Use the right type of blanket.,
Make sure the fit is right.,
Use a blanket if the horse could get wet or muddy.,
Cover the horse in cold below 5 degrees Fahrenheit.,
Blanket weaker animals.,
Use a blanket if the horse is more vulnerable to cold.,
Take off the blanket if you plan to ride the horse.,
Take off the blanket if your horse is sweating, especially on the neck and behind the ears.,
Remove the blanket in warmer temperatures.,
Tie the horse up.,
Undo the clasps from back to front, except for the front buckles.,
Fold the back third of the blanket up onto the middle third of the blanket.,
Undo the front buckles.,
Undo all the buckles before removing the blanket.,
Fold the blanket.
There are various kinds of horse blankets, each with its own purpose. Blankets should be breathable and waterproof as a rule, but otherwise they can be lighter or heavier and made of different materials like fleece, wool, mesh, and others. Make sure that you know what kind of blanket to use in the circumstances.Turnout blankets keep the horse warm and dry while outside, in cold weather and rain. They come in different weights and need to be waterproof. You can also use a rain sheet to keep your horse dry – these will be lighter than turnout blankets and can be lined or unlined.
Coolers help cool and dry off horses after they’ve been worked out, by wicking off sweat. They can also keep the horse warm in its stall or while out walking.
Flysheets are for keeping flies and other biting insects off the animal, not for keeping it warm. They’re light and made from mesh.
There are also summer sheets, quarter sheets, and stable blankets. Summer sheets can give very light warmth when needed; stable blankets can keep a horse warm when stabled or turned out in dry weather.;
, Be sure that you’ve checked the fit of your blanket. Blankets come in many different sizes. One that’s too small will rub and cause hair loss and sores, while a blanket that’s too big can move around and possibly get twisted, come off, or cause injury.You may need to have your horse measured to be sure about the right size. Staff at tack stores can also help you. The horse should be able to move comfortably and naturally when wearing the blanket.
The blanket should be removed daily to check for any blanket rubs, sores, and to assess body condition score. This is especially important in the winter when horses are blanketed a lot and can lose weight quickly.
, The insulating value of a horse’s coat is lost when the animal gets wet or covered in mud. This can cause the horse to get too cold. Consider using a blanket if there is a risk of this while your horse is turned out.Weather like rain, freezing rain, and ice may all call for blanketing. Snow is less of a problem for wetness. Depending on factors like air temperature and wind chill, you can use either a turnout blanket or rain sheet to protect the animal in this kind of bad weather.
A cooler will dry your horse after a workout. It absorbs sweat and moisture so that the animal doesn’t get cold from the evaporation of sweat., Cold is cold, even for horses with thicker coats. Cover your horse with a blanket if there’s no shelter available during turnout periods and the air temperature dips below 5 degrees Fahrenheit.A heavier turnout blanket is presumably good for cold winter weather.
Use a blanket if the wind chill drops below -5 degrees Fahrenheit, too.
, Some horses are more at risk in cold and damp conditions than others. These vulnerable animals need extra consideration and may require a blanket even when other, healthier horses don’t.Very young horses and very old horses will need extra protection and should be blanketed in cold and inclement weather.
Do the same for horses that are in poor health or have a Henneke body score of 3 or below.
, Some horses have thicker coats and may be more used to cold – that is, they’re acclimated to colder weather. Horses that aren’t used to the cold may need blankets more often, though.You may need to blanket horses that aren’t acclimated to cold. For example, horses that have recently been relocated from a warmer, southern climate.
The same goes for horses that have had their winter coats clipped for showing. They won’t be able to retain heat as well.
, If you’re going to ride the horse, you will need to groom him and tack him up. You won’t ride him with the blanket. If it’s cold, though, you can put a cooler on him while you’re brushing him.
In some cases, you can use a quarter sheet if you’re planning to ride. Quarter sheets only cover the horse’s back quarter. You can use them to cover its loins while warming up or cooling down, or to protect the horse from the rain while you’re riding., If your horse is sweating beneath the blanket, you’ve chosen the wrong blanket and he is uncomfortable. Though a blanket might be appropriate for some nights when it’s cold, look out for changes in temperature from night to day., You can remove a horse blanket when ambient air temperatures get warmer, usually when they go above 50 degrees. You don’t want the horse to start sweating under the blanket and become wet.
, Put the horse on cross ties or attach it to a hitching post. Pat the animal to relax it before you take the blanket off. Move slowly and talk quietly to let the horse know where you are and what you’re doing. Be relaxed, and don’t make any sudden movements.
, Most blankets have three sets of clasps: one pair of straps underneath the tail (often between the hind legs), one or two belly straps, and one or two buckles in front, on the horse’s chest. Going from back to front is important because, if the horse gets spooked and runs away, the front buckles will keep the blanket attached, rather than having the blanket come off and get tangled around its legs.Do not go right behind a horse unless you know the animal well, just in case it kicks. Always go around the front of the horse.
, This keeps the horse comfortable and makes it easier to take the blanket off. Do this step slowly and carefully, making sure that all of the straps are undone and untangled from the horse’s legs and tail., Fold the front third of the blanket onto the middle third, so that the entire blanket is folded onto the horse’s middle. Take the blanket off of the horse slowly and gently, going with the direction of the coat. Try to lift the blanket off instead of sliding it, so that you can prevent the transmission of static electricity.If necessary, pull the blanket over the horse’s head. Some blankets must go over the horse’s head, rather than being taken off completely from the side. If this is the case with your horse’s blanket, untie him from the cross ties or hitching post but attach the halter to a lead rope. Hold the lead rope in one hand and slowly bring the blanket over the horse’s head. Slide it onto your arm and then tie your horse up again., Be sure that you’ve undone all the buckles and clasps before you try to remove the horse’s blanket. Otherwise, you could spook the animal and cause an injury, depending on its temperament., If the blanket is wet, hang it up with the wet part facing out and in the sun, if possible. If the blanket is clean and dry, fold it. Grab the top of the blanket on both the mane and tail ends, so that the blanket is already folded once. Put the mane and tail ends of the blanket together to fold it again. Fold it in half one more time and put it away.