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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I've been reading a lot of older threads about blankets, and they've been great and helpful, but naturally, when I go to look myself at the actual different ones, I get overwhelmed and confused and feel like I'm back at Square 1. So here's my dilemma:

I think, from what I've read, a Schneider blanket is the one I want to go with, but now I'm not sure which one will work best for my (and Ripley's) needs.

I live in Southern New Hampshire, and it's not arctic or anything here, but it gets mighty cold come January. Ripley already has a pretty solid fluffy winter coat, and I definitely like the idea of him taking care of himself in that regard, but his current paddock doesn't have a windbreak/shelter, and it gets pretty windy. I'm more worried about days when we're seeing teens and single digits than the 30s we're seeing now.

He's kept INSIDE the barn at night, so I don't plan on blanketing him except for days when he's outside and it's 20 or below. Do you have any recommendations for what might work best? Also, I don't really understand the difference in how blankets are cut (VTek, fitted, cutback...omg what?), and I'm not 100% sure if I will need a different kind of blanket for days when I ride him to a sweat when it's all cold and gross outside.

So, to summarize my long post: HELP. I'm confused (as usual) and need blanket advice/expertise!

Thanks in advance,

Erika
 

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I just sold a brand new Schneiders V-Free Tekno Fleece because I hated it. I couldnt get it adjusted for nothing to stay on my horse properly. I even bought a smaller one thinking the one I previously bought was just too big but no matter what I didnt the stupid would get twisted and slide off the side of my mare, despite how tight my leg straps were. I Prefer Weatherbeeta Everast blanket. I have one that is 10 years old and the only problem is its a little bit faded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wonder if buying horse blankets is similar to finding a pair of jeans that aren't too long and don't make my butt look flat. :)

I imagine the fit of the blanket isn't something I can know until I try. Sigh. Thanks for the reply!
 

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Straight from Schneiders catalog...
VTEK *V-Free
Raised, shaped area over the withers. Contoured over the back and hindquarters..
Image shows higher than normal cut, well above the wither bone. Well above where the mane starts.

EURO
No back seam, straight line over the withers and back. Contoured over the hindquarters.
Image shows blanket would cover entire wither to neck juncture.

Fitted V-Free
Raised, shaped wither up to the start of the mane. Contoured over the back and hindquarters.
Image...exactly what it says... think a contour saddle pad fit.

Cutback
Cutback at withers. Contoured over the back and hindquarters.
Image... picture shows the blanket NOT covering any of the wither, leaving it exposed.

OK.... so my take on it for what it is worth...

I would NOT do a cutback. I've seen them get so far behind the wither they get caught, leave nasty rubs where the fleece is constantly chafing the back area.
I would NOT do a VTek V-Free either. To close a neck opening unless that is what you desire.
I would Do the Fitted-V. raised wither and contoured cut over the back and butt.
I would consider the Euro...a higher cut over the Fitted-V but it doesn't "hug" and fit as close to the body... to me that can lead to blanket slip.
Both the Euro and Fitted V-Free start at just above or at the "mane starts here" location.

Now as for the weight of warmth material, sizing, colors, options.... you are all on your own.

Hopes this helps.

I received a "Blanket Catalog" in the mail from Schneiders that I took this information from.
I could not find it on their website, I looked.
This guide is very extensive in the information and goes into great detail on every cut.

Call or order a blanket catalog... if you called customer service they could probably scan and send you this page of in-depth information...

Good luck.
:wink:
 

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I'm not a blanket expert, so I'll just give my usual recommendation. I'm really fond of the Rider's International (Dover Saddlery brand) turnout sheets and blankets. I've had two turnout sheets (my guy ripped a big hole in the butt after about 5 years) and one lightweight turnout blanket from them, and I love them. The price is pretty reasonable as well, but I'm from Louisiana. As such, I can't speak too much for the heavier weighted blankets, but I imagine that as long as they have the proper fill they'll be fine.

I think that Chick's Discount Saddlery is having a big sale on blankets, including Weatherbetta. I've never personally owned one, but I know lots of people that love them.
 

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If he's healthy, has a good coat, and is stalled at night anyway, consider a rain sheet (waterproof turnout sheet), 1200 denier... a dry horse is a warm horse, and it will save you a bunch of $$s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If he's healthy, has a good coat, and is stalled at night anyway, consider a rain sheet (waterproof turnout sheet), 1200 denier... a dry horse is a warm horse, and it will save you a bunch of $$s.
Do you think he can handle temps in the teens with just his coat? He's healthy, and he's got a pretty decent winter fluff going on, but I'm worried I'm being cruel when it gets super cold.
 

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Welcome to the forum! No, you're not being cruel to let your horse be natural with his 'pretty decent winter fluff' when it gets super cold! Unless he's a horse with a physical condition and the vet says to put one on, your best decision for his benefit is to not blanket. That thick winter coat he grew wasn't for nothing! If you brush him regularly (when dry), that will bring out his natural oils, and you'll see first hand how he'll just casually stand there eating/resting with piles of snow on his back that will eventually melt and cascade down off of the top layer, not even touching his skin!! It's one of nature's miracles, and I witness it every day, every winter in our extremely cold and snowy climate! Days are shorter now as well, so if he's stalled at night, then he's not really out that long anyway. We humans may feel cold and worry about our horses, who in turn aren't worried at all!! On super cold days, make sure he gets plenty of free-choice hay to nibble, as that serves as his fuel -that will keep him warm, and you, worry free :)
 

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Do you think he can handle temps in the teens with just his coat? He's healthy, and he's got a pretty decent winter fluff going on, but I'm worried I'm being cruel when it gets super cold.
Not at all. As Northernstar said above, if he has forage and water available all day, he'll be a lot warmer than you think.
 

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When I lived in Michigan, we regularly had 0°F temps and 3+ feet of snow, but my 20+ year old Arab fared just fine without a blanket. I only blanketed my show Paints to keep the haircoats in check. While my barn allowed all my horses to go in and out as they pleased, most of the time they chose to be outside, often with 6 inches of snow on their backs. I only closed them in the barn when it was extremely windy, well below zero temps, or wet-cold like sleeting. As the others said, keep plenty of hay available to nibble on and make sure the water source doesn't freeze.

That said, if you feel compelled to blanket, that's definitely your call for your horse! What breed do you have? Some blankets brands fit particular builds of horses better than others. For instance, Big D has always been my personal choice for my Paints & Quarters, but the newer Rocking SP brand from SmartPak fits stock type breeds fantastically, too. I prefer closed front sheets & blankets, but will do an adjustable buckle front on youngsters who may continue to grow over the winter. I generally go for the contoured back with an average cut at the withers; I've seen the extra long wither cut which covers a potion of the neck can cause damage to manes on horses with naturally higher headcarriage.

I'd go with the lightest weight blanket possible, for the least interference with his natural winter coat. Lite/no fill waterproof sheet, or max 200 gram fill blanket. But again, purely MY opinion. Good luck!
 

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I blanket when it's extremely cold (20F or less), when it's windy and cold with wind chills into the 20's, or wet and cold. If my horse is one who grows a decent winter coat, I just use a midweight blanket, on the ones who do not grow winter coats, I use the heavyweights. After many years of experimenting with different cuts of blankets, I've come to the conclusion that this one is my favorite:

StormShield® CONTOUR COLLAR Bellyband Turnouts in StormShield® Contour Collar Euro Turnout Blankets at Schneider Saddlery



This style is really durable, has a 2 year guarantee, Schneider's stands behind their products, and it fits everyone from the QH's to the Saddlebreds to the Arabs without trouble. I haven't had wither or shoulder rubs, it doesn't twist, and I have some that are 5 years old and still very much in service with few repairs.
 

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I just got this one for my horse: StormShield® 1200D NEW BRITON Bellyband Turnouts in Fitted V-Free at Schneider Saddlery

He has a really thick, low-set neck and the blanket I got him last year was fine for keeping him clean for a couple hours (the reason I originally got it) but I want to blanket him this year when it goes close to/below freezing at night and the other one was definitely going to leave rubs if it was on that often. I just put it on for the first time last night, so I can't comment too much on it yet, but it looks like it fits really well. I plan on getting the unlined sheet to help keep him clean in turnout on warmer days, too, though I'm waiting to see if there's a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal on it :p
 

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I just got this one for my horse: StormShield® 1200D NEW BRITON Bellyband Turnouts in Fitted V-Free at Schneider Saddlery

He has a really thick, low-set neck and the blanket I got him last year was fine for keeping him clean for a couple hours (the reason I originally got it) but I want to blanket him this year when it goes close to/below freezing at night and the other one was definitely going to leave rubs if it was on that often. I just put it on for the first time last night, so I can't comment too much on it yet, but it looks like it fits really well. I plan on getting the unlined sheet to help keep him clean in turnout on warmer days, too, though I'm waiting to see if there's a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal on it :p
Wait until the last couple of days of the Scottsdale Horse Show in Feb. It's Feb 13-23 in 2014. On line they'll have some really good deals. At the show....OMG they have some wonderful prices to liquidate what they brought to the show!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you everyone for these replies! I've learned more from you people in the short time I've been on this forum than I have learned though a lot of reading. :) I think experience is the best kind of knowing, but you all are a darn close second.

Ripley is a Rocky Mountain Horse. He's not huge, about 15h, and I don't believe he's been blanketed before. I bought him from a neighbor, so no climate change for him.

If I'm not going to buy a blanket for the sake of cold, which I suspect now I won't, I now have a question about how to deal with times when I ride him/work him to a sweat in super cold temps. I feel like I heard about "coolers" somewhere? But I don't honestly have any idea if that's a real thing, or if it's a necessary thing, or if I just am now making things up. :D
 

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I now have a question about how to deal with times when I ride him/work him to a sweat in super cold temps. I feel like I heard about "coolers" somewhere? But I don't honestly have any idea if that's a real thing, or if it's a necessary thing, or if I just am now making things up. :D
Just like being wet from the rain, if it's cold and he's sweating a lot, it will give a chill. If it were me, however, I would wait and see if/how much he sweats before investing in anything. Although we're probably not as cold (typically in the 30s), I can ride all day and our mares really don't sweat much except under the saddle pad. I just towel them off, fluff up their hair, and they're fine.
 

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I feel like I heard about "coolers" somewhere? But I don't honestly have any idea if that's a real thing, or if it's a necessary thing, or if I just am now making things up. :D

Oh...coolers exist, they are not made-up, you are not imagining things....
Coolers are wonderful to have when you ride in cold weather and you need to warm up or cool down that horse without them getting a chill.
They are not just for when the horse is sweated from exertion but in cold weather it helps to warm the muscles and all areas of their body...just like a runner warms-up and cools down after exercise, your horse is a athlete and needs the same considerations in my opinion. {tuck a wool cooler around you when walking in cold weather and see how comforting it is to the body. You are ready to "work" faster without your body protesting so much so fast!}}

I prefer all wool coolers for their ability to disperse the moisture from the horse, keep him draft free, warm and the fact that I have almost never had a wool cooler get "wet" like so many other materials can and do.. nothing worse than putting on or needing to wear damp, cold clothes on us when it is cold...no different for your horse.:x
The link below is one of the types of coolers on the market.
It is what I prefer as it doesn't "billow" like a bed sheet could with the big square design of the other style as it is known to do.
This style can be used during trailering to a show or event instead of your blanket, for a warm-up, cool down or even if you must as a added layer under your blanket for extra warmth.
I own some of these as they are not super heavy-weight, but a nice mid-weight material. I also own those heavy-weight coolers in the same style {fitted} and find them to be to warm many times.
This cooler looks beautiful with contrast piping, a hip ornament and braided tail-cord and a leather buckle and a hidden surcingle.
Many have taken this to have cost hundreds..it did not. It is affordable...
Here is where I purchased mine from...
Dover Wool Dress Sheet | Dover Saddlery


Welcome to the world of horses and their equipment needed, wanted and luxuries.
Enjoy the adventure...
:wink:
 

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I have been having trouble getting a proper blanket fit so I called Dover and spoke to someone directly and explained my issues so they could make a recommendation I am awaiting that blanket now. I did buy the Schneiders cutback as it's more for my type of horse which is a Freesian cross and it did not work like I was hoping
 

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I have been having trouble getting a proper blanket fit so I called Dover and spoke to someone directly and explained my issues so they could make a recommendation I am awaiting that blanket now. I did buy the Schneiders cutback as it's more for my type of horse which is a Freesian cross and it did not work like I was hoping
I tried the cutback blankets for my Arabian stallion when he was showing in halter. I wanted to avoid any possibility of rubbing on the withers and bottom of his mane. I discovered with the cutback style that it frequently put a lot of pressure around his withers, and wasn't at all comfortable for him. I went to the comfort collar and that solved the cutback problem AND solved the rubbing on the withers/mane issue too. So far, that blanket has worked for all of my horses, regardless of breed.
 

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I have only bought one blanket from Schneiders that was a bad fit - a fly sheet - and when I put in a slightly negative review about it they called me and advised me which one would fit that horse better and sent it as a replacement for the other one but told me I could keep the one that didn't fit well - it actually did fit one of my other horses
That is what I call customer service!!
Unless your barn is heated you need to be careful of the thickness of outdoor blanket you use as the horse will feel the cold when you take it off - if he has a good coat then better to stick with a rain sheet type if you don't want to end up putting him in stable blankets as well
 
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