This time of year, it's hard to know what kind of blanket to put on your horse or if you should even blanket your horse at all. Here are a few pro tips we've uncovered to help guide you in your blanket selection. Know, of course, your horse may run hot or cold so these are simply some suggestions.
1) Does my horse need a blanket?
Truthfully, probably not. Horses are very good a processing cold (heat, not as much). Healthy horses in good condition with a full coat and access to shelter can do well in some pretty frigid temperatures. The problems generally arise when the horse is cold and wet.
2) What if my horse is clipped?
Clipping your horse so that you can ride and even compete during the winter certainly changes the equation. These horses generally are in the barn so you will want to put on a light or medium weight blanket once the temperature dips below 40 degrees.
3)What is the difference between light, medium and heavy weight blankets?
Typically, the greater the fill, the warmer the blanket. Most blanket manufacturers provide guidelines on as to which blanket weight is best for which circumstances.
4) What can I do about those awful rub marks?
Rub marks occur when a blanket doesn't fit well. To figure out the proper blanket size, stand your horse square on a solid surface. Start the measuring tape at the center of your horse's chest below where the neck joins the body. Run the tape along the body to the widest part of the horse's buttocks, roughly 10 inches below the top of his tail. This should give you your horse's blanket size. While most blankets are consistent in terms of sizing, certain features make some blankets fit differently than others. And some horses just have odd body shapes. In these cases, you may want to try a blanket liner or shoulder protector.
As always, we have professionals on staff at the store or in the trailer who are happy to help you with your blanketing questions. Feel free to give us a call or stop in any time.