The Horse Of Course blog has some good information about horses and their need for blankets. With cold winter weather in many areas, many factors need consideration when deciding the following question:
Does my horse need a blanket?
Like so many things in the equine world, the answer is "it depends". If your horse is in good health, has plenty of roughage to eat, and grows his own winter coat, your horse is probably going to stay warm as long as he's dry and isn't in direct wind. Clipped horses, ill or elderly horses, and horses without shelter usually need to be blanketed, at least some of the time.
What does "denier count" mean?
Denier (abbreviated D) is a measurement of the density of fibers. A 1200D blanket is more densely woven than a 600D blanket and is less likely to incur rips or runs.
What is fill? What does light/medium/heavy weight mean?
Fill is the material between the inner and outer layers of a blanket. It's usually made of polyester and measured in grams. Sheets or lightweight blankets do not usually contain fill. Medium weight blankets range from 180 grams to 200 grams of fill, while heavy weight blankets offer between 300 and 420 grams of fill. The more fill a blanket has, the more warmth it provides your horse.
What is the difference between a stable blanket and a turnout blanket?
Stable blankets are designed for your horse to wear while stabled or while traveling. Turnout blankets are intended to be used when your horse will be outside. Turnout blankets are usually waterproof and made from tough, durable materials and feature a roomier fit to accommodate movement.
How do I measure my horse for a blanket?
Stand your horse squarely on level ground. Use a tape measure to measure from the center of his chest (where the base of the neck meets the chest), over the point of the shoulder, to the point where the blanket will end (usually at the point of the buttock or a little further). This measurement (in inches) is what size blanket your horse should wear. Blankets are usually sold in 3-inch size increments (e.g. 78", 81", 84").
Horse owners can find additional information about blankets and sheets for horses as promoted by The Horse of Course by clicking here.