...the ultimate source for horse enthusiasts 

Health & Care
Advanced Training
Horse Grooming
Tack & Equipment
General Content
Horse Art
Horses In History
Fun & Games
Horse Vacations
AlphaHorse News


Horse Blankets: Care And Use

By Jeffrey Rolo

horse blanket
Arion Medium Weight
Regular Neck Turnout Blanket
Determining the right horse blanket fit is extremely important so as to ensure your horse's comfort and safety. Unfortunately many aren't sure what to look for or how to determine a horse's ideal blanket size, and that's what this brief guide aims to clarify.

When determining your horse's size you should use a tape measure and begin from the middle of the horse's chest and continue across the length of its body until its tail. If the measurement is an odd number then add one to the total value as horse blankets are sold in even sizes.

Number alone does not determine a perfect fit since manufacturers vary their cuts and sizes somewhat. Once you have determined your horse's measurements do the following checks:

bulletWhen the surcingles (the straps along the middle torso of the blanket) are tightened is there approximately one hand's width of space provided? If the surcingles and leg straps are too loose your horse's hoof could get caught up in it, causing potential injury.
bulletDoes the neck and shoulder areas allow you to comfortably run your hand between the blanket and the horse? If not, the blanket could cause discomfort and rubbing (thereby removing the hair in the rubbed region).
bulletDoes the blanket allow your horse to maneuver without any problem? You'll want your horse to be able to graze without pressure at the neck and also comfortably trot, run and possibly even buck freely. In fact make sure the backside of the blanket allows your horse to raise its tail so that when nature calls the blanket does not interfere!

Although a blanket can comfort and protect your horse immensely, it must also fit correctly lest it create problems of its own.

Another common question horse owners ask is…

Can I wash a horse blanket in a washing machine?

Many horse blankets can indeed be washed in a washing machine, but it is important to read the washing instructions provided with your blanket as all blankets differ. That being said, I generally prefer to wash a blanket in cold water by hand. Unless you have a spare washing machine set aside for cleaning horse blankets and other related items, a dirty blanket can do a number on your machine. It can take several subsequent washes to remove all traces of horse hair and (not to mention the pungent scent) depending on the capabilities of your machine.

You will have to make a choice based on your personal preference here – there is no right answer (unless the washing instructions warn against machine washing).

That being said regardless of your method of washing it is a good idea to care for your horse blankets when they are not in use by storing them in a clean, dry room. Regular washings are very important when your blanket is put to use. Proper horse blanket care will keep it more hygienic, maintain its visual appeal and enhance its lifespan.

Web www.alphahorse.com

home - health & care - training - advanced training - grooming - general content - tack & equipment
horse art - reviews - horse history - fun & games - horse vacations - archive - links - contact us

copyright © 2004-2011 AlphaHorse. All Rights Reserved.
About Us - Privacy Policy - Terms of Use