Anyone else freezing right now? I know you can’t see me but I’m raising both hands. Between doing chores and riding, I’m frequently changing blankets with the weather changes. That’s something that we do a lot at our home barn. For some horses, we change blankets daily during the winter. They get their outdoor blankets during the day and their stable blankies at night when I tuck them in.
This gave me the idea of doing a small blanketing lesson via online. Do you know how to properly fit a blanket? This is important. You want to make sure that blankets aren’t too small, aren’t too big but… just right. It’s like Goldie Locks finding the perfect porridge. But, lucky for you, I’m going to tell you how to properly measure your horse so hopefully you won’t have to try on too many blankets before you find the perfect one.
If you don’t know your horse’s size, get your tape measure out. I made this cute graphic to show you from which point you’ll want to measure. You’ll want to start out in the middle of their chest and then go back to their buttocks. Make sure that you get the widest part of their shoulder in the measurement. This helps ensure against shoulder rubs. Still you’re going to want to keep an eye on their shoulders. Just like clothes, brands sometimes fit a little different. Another reason we measure is to ensure that the blanket isn’t too big because you want your little buddy, okay maybe giant buddy to stay safe. You don’t want their blanket to be oversized to the point where they can get tangled up in them. Safety first!
Do you know the difference between blankets? Here’s a little chart that breaks down the different fill in each kind of blanket. The best tip I can give you is to get waterproof blankets. You don’t want your horse standing out in the middle of the pasture with a soggy blanket. If your blanket’s waterproof isn’t holding up, you can always get a waterproof sheet to throw on top. I’ve had luck re-waterproofing blankets with waterproof spray you can find in the camping section. If you do this, you’re going to want to do it outside for ventilation. For horses that constantly are ripping their blanket, I make them wear the fly sheet of shame. Okay, it’s not actually shameful but they look a little silly. I throw the hard plastic flysheets on top of their blankets to protect them from whatever or whoever keeps ripping them.
If you’re going to blanket or are currently blanketing your horse, you’re going to want to keep an eye on the weather. Make sure that you’re blanketing appropriately to the temperature and your horse’s body. Just like us some horses run hot and cold. So, if you have a shivering baby that’s a huge indication you can add layers. If your horse is sweating under that blanket, it’s time to reduce a layer or go down in weight. If your horse stays too warm under those blankets, it can cause them to colic.
Remember if you haven’t been blanketing your horse all winter, you’re not going to just want to randomly throw on a heavy weight when you think it’s cold out. You might make them too hot. They’re used to being cooler. If you’re going to start blanketing for the first time go lighter.
If you’re still having questions about blanketing, please feel free to reach out to me or ask Cody. Luckily if you board with us, we’re constantly checking and changing blankets at our barn. That’s part of the perk of boarding with us.