Friday, December 26, 2008

Horse Blankets

There are so many types of horse blankets it can be confusing to figure out which kind to get and use on your horse. As a general rule I don’t blanket my horses, but there are times when I use them. I have heavy turnout rugs for horse camping in the spring and fall which gives the horses extra protection from the elements while they’re standing on a picket line - it can get quite cold at night.

I also have cotton sheets for the summer months I use after we have bathed the horses for a show and want to keep them clean while we’re hauling them in the trailer. I have an aluminum Featherlite trailer and if they lean on the stall dividers, they end up with aluminum rub spots on their hips.

One other type of blanket I have is a fleece cooler that I have used after trail riding in cool weather when the horses have to stand at the trailer afterwards. It keeps them warm while they are drying off if they’ve gotten sweaty.

But those aren’t the only types of blankets available; there are turnout rugs, stable blankets, sheets, coolers, scrim sheets, and “Sleazy” sleepwear. They come in all sorts of weights and fabrics and either closed or open fronts.

Which Horse Blanket Do I Choose?

  • Stable blankets: generally close-fitting, coming to just the depth of the barrel
  • Turnout rugs: longer drop on the sides, shoulder gussets for freedom of movement, tail flaps, generally no center seam and are wind- and water-proof
  • Sheets: lightweight blanket, usually either cotton or nylon, fitting the same as a stable blanket
  • Coolers: made of wool, fleece or acrylic that covers from behind the ears to the tail and hangs to about knee length, clipping in the front along the neck. There are also fleece coolers that fit like a sheet.
  • Scrim sheets: a very lightweight, almost see-through sheet used to protect the horse's coat from the sun and/or with a fly repellent built in
  • Sleazy sleepwear: tight-fitting, stretchy nylon blanket and/or hood to keep hair clean and polished. The hood covers the head and neck and keeps the mane tamed and also protects braids.

So, depending on the weather or your specific needs, there are many kinds of horse blankets available from which to choose. Happy shopping!

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