types of blankets include:

1. Blankets – These are the most common type of blanket and come in various styles and weights.

They can be used both indoors and outdoors, and most are water-resistant or waterproof. 2.

Sheets – These are lighter blankets that are designed for indoor use or in mild weather conditions. They don’t have any insulation or padding and are typically used in the fall or spring.

3. Waterproof Sheets – These work well in wet conditions and can be used to protect your horse from the rain or snow.

4. Fly Sheet – These are lightweight mesh blankets that can be used to protect your horse from insects and sun.

5. Scrim Sheet – These are lightweight dressier sheets that are perfect for shows.

They are typically used to keep a horse clean and spotless. 6.

Cooler – These blankets are designed to cool down a horse after a workout. 7.

Turnout Blanket – Similar to blankets, these can be used indoors and outdoors but have a higher level of water resistance. 8.

Rain Sheet – These are like waterproof sheets but with more insulation to keep your horse warm in rainy conditions. 9.

Mid-Weight Blanket – These are warm enough to keep your horse comfy in temperatures around 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. 10.

Heavy-Weight Blanket – These are designed for horses in extremely cold conditions. 11.

Quarter Blanket – This type of blanket covers the hindquarters of the horse and provides extra warmth in this area. 12.

Hood – These are blankets with an extended hood to offer protection for the horse’s neck and head.

Blanket Descriptions

When choosing a horse blanket, there are other important factors to consider besides the type and size. Here are some key details to look for:

1.

Fill – This refers to what the blanket is filled with. Some blankets have a poly fill, while others may have a more expensive down or wool fill.

2. Attachment Points – Look for a blanket with multiple attachment points to help keep it in place.

3. Denier – This refers to the thickness of the blanket’s fabric.

Choose a higher denier for more durability and longevity. 4.

Quilting – This refers to the stitching that holds the blanket’s batting or insulation in place. 5.

Wither Relief – This is a padded area that helps keep the blanket from rubbing against the withers. 6.

Rug – This is another word for horse blanket. 7.

Liner – Some blankets come with a removable inner liner that can be changed depending on the weather. 8.

Closed Front/Open Front – Choose a closed front if you want more coverage or an open front if your horse has a wider chest. 9.

Rub Guard – This is an extra layer of material added to protect against friction and rubbing. 10.

Sleazy – This is a type of hood used to help keep braids in place and protect the mane and face. 11.

Belly Band – This is a strap that wraps around the horse’s belly to keep the blanket in place. 12.

Surcingle – This is a strap that goes around the horse’s stomach to keep the blanket in place.

In Conclusion

Choosing the right horse blanket can make a significant difference in keeping your horse comfortable and healthy. Understanding the different types and features of horse blankets can help you select the one that best suits your horse’s needs.

From blankets to sheets, waterproof to fly sheets, and quarter blankets to hoods, there is a horse blanket for every type of weather and every horse. The key is to research and choose the right one.

Blanket Fit: Ensuring Your Horse is Comfortable and Safe

A well-fitted horse blanket is crucial to ensuring your horse remains comfortable and safe during all kinds of weather. An ill-fitting blanket can cause your horse to feel restricted, uncomfortable and can result in injury.

In this guide, we will explore the different components of a well-fitted horse blanket, including the rub guard, sleazy, belly band, and surcingle, and how to ensure your horse is comfortable and protected.

Rub Guard

Rubbing is a common issue with horse blankets, particularly in the area around the shoulder and withers. A rub guard is a useful addition to the blanket, as it is made from stretchy fabric that covers the area where the blanket sits and helps to avoid any chafing.

A well-designed rub guard will also have buckle closures behind the front legs to prevent the blanket from shifting around and causing discomfort.

Sleazy

A sleazy is a type of hood that protects the horse’s entire neck and throat, ensuring they stay clean and protected from chafing. It also helps to keep the horse’s mane and braids from getting tangled or ruined during turnout.

A sleazy can be worn without causing discomfort, and it is ideal for horses that live in very buggy areas, as it prevents bug bites on the neck.

Belly Band

A belly band is a strap that wraps under the stomach of the horse, adding extra warmth and helping to keep the blanket in position. Asymmetrical blanket weight can cause it to shift to one side, causing discomfort to the horse.

The addition of a belly band helps keep the blanket in place, preventing it from sliding sideways on the horse’s body. A well-fitted belly band should be snug but not too tight to avoid causing discomfort or restricting movement.

Surcingle

Surcingles are straps that go around the horse’s stomach to keep the blanket in place. They ensure that the blanket stays snugly against the horse’s skin, preventing shiftings and bunching up, which can cause rubbing and discomfort.

When attaching a surcingle, ensure that it is not too tight to cause discomfort and does not impede the horse’s movement. Adjust the surcingle periodically to make sure it fits right and has not shifted due to horse movement.

Blanket 101

It is essential to consider the individual needs of your horse when shopping for a blanket. Factors that affect the horse’s needs include coat thickness and whether it is body-clipped.

Thicker coats need less insulation in the blanket, while body-clipped horses require more insulation. A well-insulated blanket ensures your horse stays warm, but not too hot, during cooler weather.

Blanket for the Season, Blanket for the Weather

The weather should also be considered when choosing a horse blanket. A lighter weight sheet may be sufficient in the fall or spring, while a heavier weight blanket may be necessary in the winter.

A sun sheet can protect your horse from the sun’s harmful rays, while a fly sheet can protect your horse from insects. For rainy weather, a waterproof blanket or rain sheet will keep your horse dry and comfortable.

Choosing the right blanket for each season and weather condition is key to keeping your horse comfortable year-round.

Blanket Sizing Overview

It is important to measure your horse accurately to select the right sized blanket. Measure laterally across the point of the shoulder and back to the point of the buttock, in inches, and add 2-3 inches for comfort.

A well-fitted blanket will not be too tight or too loose. It should also allow for a full range of motion.

Blanket Types

There are various kinds of horse blanket options available, from heavy-weight blankets to turnout blankets, mid-weight blankets to fly sheets. When shopping for a blanket, consider the specific needs of your horse, and what kind of weather conditions you will be using it in.

Blanket Fit

A well-fitted horse blanket should not cause any pressure points. The ideal fit for a horse’s blanket is when it is snug around the chest, shoulders, and hindquarters while allowing your horse to move freely.

Reviews from other horse owners can be helpful in finding the ideal blanket for your horse.

Reinforced Attachment Points

Reinforced attachment points are an essential component of a well-fitted horse blanket. These attachment points are designed to keep the blanket securely in place without creating any pressure points on the horse.

Reinforcements can include additional stitching, leather patches, or stronger buckles.

Frequently Asked Questions

When shopping for a horse blanket, many questions may arise. It’s essential to know the warranty provided with the purchase, the number of blankets your horse may require depending on the weather conditions, and how to wash your horse’s blanket.

In conclusion, a well-fitted horse blanket is crucial to your horse’s health and well-being. Consider your particular horse’s needs, and the weather conditions in which the blanket will be used and take the time to measure your horse accurately.

By following these steps, your horse can remain comfortable and safe year-round. Washing Horse Blankets: Ensuring the Longevity of Your Investment

Washing horse blankets is a necessary task to keep them clean and free from dirt and bacteria.

A clean blanket also means that it will last longer, and your horse will remain comfortable and healthy. In this guide, we will explore the washing process and additional tips to ensure that you can maintain your horse’s blanket well.

Washing Process

Before washing your horse’s blanket, remove any dirt, hair or mud from the blanket. You can do this by brushing the blanket and using a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or debris.

When it is time to wash the blanket, use a front-loading washing machine or a machine at a laundromat as they can handle heavier straps and hardware. It is essential to remember that most laundromats have a policy against washing horse blankets.

Check their policy before deciding to wash it at their location. Use a gentle detergent that is suitable for the blanket’s material.

It is advisable to check the label for washing instructions. Select a cold water cycle and an extra rinse cycle to ensure all soap is rinsed away.

Do not use hot water as it can warp the shape of the blanket and affect the quality of the fill. When drying the blanket, lay it flat in a shady spot to air dry.

Do not use a dryer, especially for those blankets that are not durable dryer-friendly. While the blanket dries and to ensure that the blanket weight is not lopsided, flip it over from time to time on the flat surface.

Additional Tips

Using Old Socks

To help the straps and heavy hardware of the blanket from getting tangled or damaged during the washing process, use old socks or pillowcases to cover them. Simply slip the sock or pillowcase over the straps before placing the blanket in the washing machine.

This simple trick will help protect the hardware and extend the life of your horse’s blanket.

Deep Clean Washing Machine

Over time, blankets can accumulate dirt, sweat, and bacteria that can cause unpleasant smells and even provoke allergies in horses. When washing your horse blanket, employ a deep cleaning machine designed to deep clean fabric.

The machine will help remove tangles, dirt buildup, and also the bacteria that might cause allergies. In conclusion, washing horse blankets is an essential aspect of keeping your horse healthy and comfortable.

Maintaining a clean blanket helps to ensure that your horse is not exposed to harmful bacteria that can cause allergies or skin infections. Remember to use a gentle detergent and a cold water cycle and flip the blanket regularly to ensure that it dries evenly.

By following these steps and tips, you can prolong your horse’s blanket life and keep it looking and smelling fresh. In conclusion, taking care of your horse’s blankets is crucial to ensure they remain comfortable and healthy.

It’s essential to choose the right size and type of blanket, considering the weather and the horse’s individual needs. When it comes to washing, using a gentle detergent and air-drying the blanket can prolong its life and keep it clean.

Remember to flip the blanket over when it dries to avoid any weight asymmetry. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions and take note of our additional tips.

With proper care, your horse’s blanket will last longer, keeping them warm and comfortable year-round.

FAQs

1. How often should you wash your horse’s blanket?

– It is best to wash it after the end of each season or when it looks visibly dirty, and smelly. 2.

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