How many types of horse blankets are there? You might be surprised at the answer! Manufacturers create a variety of blankets to protect your horse from the elements, keep him clean before shows, and so much more. This quick guide will help you determine which type of blankets you need for your horse.
Turnout blankets ranging from lightweight summer fly sheets to heavy-duty winter coats help your horse stay comfortable outdoors. They are typically treated with waterproofing, and are styled to allow maximum freedom of movement. Let’s take a look:
- Fly Sheets – Fly sheets are designed to keep biting insects off your horse’s body while allowing air to flow. They provide no protection from moisture but are fantastic for hot, summer weather when insect activity is at its height.
- Turnout Sheets – A turnout sheet provides protection from rain and helps keep your horse clean during wet, muddy weather. These sheets are too warm for horses to wear during summer, and as they have no insulation, they are not suitable for winter wear.
- Lightweight Turnouts – These horse blankets may or may not have fiber fill in the center, so read product descriptions carefully as they may actually be turnout sheets! A filled, lightweight turnout is ideal for crisp fall weather and chilly nights in early spring. They may also be ideal for climates where winter weather is chilly but not freezing.
- Midweight Turnouts – A midweight turnout blanket usually has between 100 and 200 grams of fill. These blankets are quite warm, and are ideal for winter temperatures that hover just around freezing.
- Heavyweight Turnouts – Heavyweight turnouts have up to 440 grams of fill and are a must-have for horses that are body clipped during winter. Elderly, thin, or otherwise compromised horses including hard keepers also do best in a heavyweight turnout. Be careful though; if your horse grows a heavy coat of his own, a heavyweight turnout might be too much in all but the coldest weather. If he begins to sweat under his winter coat, he’ll be freezing cold and the blanket will do more harm than good.
Stable blankets are not usually waterproof, although some of the best do offer a certain degree of moisture resistance to help prevent dampness and staining from urine / manure contact when your horse lies down in his stall.
- Stable Sheets – Made from lightweight material, a stable sheet has just one purpose: To help keep your horse clean in his stall.
- Stable Blankets - These horse blankets are usually quilted, and they come in a variety of weights ranging from 100 to 400 grams of fill. A stable blanket has a more fitted profile than a turnout, and is ideal for changing into when your horse comes in from outdoors. Stable blankets weigh less than turnouts, so they’re a bit quicker and easier to put on. Since the fabric is less durable and not waterproof, and because of the tighter fit, these blankets are not recommended for outdoor use.