Get prepared for colder weather by having blankets ready for your horse.

Cold, wet weather has arrived; these seasonal changes may require outfitting your equines with sheets or horse blankets. There are many different options on the market. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when deciding which ones are appropriate or necessary. Once you have a plan in place, you can rest assured your horse will be happier and more comfortable.

Not every horse will need a sheet or blanket. Many that have shelters like a run-in shed or stall will be just fine throughout the fall and winter months. Your climate and horse’s individual needs will dictate whether dressing them is necessary or helpful. You should consult your horse trainer or an experienced barn buddy for suggestions on that matter.

5 Types of Horse Blankets

Waterproof Sheet

Also known as a rain sheet, this option is lightweight and breathable. Their main purpose is to keep rain, sleet, and snow off of your horse’s back, shoulders, and hindquarters. They can also be used as a windbreaker. Some horse owners prefer to blanket in layers and will use a fleece or wool dress sheet underneath for more warmth.

Turnout Blanket

This type is used for warmth and keeping your horse dry. They’re waterproof and stuffed with poly or fiber fill. These blankets are available in more options than sheets, though both offer different deniers. A higher denier means a tougher exterior material for those rowdy horses. A turnout blanket will also have different levels of fill. The higher the number, the warmer the blanket! Generally, you’ll find lightweight, medium-weight, heavyweight, and extra-heavyweight options.

Stable Blanket

Similar to a turnout blanket, these also keep your horse warm. The main difference is stable blankets are not waterproof. They’re intended for indoor usage. These are essential for horses that are clipped or lack thick winter hair. They come in a range of fills, much like turnout blankets.

Cooler/Dress Sheet

A fitted cooler is similar to a dress sheet. They can be crafted from fleece, wool, or a blend of materials. The fleece and wool will draw moisture away to help your horse cool out after a winter ride. They also trap body heat to ensure your horse stays warm. Many will use them as an underneath layer when blanketing. They can also be helpful when trailering to keep the chill off your horse. Those competing cover their horses in dress sheets for an elegant touch! They can even be embroidered.

Quarter Sheet

In colder weather, a quarter sheet can be used to allow the back and hindquarters a chance to warm up under saddle. These are necessary for clipped and blanketed horses. When the rider pulls off the stable or turnout blanket and tacks up, the horse could catch a chill or be stiff. The extra warmth of a quarter sheet prevents that! The rider will take it off once the horse sufficiently warms up their muscles. These come in fleece and wool options like the dress sheet.

In addition to different types, horse owners must also pick from various chest buckles, belly bands, and leg straps. There are full-neck horse blankets and those with cut-back withers. Some like their horse’s tail exposed, while others prefer a tail flap. The best advice is to go to a tack store and take a look at them in person. You can check out the different options and see what works best for you and your horse!

Love this blog post? We think you will like The Do’s and Don’ts of Horse Blanketing by Emily Fought

Emily Fought

Emily Fought discovered her passion for horses early on in life. When she isn't writing about them, you can find her in the barn riding. Although Emily's background is in dressage, she enjoys cross-training and is an avid trail rider. She resides in Northeastern Ohio with her husband and small dog. Together, they own and operate Humblewood Farm. Emily not only writes for but as well!

November 28, 2022
November 28, 2022