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The Necessity of Horse Blankets: What You Need to Know

Horse blankets, also known as horse rugs, are common in stables and fields, especially during colder months.

These blankets come in various types and serve different purposes, from providing warmth to protecting against insects.

However, many horse owners and enthusiasts debate whether horse blankets are necessary.

This article explores horse blankets’ functions and the factors influencing their necessity, offering professional insights and tips for their effective use.

Tough 1 600D Turnout Horse Blanket with Snuggit Neck Purple 78
  • Turnout Blanket
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking
  • Double buckle front closure with Velcro straps and rust-resistant nickel hardware
  • Fleece wither protection

Last update on 2024-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here’s a simple horse blanket size chart:

Blanket SizeMeasurement (inches)Measurement (cm)Horse Type
60″60152.4Small pony
63″63160.0Large pony or small horse
66″66167.6Small horse
69″69175.2Medium horse
72″72182.9Medium to large horse
75″75190.5Large horse
78″78198.1Extra large horse
81″81205.7Extra large horse (draft)
84″84213.4Draft horse

How to Measure for a Horse Blanket

  1. Method: Measure from the center of the chest, across the side of the horse, to the center of the tail.
  2. Tools Needed: Use a soft measuring tape for accuracy.
  3. Note: Round up to the nearest size if your measurement falls between sizes.

This should help you find the right fit for your horse!

Functions of Horse Blankets

  1. Thermal Protection:
    One of the primary functions of horse blankets is to provide warmth during cold weather. Different blanket weights are available to suit varying temperatures, helping maintain their body heat and stay comfortable in the winter.
  2. Rain and Wind Protection:
    Turnout blankets are designed to be waterproof and windproof, protecting from harsh weather conditions. These blankets prevent the horse from getting wet and chilled, which can lead to hypothermia and other health issues.
  3. Insect Protection:
    Fly sheets are lightweight blankets that protect from flies and other insects during the warmer months. They help prevent irritation and allergic reactions caused by insect bites; some even offer UV protection to prevent sunburn.
  4. Cooling and Drying:
    After exercise, coolers help horses cool down gradually and prevent chills. They wick moisture away from the horse’s body, gradually reducing body temperature and aiding in recovery after strenuous activity.
  5. Therapeutic Benefits:
    Some blankets incorporate therapeutic technologies, such as ceramic fibers or magnetic therapy, to promote circulation and reduce inflammation. These particularly benefit horses recovering from injury or chronic conditions like arthritis.

Factors Influencing the Necessity of Horse Blankets

  1. Climate and Weather Conditions:
    The necessity of horse blankets largely depends on the climate and weather conditions. In regions with harsh winters, blankets are essential to keep horses warm and prevent cold-related health issues. Conversely, in milder climates, blankets may not be necessary unless there are specific health concerns.
  2. Horse’s Coat and Condition:
    Horses with thin coats or clipped coats will require blankets to stay warm, as they lack the natural insulation a thick winter coat provides. Older horses, those with health issues, or those struggling to maintain body weight may also benefit from the added warmth and protection of blankets.
  3. Living Conditions:
    Horses kept outdoors or in open barns are more exposed to the elements and may need blankets to protect them from rain, wind, and cold. Conversely, horses stabled indoors with adequate shelter and bedding may not require blankets unless the barn is particularly cold.
  4. Activity Level:
    Horses in regular work may need coolers or lightweight blankets after exercise to prevent chills while cooling down. Conversely, horses with lower activity levels may need thicker blankets to stay warm when standing still for long periods.
  5. Health Concerns:
    Horses with specific health issues, such as metabolic conditions or weakened immune systems, may benefit from blankets to help regulate their body temperature and prevent additional stress.
HILASON Orange Black Plaid 72 in 1200D Winter Waterproof Poly Horse Blanket Belly Wrap | Horse Blanket | Horse
  • ✔ HIGH QUALITY MATERIALS: These are Hilason Turnout Horse Blankets. The top material is made with Tough Master brand heavy-duty 1200D denier polyester waterproof and breathable rip-stop outer shell. The middle layer material is made with poly good brand 400 gms high-grade poly fill. The extra is a belly wrap system, shoulder gussets, double-buckle front closure, and fleece at withers. The color is Orange Black Plaid and the size is 72’’ inches.
  • ✔ FEATURES: This horse blanket has a lining made with highly durable Persian twisted woven taffeta lining that will withstand the wear and tear of daily use. The double-stitched, taped and reinforced seems to give the blanket that extra strength and durability you would rarely find in most of our competitors. Some of the other unique features of this blanket are the removable elastic leg straps, and Dees on both sides for easy attachment of hood or neck covers.
  • ✔ VERSATILE FOR ALL OCCASIONS: These winter blankets for horses are great for all occasions because It has insulated tail flaps to maintain the temperature and prevent cold air entry. Whether it’s a chilly night in the barn or a frosty morning in the field, our horse lightweight turnout blanket has got your horse covered. It’s versatile enough for a wide range of situations, providing the protection your horse needs, whenever it’s needed.
  • ✔ THOUGHTFUL GIFT: Are you Looking for the perfect gift for an equestrian enthusiast? Look no further. This horse blanket makes for a thoughtful and practical gift that showcases your appreciation for their passion. Perfectly for Men and women on the Occasions of Birthdays, Anniversaries, parties, and Weddings. This Hilason winter horse blanket will serve you for a long time.
  • ✔ 100% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: We use the best quality materials in our Hilason turnout horse blankets for winter. Customer satisfaction is everything to us. If you have received incorrect or damaged items, please let us know. Your problem will be solved.

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tips for Using Horse Blankets Effectively

  1. Proper Fit:
    Ensure the blanket fits your horse correctly. A well-fitting blanket should cover the horse’s body without being too tight or loose. Measure your horse accurately from the center of the chest to the tail to determine the correct size.
  2. Regular Inspections:
    Check the blanket regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as rips or broken straps. Damaged blankets can cause injuries or fail to provide adequate protection. Also, inspect your horse’s skin for any signs of rubbing or irritation caused by the blanket.
  3. Cleanliness:
    Keep blankets clean to prevent dirt, sweat, and bacteria buildup, which can lead to skin infections. Most blankets are machine washable, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and drying.
  4. Adjust According to Weather:
    Choose the appropriate blanket weight based on the current weather conditions. Over-blanketing can cause the horse to overheat, while under-blanketing can lead to chills. Monitor the weather forecast and adjust the blanket as necessary.
  5. Transition Periods:
    The weather can change rapidly during transitional seasons, such as spring and fall. Have a range of blankets ready to accommodate fluctuating temperatures and conditions.
  6. Monitor Your Horse:
    Pay attention to how your horse responds to wearing blankets. Some horses may show discomfort or overheating, indicating the need for blanket type or weight adjustments.

Video: How to tie a rope halter.  I’ve seen several different ways to tie a rope halter, I’d say this is the most common one.

Conclusion

Horse blankets can be essential to care, depending on factors such as climate, the horse’s coat and condition, living conditions, activity level, and specific health concerns.

In colder climates or for horses with thinner coats or health issues, blankets provide necessary warmth and protection.

However, blankets may be less critical in milder climates or for horses with natural winter coats.

Using horse blankets effectively requires understanding your horse’s needs and monitoring weather conditions.

Ensuring a proper fit, maintaining cleanliness, and regularly inspecting the blanket and your horse’s condition are vital practices.

Ultimately, the decision to blanket a horse should be based on a thorough assessment of these factors to ensure the horse’s comfort, health, and well-being.

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