Blanket Central

Proper horse care comes with a lengthy list of must-have items, and blankets and sheets are high on that list, as they help provide protection and comfort in various climates and weather conditions. Given the wide variety of blanket weights and characteristics, acquiring the right coverage for your horse can be complex.

Start by identifying the blanket that will best suit the needs of your horse. Though all blankets work to cover your horse in one way or another, their differences and overall purpose are significant. The following four solutions can help you understand the differences.

Smart Solutions

1. What are the different types of horse blankets?

Stable Blankets

Stable Blankets

Aptly named, these fitted blankets are most frequently used to cover your horse while he or she is inside the stable, barn, or stall, and keep them warm when not turned out. As they are designed for indoor use, most are not waterproof. While some stable blankets are composed of moisture-resistant or water-repellent materials, they are not typically recommended for wear outside the stable.

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Turnouts

Turnouts

Turnout blankets and sheets are typically made with tough, waterproof materials that offer protection from the elements (rain, mud, snow, sleet) and remain durable during rough and vigorous activities. Unlike the stable blanket, they are designed to allow for the freedom of motion often necessary while turned out. Many come equipped with gussets, tail flaps, leg straps, fleece withers, and/or other features to help improve overall fit and functionality.

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Horse Coolers

Horse Coolers

Contrary to the name, these blankets are not designed to keep your horse cool. Instead, horse coolers are frequently used post-workout or after bath to help prevent your horse from catching a chill. They are made with breathable materials that wick away moisture and speed drying.

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2. Which weight does my horse need?

The weight of a blanket is important, particularly during cooler months when turnout blankets and stable blankets become imperative to the health and comfort of the horse. The blanket's fill, which can be either Polyfill or Fiberfill, is responsible for the level of warmth it provides. The higher the weight of the blanket (measured in grams), the warmer it will be.

When determining the best weight for your horse, consider the temperature of your horse's environment during use (fall, winter, spring, etc.) and your horse's coat condition (light/heavy, body clipped, etc.) The chart below provides a guideline involving both factors.

Temperature Horse with Natural Coat Horse that is Body Clipped
50° - 60° Sheet - No fill Light Blanket (100g)
40° - 50° Light Blanket (100g) Light/Medium Blanket (150g-250g)
30° - 40° Light/Medium Blanket (150g-250g) Medium/Heavy Blanket (200g-300g)
20° - 30° Medium/Heavy Blanket (200g-300g) Heavy (300-400g) or Medium (200-300g) with Blanket Liner
Below 20° Extra Heavy (300g-400g) Heavy (300-400g) with Blanket Liner

3. What is Denier?

The strength of the outer shell of a turnout blanket, or "Denier", is determined by the thickness of the material's thread. The higher the Denier number, the stronger the material strength will be. To determine the right Denier for your horse, consider the following questions, and the chart below:

  • 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?

When determining the best weight, you will need to consider the following:

  • The temperature of your horse's environment during use (Fall, Winter, Spring, etc.)
  • Your horse's coat (condition of coat, light/heavy, body clipped, etc.)

4. What size blanket should I choose?

Blankets should never be too tight or too loose on any part of your horse, nor should they be too long or too short, as any of these extremes can cause your horse harm. A blanket must fit your horse correctly to work properly, so accurate measurements are imperative. For the best results, measure your horse on flat ground using a flexible tape, and keep the tape straight as you measure from your horse's chest (high point of the shoulder) to the rear of the hind legs.

Measuring Blankets
  • Published:
  • Updated: 10/17/2019: 11:54:55 AM ET