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When it comes to blanketing your horse during the colder months, there are so many options for choosing the right blanket to fit your horse’s needs.Instead of going crazy trying to determine which blanket is best, State Line Tack has put together guidelines and a buying guide to help you when ordering a blanket.

1. "What type of blanket does my horse need?"

Determining if you should purchase a stable blanket or a turnout sheet would actually depend on whether or not your horse needs a waterproof blanket. Since stable blankets are NOT waterproof, they are typically used when your horse is kept in the barn. This type of blanket features a center seam and rump darts, providing a more contoured design. The addition of a full hood is also available and sold separately from the blanket. Used in combination with each other, they help to provide complete coverage for horses that are usually body clipped or help to prevent the growth of a winter coat. Popular stable blanket brands available at State Line Tack include Tough-1, Snuggie and Big D stable blankets.

If your horse requires a waterproof material, there are two types of turnout blankets/sheets available. The first is the standard, which helps provide coverage from the horse’s withers to over the tail. The second is a combo blanket or Detach-A-Neck, provides all-over covering, starting from just behind the ears to over the tail. Since the design of a turnout blanket/sheet is more “drape” like, it is roomier to allow for better coverage and helps protect against Mother Nature’s elements. Popular turnout blanket brands available at State Line Tack are Defender, WeatherBeeta, Saxon, Big D, Professional’s Choice and Weaver.

2. "How warm of a blanket does my horse need?"

Since the warmth of the blanket is determined by how much fill is in blanket, we’ve put together two reference charts regarding the warmth and fill of a blanket. Some guidelines to keep in mind when choosing are:

    • Determining which weight you need depends on your horse’s environment.
      • Is your horse stall kept or turned out with or without shelter?
      • What is the climate like where your horse is kept?
    • Determining which weight also depends on your horse’s coat.
      • Does your horse grow a light/heavy coat?
      • Is your horse body clipped mid-winter?
    • You can always layer blankets for added warmth. For instance, if you buy a turnout blanket with light warmth, but also purchase a stable blanket with medium warmth, you can layer the two together, adding a waterproof protection to the stable blanket as well as additional warmth from the light turnout blanket.

Fill Warmth
Sheet - No fill Provides protection from the wind and rain
100 Gram Fill Light Warmth
150 Gram Fill Light/Medium Warmth
200 Gram Fill Medium Warmth
250 Gram Fill Medium/Heavy Warmth
300 Gram Fill Heavy Warmth
400 Gram Fill Extra Heavy Warmth

Temperature Horse with Natural Coat Horse that is Body Clipped
50-60 Degrees Sheet Light Blanket (100g)
40-50 Degrees Light Blanket (100g) Light/Medium Blanket (150g-250g)
30-40 Degrees Light/Medium Blanket (150g-250g) Medium/Heavy Blanket (200-300g)
20-30 Degrees Medium/Heavy Blanket (200-300g) Heavy(300-400g) or Medium (200-300g) with Blanket Liner
Below 20 Degrees Heavy (300-400g) Heavy (300-400g) with Blanket Liner

3. "How strong should the outer shell of the blanket be?"

First, the strength of the outer shell of a turnout blanket, or also called “denier”, is determined by the thickness of the material’s thread. Second, the higher the denier number is, the stronger the material strength will be. Now which denier is right for your horse? Here are a few things to consider:

    • How destructive is your horse? Does your horse come in from the field with a lot of scrapes
    • Is your horse turned out with any other pasture pals? Are they destructive? Will your horse’s blanket become their chew toy?
    • What is your budget for buying a blanket?

Here is a chart to refer to for denier strength.

Denier Strength
210 Very Light Strength
420 Light Strength
600 Medium Strength
1200 Heavy Strength
1680 Extra Heavy Strength
2100 Super Heavy Strength

3. "What is the recommended procedure when measuring for a blanket?"

This is easiest when done with the help of a second person. You will need a flexible tape measure, which will help you get the most accurate measurement possible. First, start by standing your horse as square as possible on a flat, even surface.Next, place the tape measure at the center of the horse’s chest, over the high point of the shoulder. With the tape measure held in place on the chest, run it alongside the horse’s body until you reach the rear of the hind leg. For the most accurate measurement, keep the tape as straight as possible along the side of the body without following the contours of the horse’s body. If the length falls on a size not offered by the blanket company, then simply round up to the next available size being offered.

4. "I just received my blanket from State Line Tack, how should the blanket properly fit my horse?"

First, we recommend placing a thin, clean stable sheet on your horse to keep the blanket in new condition, in case the fit isn’t just right. To check if the blanket fits properly, place the blanket on and fasten the chest straps so the fabric overlaps at the chest. It should be snug here, but not tight. Next, fasten the surcingles and adjust to fit loosely on the horse’s stomach with about four fingers width between belly and straps. Finally, fasten the leg straps and adjust so you can only fit a hand’s width between each leg strap on your horse’s thighs.

Once the blanket is on your horse, check the length and the fit on the front. To check the length, stand behind the horse and gently bring the two ends toward one another against the horse’s rump. Try not to pull the blanket out of place as you are doing this. If the ends meet on the horse’s tail, the blanket is too large. If you cannot bring them together at all or if you can see more than 2-3 inches of the horse’s rump on either side of the tail, then the blanket is too small. The end of the blanket should stop just above where the tail starts. Now, to check the fit on the front of your horse, it is best to watch your horse walk while wearing the blanket. As your horse is moving forward, observe the shoulders. If the blanket fabric pulls tightly against the shoulder to the point of possibly impeding movement, then the blanket is too snug. If the blanket drops very low at the shoulder or chest, then the neck opening and/or the blanket is too large.

5. "What do I need to do to clean my horse’s blanket?"

If your horse comes in and the blanket is covered in mud, the easiest way to get the mud off is to let it dry and use a stiff brush to remove the mud. If your horse will tolerate it, you can also leave the blanket on it while you brush the mud off. If you need to wash the blanket, the best way is to wash it with a mild detergent and then hang to dry.

With all the different choices of turnout blankets and stable sheets available at State Line Tack, simply refer to our “cheat sheet” to help make the process a little easier. Please feel free to download and print out our Blanket Buying Guide. Click Here

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