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Horse Blankets

General Horse Articles - The Big Cover Up
20 Tips About Horse Blankets

Always have two turnout blankets in case one gets wet.
When the air turns chilly, horse lovers start thinking about blankets and rugs. We’ve got 20 tips that will help you to become brilliant about blankets.

1. Be super efficient and wash all of your blankets when you’ve finished with them in the spring. Hose off turnout rugs and take stable blankets to the Laundromat. Store them in a dry, mouse-free place so they will be ready for you when you need them in the fall.

2. If a blanket rubs your horse’s shoulder, it may be too big for him and is moving around too much. If it’s the correct size, you should sew some fleece or slippery material into the shoulder area so the blanket doesn’t rub so much. Blanket rubs happen quickly and it takes ages before the hair grows back. You can also spray a show conditioner (the spray that makes a coat shine) on your horse’s shoulders to help stop the blanket rubbing.

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Fasten the front of a blanket before sliding it back.

3. If your horse wears a canvas New Zealand rug, you must waterproof it in the spring before you store it away. You can buy paint-on waterproofing solutions in tack shops and from catalogs. Simply brush on the waterproofing solution on a clean rug and then let it dry.

4. When fastening leg straps, loop one strap inside the other (as shown) to stop the straps from rubbing the insides of your horse’s legs.

5. If your horse is clipped and you live in a cold area, he must wear a blanket when you turn him out. He should also wear a blanket when he’s in his stable. Stabled horses can’t move around to keep warm, so if they are clipped, they need to wear blankets.

6. If a blanket needs an emergency repair, use duct tape to cover rips until you can get it to a repair shop.

7. Pay attention to the weather if your horse wears a turnout blanket. If it’s sunny and warm he might not have to wear a  blanket. If you’re afraid of him rolling and getting dirty put a lightweight blanket on him when you turn him out.

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Put a cotton sheet under a blanket to keep it clean.

8. You should always have two turnout blankets per horse. If one gets wet or extra-muddy, you can put the other one on your horse until the first one dries out. Never put a wet, clammy blanket on a horse because it can give him a chill and make him sick.

9. When putting on a blanket, fold it in half and put it over the neck then fasten the neck straps. Then slide the rug back and cover the horse’s hindquarters. Then fasten the stomach and leg straps.

10. If your horse lives outside all of the time and wears a blanket, visit him every day to make sure his blanket hasn’t shifted. Sometimes a blanket can slide to one side and scare a horse. Check that the blanket isn’t ripped, too. Take off his blanket and check that he’s OK under it.

11. Blankets usually come in two-inch increments. To figure out your horse’s size, use a tape measure and start at the center of his chest and continue around the widest part of his hindquarters to the middle of his tail. If your horse falls between sizes, go with the larger size.

12. Once a blanket is on, you should be able to fit your hand around the neck opening. It shouldn’t be tight. There should also be v his stomach and the straps.

13. Keep your horse’s neck clean, by using a hood that attaches to D-rings on the blanket.

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Measure your horse before shopping for a blanket.

14. Use a lightweight cotton stable sheet under a stable blanket or turnout blanket. Clean this light blanket regularly and you won’t have to wash the thicker blankets as often.

15. Always cross the stomach straps. This helps to keep the blanket in place.

16. When taking off a blanket, unfasten the straps farthest back and work forwards.

17. When trying a blanket, put a thin stable sheet under it so the blanket doesn’t get dirty. If it doesn’t fit and it gets dirty, you might not be able to return it.

18. When trying a turnout blanket, it’s a good idea to lunge your horse in it for a minute to see how it fits him while he’s moving around. After all, he doesn’t stand still out in the field, does he?

19. When you take off a blanket, hang it up somewhere so it can dry out properly.

20. When washing a blanket, cover the metal surcingle fasteners with socks so you don’t scratch up the inside of your washing machine.



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