Blanket Head Quarters

Horses need a wide variety of blankets and sheets throughout the year, to help keep them protected from all kinds of weather conditions. Choosing the right ones can be a daunting prospect, so this guide is designed to help.

1. What are the different types of horse blankets?

Stable Blankets

Stable Blankets

These basic blankets are ideal for providing extra warmth and protection for your horse while in the stable, the barn, or the trailer. While some may have waterproof qualities, they are not meant for outdoor use, and should only be used indoors or away from the elements.

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As you might guess, turnouts are used when your horse is "turned out", or outside the stable. They are tougher and more resilient than stable blankets, as they are designed with waterproof materials that can handle different types of weather conditions. Turnouts often have flaps, gussets, straps, and other features to ensure a proper fit, to provide freedom of movement as well as adequate protection.

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Horse Coolers

Horse Coolers

Coolers are used after a workout or a bath, and are made of breathable materials that wick away moisture from the horse's body to speed drying and prevent chills and cold-like illness.

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2. What size blanket should I choose?

Any blanket must fit your horse to work properly. A blanket that is too tight, too loose, too long, or too short could interfere with the horse's legs, so be sure to take accurate measurements. First, move your horse to a flat surface and standing as square as possible. Use a flexible tape to measure from the center of the horse's chest, over the high point of the shoulder, to the rear of the hind legs. The total measurement in inches should equal a blanket size.

Measuring Blankets

3. Which weight does my horse need?

Weather conditions throughout the year, as well as the type of coat your horse has, will dictate the weight of the blanket or sheet needed; see the chart below. The strength of the outer shell combined with the type of fill used will dictate the blanket's weight; heavier equals warmer.

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

4. What is Denier?

The strength of the outer shell of a turnout blanket is called "Denier", which is a measurement of the material's thread thickness. Higher Denier equals stronger material, but it also costs more. When choosing a Denier, consider the type of activity your horse generally undergoes. Horses that tend to roughhouse, either on their own or with other horses, can test a blanket to its limits, and render it ineffective sooner.

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.)
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