Every year in the U.S., an estimated 7 million people ride horses. Whether you consider yourself to be an experienced equestrian or you're just starting to understand more about horseback riding, it's essential to ensure that these animals are taken care of properly. In colder climates, that includes using the best horse blankets available to ensure warmth and protection. But how do you decide which blanket is best for your horse's needs? While there are a number of factors you might want to consider when evaluating available blankets and wraps for horses on the market, we'll discuss three of the most important in today's post.
When deciding on a horse blanket, you'll have a number of materials to choose from. For example, there are blankets made of nylon (which are more expensive but are extremely durable) or ones made of polyester (which are more affordable but don't offer the strength of nylon). You can also choose the lining, which may come in a poly-cotton blend, a nylon material, or a fleece. Horse fleece blankets are some of the most popular, particularly those that offer moisture wicking qualities, as they are more beneficial for the horse. Generally speaking, new horse blankets will be waterproof, but you'll want to double check to make sure your top choice is. Horse blankets come in a variety of colors, but the hue won't matter quite as much as the quality of the fabrics used.
Whether you choose a horse fleece blanket
or opt for a lighter material, you won't be able to use any horse wraps you purchase if you don't measure correctly. A blanket that's too small won't offer the protection your horse needs, while a blanket that's too big can cause other problems (like blanket rubs or safety hazards). Take the time to measure your horse prior to purchasing what you've deemed to be the best blanket for horses you can find. In most cases, the average horse blanket size will range from 74 to 78 inches, but you may need to round up to the next size if your horse falls in between the standard measurements offered. Most companies will offer options between 65 and 90 inches, but since that's a wide range, you'll need to record accurate measurements and select a blanket that will fit your horse perfectly.
Now that you've determined the right size and the ideal materials featured in your horse fleece blanket, it's time to focus on the weight and the overall style. Keep in mind that the blanket weight and style you might choose will depend on the climate in which you live and the conditions experienced by your horse. For instance, you may need only a horse sheet if you live in a warmer area and need more lightweight coverage. But if you're located in an area prone to cold weather, a turnout blanket may be a better option. Medium, heavy, and extra-heavy blanket fill (or weight) options are typically available; you may need a couple of options to ensure your horse will stay comfortable throughout the year. There are also blankets that have open fronts, while others have fronts that are closed. A horse fleece blanket may cover the tail or may stop before the tail, depending on the design. Your decisions here really depend on your personal preference and whether you want your horse to be able to move more freely. Choosing the right type of horse blanket isn't always easy, particularly because not every owner will experience the same challenges (nor will every horse have the same needs). If you need further assistance in selecting a horse blanket, we're here to help. Contact us today for further information.