Horse Blanket fitting? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-09-2014, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Horse Blanket fitting?

Hi! I am really wanting to get a turnout horse blanket for my horse... I've found a good place which isn't too expensive. Does anyone know of any good types? I am wanting one that's warm, breathable but very rainproof, so that I can use it in winter and on rainy days. But the main thing is I was wondering how can you make sure that the blanket will fit him? What are all the measurements I need to take? Is it only from the chest to the thigh or what? And if it's breathable does it mean the horse won't get too hot? Sorry for so many questions, I don't know much about blankets but thanks so very much for your help
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-09-2014, 09:57 AM
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Get a helper and a long measuring tape. Measure from the center of the tail to the center of the chest (slightly higher than at the tail). Be sure to add an inch or two for comfortable fit. Blankets are sold in even sizes only so that would be your approximate size.

When you look at catalogs and online, notice that some blankets are very fitted to a horse's body and some are somewhat loose and baggy.
A blanket "destroyer" can tear a non-fitted blanket to pieces in 15 minutes!!

Carefully check to see if the front of the blanket (at the chest) is sewn together or has Velcro and/or straps. (Some have both, others just one or the other) The ones that are sewn together in the front have to go over the horse's head to take off and put on and I personally find that to be a pain but I have notice that they seem to fit a bit more smoothly. They can be good for that "blanket destroyer" as there are no straps they can grab.

There are also blankets with a wide cloth belly band that fastens up on the back with Velcro rather than the blanket belly bands. They look nice for a while but if they don't fit around the belly just right I've noticed that the Velcro end starts to curl.

If you buy a blanket with belly band fasteners on both sides (instead of 1 side being sewn onto the blanket) you can easily buy new belly bands and leg straps when the snaps break. The snaps seem to be a weak point in blankets and you can save a lot of money by just replacing the bands and leg straps.

There are a lot of materials and weights out there. Sometimes you can save money by buying a light/medium weight blanket and a separate blanket liner to add for really cold conditions.

Try to buy your blankets in the Spring! They are all on sale right now. If you find a brand and style you really like, use the internet to find the cheapest source. For the most part all the companies are selling the exact same blankets!! Have fun shopping!!
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-09-2014, 11:27 PM
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I agree with everything CP said... I'd just like to add that you should consider both how your horse will treat it's blanket, and how other horses will treat your horse's blanket! In my opinion, the higher the denier, the better. 1200 is a good choice.

Also, you have to make sure your horse won't get too hot, or will stay warm enough under it's blanket. They do breath and allow air to get in, but moisture can get trapped under there. When in doubt, go lighter. If a horse sweats under their blanket, it can be very uncomfortable and all sorts of skin issues can pop up. They do a pretty good job of regulating their temperature if they are too cold, so it's better to be on the chilly side. I'd recommend a plain sheet for rain, a blanket with 50-100g fill for mild/cold weather, and a 200-250g blanket for really cold weather. They make blankets with 300g+ fill, but unless you live somewhere that gets consistent snow storms and below zero temperatures, I wouldn't bother with one that heavy.

Breed and coat quality make a difference, too. Stockier breeds usually grow a nice, thick coat, so they require less blanket. Finer boned breeds usually grow thinner coats, so heavier blankets are better. It really depends on the horse, though. I've seen that theory blown out of the water by a few horses!

For example... My horse (a 14 year old thoroughbred with an average coat) wears a 100g blanket anytime the weather is between 30-40*F, and a 250g blanket when the weather is under 30*F. I also take into consideration the type of weather we are having. For instance, if it's warm enough for his lightweight blanket, but it's windy and snowy, I'll put his heavyweight one on. If it's cold enough for his heavyweight blanket, but the sun is really warm, he gets his lightweight blanket... does that make sense?

Smartpak has done a really nice job providing information about blanketing, here are a few articles from their website...

Smartpak Blanket Q&A

Smartpak Blanketing 101

I don't know what your budget is, but Smartpak is usually a bit pricey. I buy blankets from and I haven't been disappointed. I currently have two Saxon brand blankets, they are just as nice as any other blanket where I board, but they are half the cost. I am not a fan of Tough-1, though. I don't like the material.

That's all I got! Good luck and happy shopping!

"A rider who would trade partnership for obedience
will have to settle for neither."
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-10-2014, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so very much you two for your replies Really kind of you and great to know where to measure... I will have to look into it more. It gets really cold here, but not cold enough to snow! So I think I'll look more into the slightly warm blankets not for snow... But definitely will get one, because he's quite an old horse, so think it might make life easier for him
Do you think I could get a plain sheet for the long summer rains and then just sew a blanket inside just for the winter, do you think that would be possible?
Um I'm not sure what my horse will think of a blanket! Hoping he won't be a blanket destroyer. But fortunately I won't have to worry what other horses will think as he's the only horse here. Thanks so much again for your help
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-10-2014, 09:12 AM
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Good advice and suggestions above.

I would not sew together any blankets...
I would though layer the blankets if needed.
It is perfectly fine to place a rainsheet over another blanket, or put a blanket liner under another blanket for added warmth. People do this often...
What you must do though is adjust the straps, called surcingles, to the correct length so they are not to long or short either increasing chance of getting a hoof or leg hung up and stuck or tightening to much and creating pain and ripping the blanket with any movement.

When you search for a blanket look for one that has nylon material panels in the front as this will reduce blanket rubs on your horses shoulder area...that can be uncomfortable to the horse.
Most blankets but not all are constructed this way today...with a nylon shoulder panel
Some blankets also have leg straps that help to keep the blanket in place, mostly found on turnout styled blankets...look for ones that are adjustable and I like removable so if it gets damaged I can replace it easily.

This is a great time of year to blanket shop and find sale prices.
Most places and manufacturers have sizing charts and directions for properly measuring your horse for a blanket.

Schneiders, Horse Supplies, Horse Tack, Horse Sheets, Fly Sheets and much more from Schneider Saddlery has a wonderful choice and great diagrams so you can understand the differences in cut of and fitting of the blankets they carry.
I also like Horse Tack | Horse Supplies | Horse Accessories - and Dover Saddlery - Quality English Horse Tack & Horse Supplies for their blankets and ease of ordering and help if you have a question.... a answer is a toll-free phone call away.

It is most common to see blankets in even number sizes, but I have also seen quality blankets in odd number sizes... think odd numbers are referred to as European sizing...

Happy Shopping....
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-10-2014, 09:26 AM
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Sarah - as you live in South Africa I can't help you at all with any suggestions for online US stores that I use but Weatherbeeta sell worldwide so you should be able to find someone where you are that stocks them. I've always found that their blankets are good quality and fit well - some of mine are now in their 10th year of use and still good.
I call them middle of the range in price - cheap blankets are false economy - and you can find yourself paying a lot more money for a brand name with some of the really expensive ones but no significantly better quality
I also have no idea what your winter temperatures are but you might find it better to buy a rain sheet that only has a thin lining for the rainy but not so cold days and a padded blanket or a padded liner for under the rain sheet when its colder or at night
If you get a lot of rain I'd invest in two rain sheets because even the best ones can leak after days and days of wet weather if your horses is outside 24/7
Apart from keeping the horse warmer if he's old they are also a good way to greatly reduce risks of rain rot
Never put a blanket on a dirty horse
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-20-2014, 06:17 AM
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I agree with horselovinguy, it's better spend a bit more and layer blankets rather than try to sew to together.
I have been extremely happy with the Schneider brand blankets I bought online at Schneider's-very, very good quality and very inexpensive if you buy them on sale in the spring!
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