Horse blankets

Horse blankets

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
A Guide to Blanketing Horses

Selecting blankets and sheets, sizing, storing, cleaning tips and moreThere is much to consider when selecting a blanket for your horse, including the horse’s age, body condition and coat thickness, to name only a few aspects. Additionally, horses across the country experience a variety of climates, weather conditions and stabling environments. Luckily, just as our closets hold clothes tailored to the day and season, there are different types of horse blankets available, too, so you can select just what your horse needs when he needs it.   

The Basics

For horse owners to best determine what kind of blanket and heaviness their horse will need, let’s first look at a few horse blanketing basic terms, such as "sheets" vs. "blankets" and "turnout" vs. "stable."  

A horse sheet is lightweight and perfect for those mildly cold or windy days. They have no fill. A horse blanket, rather, offers fill, which is essentially a form of insulation sewn into the blanket to add warmth (think of your winter coat!) The higher the fill number on a blanket, the cozier the pony on those cold days.  

Sheets and blankets come in two varieties: turnout and stable, for horses in either respective environment. Turnout sheets and turnout blankets feature waterproof material to keep pasture ponies dry. Without waterproof technology, a wet horse blanket could unintentionally make your horse colder. Stable sheets and stable blankets are ideal for stabled horses and therefore not made from waterproof material. They serve an important purpose by keeping stabled horses comfy, warm and sleek.     

Warmth & Durability  

When you are selecting a horse blanket, you will notice a few number sets under the product descriptions, noting "denier" and "fill."  Denier denotes the durability of a horse blanket or sheet. It measures nylon fiber density on the outer material of horse blankets. Denier ranges from 70 to 2400D. The higher the denier, the more durable it is for those tough-on-blanket horses (you might have one or two in mind!) As we shared earlier, fill is padding that adds an extra layer of warmth to your horse’s blanket. Both with denier and fill, the higher the number, the tougher or warmer the blanket’s material will be.

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