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When Does My Horse Need A Blanket?

Posted by M. Drum on

There are a lot of opinions on horse blankets out there and the age old question of to blanket or not to blanket is of high debate. Many factors play into blanketing decisions like breed, climate, coat length & coat thickness all come into play. Each horse is an individual, they experience temperature changes just like we do so we've put together a comprehensive blanket guide to help you keep your horse comfortable throughout the cold weather season. 

Temperature 50 - 60 degrees 40 - 50 Degrees 30 - 40 Degrees 20 - 30 Degrees 0 - 20 Degrees
Body Clipped or 
Fine Natural Coat
Sheet Lightweight Blanket
With Neck Cover
Mid Weight Blanket
With Neck Cover
Heavy Weight
Blanket With Neck
Cover or Hood
Extra Heavy Blanket
With Neck Cover Or Hood. 
Heavy Natural Coat As Needed Sheet Lightweight Blanket Mid Weight Blanket Heavy Blanket

 The weight of the blanket refers to the fill weight that provides warmth to your horse.

Turnout sheets generally have no fill and provide minimal warmth, but do provide protection from wind and inclement weather. Consider these like the rain coat or a windbreaker in your closet.  

Lightweight turnout blankets are categorized as blankets with 100 - 200 grams of fill per square inch. These blankets are waterproof and provide some lightweight warmth. These blankets would equate to your favorite lined jacket, it's warm enough for those chilly breezy days of early fall. 

Medium weight turnout blankets are waterproof and have 200 - 300 grams of fill per square inch. These blankets provide plenty of warmth for most horses here in the South East. This would be similar to The North Face jacket you wear most of the winter. 

Heavy weight turnout blankets  are waterproof and have 300 - 400 grams of fill per square inch. This blanket is perfect for the body clipped or fine coated horse on those damp blustery cold days. Consider this mountain ski parka for your horse, warm cozy & keep mother nature at bay. 

Extra heavy weight blankets are generally uncommon here in the South East. However, in places like New England, the upper midwest & the pacific northwest these blankets are almost a necessity for body clipped show horses in extreme cold conditions. 

Still not sure how to blanket your horse? Some horses will shiver making the request for some warm clothes loud and clear. Other horses tend to be a bit more subtle. If your not sure, check your horses extremities. Are his ears cold? Is his muzzle cold?  If so, he may be feeling a bit chilly and benefit from a blanket or an extra layer. Another good rule of thumb is to evaluate what you need to be comfortable outside and adjust your horses blankets accordingly. 

Check out our top 3 favorite turnout blankets this season listed below!

Horseware Mio Turnout Lite - This budget friendly turnout sheet by Horseware offers the same fit and design as higher end Horseware blankets but with traditional t lock blanket fasteners in a 600 denier outer shell. No warranty. 

Horseware Amigo Bravo Plus is my personal favorite for mid weight winter blanket. In addition to the snap closure for easy on and off, it has a detachable neck cover. The 1200 denier outer shell makes this model very durable and able to tolerate the rough pasture play without being torn to shreds. 1 year warranty on waterproofing & construction.

Pessoa Alpine 1200D Turnout Sheet, A top pick for horses who play rough or are turned out with those who do. the 1200D outer shell is very durable, the snap lock front closure is great for easy on & off with a set it and forget it snap lock front closure. Additionally it offers shoulder gussets, a fleece wither pad,  elastic insets on the surcingles to move with your horse & crossing rear elastic leg straps to help keep the blanket from shifting. 3 year warranty on waterproofing & construction. 

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