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Horse Blanket Basics: Choosing Cleaning and Repairing

Horse Blanket Basics

As horse owners, one of the most essential items we need to take care of our beloved horses is a blanket. Horse blankets serve many purposes, and choosing the right one for your horse is crucial.

In this article, we’ll cover the types of horse blankets and their purposes. We will also go over blanket care and maintenance, including washing, cleaning, and repairing.

Types of Blankets and Their Purposes

Horse blankets come in different types, each with a specific purpose. It’s essential to determine what you want your horse blanket to do before choosing one.

Weather conditions, insulation, and waterproofing are some of the primary considerations when selecting a horse blanket.

Turnout Blankets

Turnout blankets are designed to protect horses from harsh weather conditions. They’re waterproof and windproof, making them perfect for rainy, windy days.

They come in various weights for different weather conditions, from lightweight to heavyweight. Heavier turnout blankets have more insulation properties and are suitable for colder climates.

Stable Blankets

Stable blankets are designed to keep horses warm and comfortable when they are stabled or inside. They’re not waterproof since they don’t have to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Stable blankets have different weights, and their insulation properties make them perfect for colder weather.

Fly Sheets

Fly sheets are lightweight blankets that protect horses from flies and other insects. They’re commonly used during the summer season when fly populations are high.


Coolers are blankets designed to help horses cool down after exercise or during transport. They are lightweight and breathable, allowing horses to dry off and stay comfortable.

Blanket Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance of horse blankets are essential to extend their lifespan and keep them functioning correctly. Here are some tips for washing, cleaning, and repairing your horse blankets.

Washing Horse Blankets

Machine Washing Horse Blankets

You can wash horse blankets using a domestic washing machine or a commercial machine at a laundromat. Here’s how:


Choose a washing machine with an adequate load capacity, preferably one designed for heavy loads. 2.

Remove as much dirt and hair from the blanket as possible. 3.

Place the blanket in the washing machine and add an appropriate amount of detergent. Follow the detergent’s instructions for best results.

4. Set the washing machine to a gentle cycle, typically a rinse and spin cycle.

5. After washing, hang the blanket outside to dry on a dry and sunny day.

Avoid using a tumble dryer, as this may damage the blanket’s waterproofing.

Alternative Methods for Washing Horse Blankets

If you prefer not to wash your horse blankets at home, there are blanket washing services you can use. Some companies specialize in horse blanket washing, and they’re usually offered by local stables, racing yards, or equestrian centers.

If you prefer to wash your horse blanket at home, you can do so by hand. Here’s how:


Fill a large container or bathtub with warm water and an appropriate amount of detergent. 2.

Submerge the blanket in the water and swirl it around gently to loosen the dirt. 3.

Drain the water and refill the container or bathtub with clean water. Swirl the blanket again to remove any remaining soap residue.

4. Hang the blanket outside to dry on a dry and sunny day.


It’s essential to use a detergent that’s gentle enough for horse blankets, as harsh detergents may damage the blanket’s fabric or waterproofing. There are many detergent options out there specifically designed for horse blankets, so be sure to use one of those.

Repairing Horse Blankets

Horse blankets can get damaged, and it’s essential to repair them as soon as possible. Small rips or tears can be repaired at home using a needle and thread or a patch.

Larger damages may require a professional repair service.


Horse blankets are crucial items for horse owners. They serve various purposes, from protecting horses from harsh weather conditions to keeping them comfortable and clean.

Proper care and maintenance of horse blankets are essential to ensure their longevity and functionality. Washing, cleaning, and repairing are regular tasks that every horse owner should be familiar with.

By following our tips and suggestions, you can keep your horse blankets in great condition for years to come.

Drying Horse Blankets

Once you’ve washed your horse blankets, it’s crucial to dry them properly to ensure that they remain effective and functional. Drying horse blankets can be tricky, especially during wet and cold weather conditions, but there are various techniques that you can use to make sure your blankets dry thoroughly.

Proper Drying Techniques for Horse Blankets

Hanging your horse blanket to dry is the best way to ensure that it dries evenly. Hang your horse blanket in a warm and dry location, and make sure it gets plenty of air circulation.

Ideally, the place where you hang your horse blanket should have good ventilation and sunlight. However, you should never dry your horse blanket using a source of heat, such as a dryer, as this may damage the waterproofing, insulation, or fabric.

Heat can also cause shrinkage, which can make your blanket too small for your horse. If you’re drying your horse blanket outside, make sure it’s in a spot where it can get direct sunlight.

Sunlight can help to kill any bacteria that may be present on your horse blanket. Remember to avoid hanging your horse blanket where it could be exposed to bird droppings or other contaminants.

Tips for

Drying Horse Blankets in Winter

Drying horse blankets in winter can be a bit tricky, as the cold weather can make it difficult to get your blankets dry. One of the best ways to have horse blankets dry properly during the winter is to set up a warm room or drying area.

A warm room that has good ventilation can help to dry your blankets more quickly than hanging them outside. You can use a heating system, but you must ensure that it doesn’t emit too much heat so as not to damage the blanket.

If you’re using a drying area, ensure the area has adequate ventilation to prevent the buildup of moisture. You can use fans to increase air circulation and reduce the drying time.

You may also use a dehumidifier to help remove moisture from the air. If you don’t have access to a warm room or drying area, you can use a hair dryer to dry any wet patches of your horse blanket, especially those around the edges.

When using the hair dryer, ensure it’s set to the lowest heat setting to avoid damaging the blanket. It’s also essential to keep the hair dryer moving over the wet areas to prevent overheating.

Repairing Horse Blankets

Horse blankets can easily get damaged, even with the best care. However, repairing minor damages, like small tears, and leg strap failures, can prolong the life of your horse blanket.

Additionally, repairing your horse blanket is more cost-effective than replacing it.

Minor Repairs for Horse Blankets

Minor damages to horse blankets are common and can be repaired quickly and easily at home. A patch repair kit, needle and thread, and a pair of scissors are the essential tools you’ll need to carry out minor repairs on your horse blanket.

If your horse blanket has small tears, you can cover it with a patch. A patch can be made from a piece of the same or similarly durable fabric that’s cut to size and is glued or sewed over the area that is damaged.

For leg strap failures, you can replace the broken buckle or sew a new strap. If the leg straps are loose, you can adjust them on the blanket to fit the horse.

While repairing, ensure that the straps are placed correctly as loose straps can cause your horse to trip and fall.

Replacing Horse Blankets

When your horse blanket has large holes or damages that compromise the blanket’s proper function, it’s better to replace the horse blanket than repair it. A horse blanket that has large holes or is no longer waterproof or warm enough will not be effective or safe for your horse.

When choosing a replacement horse blanket, consider the same factors you considered when choosing your first horse blanket, like weather conditions, insulation, and waterproofing. You should also ensure that the blanket fits your horse correctly, as a poorly fitting blanket can cause discomfort and injury to your horse.


Drying and repairing horse blankets are essential tasks every horse owner should be familiar with. Proper drying techniques can ensure that your horse blankets remain effective and functional, while repairing minor damages can prolong your blanket’s lifespan.

While repairing any damages, make sure you use the right tools, follow the instructions, and patch the blanket responsibly. Additionally, when replacing your horse blanket, ensure that the replacement meets the weather needs, insulation, and waterproofing needs necessary for the safety and comfort of your horse.

Frequently Asked Questions

As horse owners, it is natural to have lots of questions about the various aspects of caring for our horses. Here are some of the common frequently asked questions about horse blankets:

Common Questions about Horse Blankets

Can I use a dryer to dry my horse blanket? No, using a dryer is not recommended as it can damage horse blankets.

The heat from the dryer can cause shrinkage, damage waterproofing, or weaken the blanket’s fabric fiber. To avoid this, it is best to hang dry your horse blankets.

What kind of detergent should I use when washing my horse blankets? There are many detergents available in the market designed specifically for horse blankets.

It is always best to use a mild detergent that won’t damage the blanket’s fabric or waterproofing. Harsh detergents can strip the blanket’s waterproofing or cause damage to the materials.

Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the label to avoid any issues. How do I deodorize my horse blankets?

You can deodorize your horse blankets by adding a cup of distilled white vinegar to the wash cycle. Vinegar helps to neutralize odors and also works as a natural fabric softener.

Add the vinegar to the rinse cycle to keep it from interfering with the effectiveness of the detergent. Can I take my horse blankets to a blanket washing service?

Yes, there are many blanket washing services that specialize in washing horse blankets. However, it is essential to choose a service that specializes in horse blankets as blankets can be damaged when cleaned with regular laundry.

Laundromat Restrictions on Horse Blanket Use

Many laundromats have restrictions on using their machines to wash horse blankets. Here are some of the reasons behind these restrictions:

Hair and Allergen Concerns

Horse blankets are often covered with horse hair and dust, which can clog washing machines and dryers. This can cause machines to malfunction or leave residue in them, which is not ideal for the next user of the machine.

Additionally, people with allergies to pet hair may be affected by this.

Manure and Urine

Laundry machines typically aren’t meant to handle the amount of animal waste that can come with washing horse blankets, and it could be smelly. These laundry machines aren’t designed for absorbent materials like blankets and could cause clogging issues when not cleaned out properly.

Extra Machine Cycle Before Use

If you’re allowed to take horse blankets to a laundromat, it’s important to let the machines run through an extra cycle before you use them for the next load. This will help ensure that any animal hair, dust, or debris is removed from the machine, so that it’s clean and ready to be used again.


Horse blankets are critical items for horse owners, and taking care of them is essential for their longevity and function. By understanding how to wash, dry, and repair horse blankets correctly, you can ensure that they remain effective and safe for your horse.

Additionally, it is important to choose the appropriate laundry service that specializes in horse blankets to avoid clogging machines, residue, and hair or allergen concerns. Use these frequently asked questions as a guide to help you care for your horse blanket.

Horse blankets are essential items for horse owners, serving to keep our horses warm, comfortable, and safe. Choosing the right horse blanket is crucial, as is proper care and maintenance, which involves washing, drying, and repairing the blankets when necessary.

It is also important to choose a reliable laundry service that specializes in horse blankets to avoid clogging machines, residue, and hair or allergen concerns. Here are some frequently asked questions about horse blankets that can help you take better care of them.


1. Can I use a dryer to dry my horse blanket?

Answer: It is not recommended to use a dryer to prevent damaging horse blankets; always hang dry them instead. 2.

What type of detergent should I use when washing horse blankets? Answer: Use mild detergent designed specifically for horse blankets to avoid damage or stripping of the blankets waterproofing.

3. How do I deodorize my horse blankets?

Answer: Add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the wash cycle. 4.

Can I take my horse blankets to a blanket-washing service? Answer: Yes, but make sure to choose a service that specializes in horse blanket washing to avoid any damage.

5. Why do laundromats have restrictions on using blankets?

Answer: Blankets filled with horse hair, dust, and debris can clog washers and dryer vents. Manure and urine can also pose a problem.

In conclusion, the proper care of horse blankets is crucial for your horse’s comfort and safety. Frequently washing and repairing any damages can prolong their lifespan.

Moreover, using reliable laundry services and avoiding using machines not designed for horse blankets can save them from damage or clogging. Remember that taking care of your horse’s blankets is just as important as taking care of your horse.

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