As we go through the changing Canadian seasons it can be difficult to decide how best to blanket your horse! Do you use a light blanket, a heavy blanket or a combination of the two? Read on to learn how to ensure your horse is properly fitted, which style to choose, and if you need to pick up a few extra blanketing essentials while you’re shopping.
Ensuring that your horse wears the correct size blanket is essential in preventing unwanted rubs, twisting, pulling, and general discomfort during the next few months. If you’re unsure how to properly measure your horse for a blanket, head over to our Youtube Channel and watch our short video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8C_mmEaKJM). Is your horse an odd size or difficult to fit? We cover that too!
Each type and brand of blanket will fit slightly differently. Blankets will vary in size through the shoulders, across the withers, and over the bum, so be sure to measure your horse before visiting the store as a guideline, but try the blanket on your horse within the acceptable return period to ensure a proper fit. If it’s not perfect, consider a different style or a different size. Although your blanket may fit properly, horses with wide shoulders may continue to experience blanket rubs. Try one of our Shedrow Lycra Shoulder Guards or Bibs to help eliminate excess friction throughout the winter months.
You may also want to consider leaving room for an additional blanket to fit under your horse’s turnout sheet or rain sheet as temperatures drop and your horse needs additional warmth.
Blanketing for the Weather
The Fall season is beautiful but one of the most challenging seasons to organize blankets. Is it cold? Is it windy? Is it raining? Is it a combination of the three? Every day is slightly different and often requires a different blanket configuration. Below is a list of weather changes and blanket options for each!
- Cool Days – Light to medium weight sheet such as a Shedrow Traditional Plaid Sheet or Shedrow Stable Blanket.
- Cool Nights – A stable blanket such as the Supra Channel Quilt or the Curvon Baker Stable Blanket are ideal for cooler nights in the barn.
- Warm Rain – A rainsheet without additional layers, such as the Supra Rainsheet that is waterproof and breathable.
- Cold Rain – Rain sheet with fill such as the Shedrow Insulated Rainsheet or the Shedrow Rainsheet with a stable sheet like the Supra Stable Blanket underneath for additional warmth.
As we approach the Winter months, it is important to ensure your horse stays warm and protected from the elements. Once again, if you are planning to layer blankets, be sure to fit your horse’s outer shell accordingly. Any of our Shedrow Winter Turnout blankets are ideal for Canadian winters. If your horse is prone to wither or mane rubs, try a high neck/comfort neck option, such as the Shedrow Comfort Neck Turnout or the Shedrow North Combo Turnout (which features a removable high neck). For warmth in weather that ranges from -10C to -20C, any of the Supra Turnout 300GM blankets will keep your horse comfortable. On days that are below -20C or windy days, consider our Elite line of Shedrow blankets with a 340GM fill or pair a lighter winter turnout with a fleece sheet or a quilt like the Supra Pagoda Quilted 400GM Stable Blanket for additional warmth.
Horses that are partially or completely clipped during the winter months will require extra care when blanketing to ensure they are healthy and warm. In the Fall months, even on days without rain, consider a rain sheet with a high or full neck with room to accommodate a stable sheet as an additional layer for warmth. Clipped horses will also benefit from wearing a stable sheet when not outdoors and potentially a Shedrow Fitted Fleece Cooler to wear before and after being worked to warm and wick moisture to prevent chills.
During the winter months, your clipped horse will need extra protection from the weather, especially if his neck is fully clipped. Consider outfitting him with winter turnout blankets that have a full neck or high neck and are at least a 300GM weight, such as the Shedrow North Turnout or the Shedrow Elite Comfort Neck Turnout blanket. Neck coverage that is built into the blanket is ideal for preventing gaps and shifting during the day, however, neck attachments are easily removable for warmer days and cleaning. If your horse is a lighter breed or fully clipped and needs a little extra warmth on cold days, consider adding a layer with a Supra Pagoda Stable Blanket or the Shedrow Elite Stable Blanket.
Coolers & Accessories
If you’re planning to ride throughout the winter, adding cooler, quarter sheet, or fleece sheet to your tack trunk is an ideal way to stay warm and comfortable. Wool, fleece, and moisture tech coolers such as the Shedrow Super Dry Cooler or the Supra Wool Cooler will keep your horse warm while tacking up, walking to and from the arena, and as an additional layer over a quarter sheet during warm-up and while cooling out. These sheets will wick moisture to keep your horse dry and to prevent chills and function well as a transitional sheet before changing to a stable sheet after a ride. Quarter sheets and exercise sheets like the Shedrow Newmarket Exercise sheet or the Shedrow Weatherproof Exercise Sheet are ideal for keeping your horse’s back warm during exercise or for outdoor riding throughout the colder months.
Every horse’s situation will be different based on turnout times, weather conditions, stabling areas, coat growth, etc. so it is important to ask your barn owner, coach or fellow stable buddy to get a sense of what blanketing options are appropriate!
Do you have any blanketing tips? What is your horse’s favourite blanket? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to check out our website to browse any of the blankets mentioned in this article above!