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Horse Blanket Basics

Horse Blanketing FAQs

Hose blanketing is a widespread practice in the horse industry, but there is a lot of confusion surrounding when and why horse owners should blanket their horses. Additionally, the varying weights and styles of horse blankets (also called 'horse rugs') can make it difficult to choose the right one for your horse. This quick reference guide answers all of these questions surrounding horse blankets so you can find the best option for your horse.

Why Should I Blanket a Horse?

Horse Blankets provide additional heat and protection for horses in cold weather. Blanketing is the perfect solution for clipped horses, horses with light winter coats, older horses, horses in poor condition, and any horse that needs a little extra help staying warm. When horses are outdoors, waterproof turnout blankets shield them from the elements, keeping their coats dry so they can stay warm. Show horses also benefit from a consistent blanketing routine so their coats stay competition ready.

When Should I Blanket a Horse?

The answer to this question depends on the horse. Horses with heavy winter coats typically do not need a blanket until the temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degrees Celsius). In contrast, horses with a light to moderate winter coat will need to be blanketed when the temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Clipped horses are the most vulnerable to frigid temperatures, and they will need to be blanketed once it gets below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius). 

What's The Difference Between Lite, Medium-Lite, Medium, and Heavyweight Blankets?

There are different “weights” of horse blankets to account for variations in temperature and other conditions. Lite blankets have a 0g fill, protecting horses from inclement weather while providing little to no warmth. Medium-lite blankets are a step up, with a 100g fill that provides some warmth to the horse, perfect for when temperatures are just starting to get low. Medium weight blankets provide even more warmth with a 200-250g fill. Heavyweight blankets are the warmest option, with a 300-400g fill that will keep your horse happy in freezing temperatures.

Throughout the winter, horse owners will have to swap out their horse’s blankets when the temperature changes. Over-blanketing can cause a horse to sweat and overheat, so it is important to pay attention to the weather and change blankets accordingly. The chart below is not all-encompassing but can serve as a general guide.


Natural Coat

Body Clipped

50 degrees

Nothing or 0g Turnout

Lite 0g-100g Blanket

40 degrees

Lite 0g-100g Blanket

Lite-Medium 100g-200g Blanket

30 degrees

Medium 100-200g Blanket

Heavy 300g Blanket

20 degrees

Medium 200g-300g Blanket

Heavy 300g-400g Blanket

10 degrees or below

Heavy 300g-400g Blanket

Heavy 300g-400g Blanket with a 100g-200g Blanket Liner


Read more about horse blanket weights and weather here.

What's the Difference Between Stable Blankets vs. Turnout Blankets?

As their names suggest, stable blankets are best for horses while they are indoors, and turnout blankets are better suited to the outdoors. The main difference between the two are that turnout blankets are waterproof, while stable blankets are not. Water, rain, and snow can soak through a stable blanket to a horse’s coat, so horses should not be turned out in a stable blanket.

How Do I Measure a Horse for a Blanket?

To determine what size blanket your horse needs, use a soft measuring tape and measure from the center of their chest to the center of their tail. Remove four inches from your measurement and refer to the table below to find out what size blanket is required. It is important to take accurate measurements to ensure an adequate fit. For more information on blanket sizing, visit this page. Or watch our Weatherbeeta YouTube Video.