Choosing the Right Horse Blanket

Choosing the right blanket for your horse will ensure a well-protected, comfortable and happy horse.  

Turnout Rug or Stable Blanket

A stable blanket is not waterproof so is only appropriate if your horse is indoors or during shipping.  Stable blankets can also be used underneath a turnout as an extra layer for warmth.  

A turnout blanket is made to be worn outside, as it is waterproof, breathable and typically much more durable than a stable blanket. However, because it is breathable, it can also be worn inside.  Using the same blanket for turnout and stable use can save you time, eliminating the need to switch blankets every time your horse is put out and brought in.    

Weight of the Blanket

Blankets consist of outer layers, fill and inner layers.  All three of these layers can impact the warmth of a blanket, but the amount of fill has the greatest impact. Horseware blankets come with the following amounts of fill: 0g (lite), 100g (lite), 200g (medium), 250g (medium), 400g (heavy), and 450g (heavy).  

Determining the correct weight for your horse depends on the temperature, how thick a coat your horse has, whether or not the horse is body clipped, and how hot that particular horse runs.  

Every horse is different, but here are some general guidelines that can be used to determine what weight blanket to put on your horse:

Temperature  Natural Coat Fully Body Clipped
50-60 No Blanket Lite
35-50 Lite Medium
25-35 Medium Heavy
10-25 Heavy Heavy Blanket w' Liner
Below 10 Heavy Blanket w' Liner Heavy Blanket w' Heavy Liner

 

It is always safer to err on the side of having your horse be too cold rather than too hot. The last thing you want is your horse getting too hot, sweating and then catching a chill from being wet in the cold. 

Cut of the Blanket

Blankets are offered in a variety of designs, or cuts:  a classic or original cut ends at the withers, a high neck or Wug goes partially up the neck, and one that includes a neck cover is sometimes called a Plus.  Some people like the simplicity of the Wug that is one blanket piece that provides extra coverage up the neck, but doesn't require dealing with a neck cover.  Others love the versatility of a removable neck cover, so the hood can only be used when it's needed.  A full neck cover is typically ideal for a full body clipped horse.  There are also specific cuts for draft horses that are wider in the shoulder and necks, for minis that have a shorter drop, and for ponies.

Durability of the Blanket

Turnout rugs are made from many different outer materials which vary greatly in toughness or how easily they will tear.   Horseware's line ranges from the Rambo (as tough as they get) to the Amigo Hero 6 (600 denier fabric).  When horses are turned out in groups, blankets tend to be damaged more often than when they are turned out alone.

Rambo:  1000D Ballistic Nylon (strongest)

Rhino:  1000D Polypropylene 2 Layer Barrier Technology

Amigo Bravo 12:  1200D Polyester

Amigo Hero 6: 600D Polyester (lightest)

Extra Features

There are also many blanket features that may be important to you as you determine which blanket is best for you. 

Secure Surcingles:  Secures blanket underneath belly to prevent slippage and aid in protecting the belly area. The Horseware Secure Clip system included on these straps breaks in case of extreme pressure to release in an emergency.
V-Front Closure:  Eliminates pressure on the shoulder allowing for more comfort while grazing.
Leg Arches:  Unique design maintains freedom of movement while allowing the blanket to stay secure under the belly, giving the belly additional protection.
Liner System:  Detachable liners in a variety of weights allows you to easily change your blanket’s weight depending on the weather. Machine washable and easy to clean.  Some blankets are available with loops that the Horseware Liners attach to so the liners stay in place without the need for extra surcingles. 
UV Protection:  Prevents bleaching of the coat and protects against harmful UV rays.
Barrier Technology:   Rhino barrier technology gives you two layers of protection. Even if your horse rips the tough outer, the waterproof inner will still keep them warm and dry.
Split Technology:  Split Technology for the ultimate freedom of shoulder movement especially for the broader type horse.
Anti-Bacterial Lining
Wipe-Clean Tail Cord