Which horse blankets are best?
Cold, windy and snowy winter weather can turn the outdoors into a beautiful wonderland, especially when viewed from the cozy warmth of your home. Horses who live outside don’t have that option when bad weather arrives. Protecting them with the best horse blanket available will keep them warm and dry.
The WeatherBeeta Green-Tec 900D Detach-A-Neck Medium Horse Blanket is a durable choice for horses who need a little extra protection when the wind blows cold.
What to know before buying a horse blanket
Horse’s age and condition
Senior and very young horses will need a heavyweight winter blanket. Likewise, horses recovering from an illness or injury or rehabbed from rescue situations will need additional warmth.
Horses who are constantly on the pasture and have access to plenty of high-quality grass and grass hay may only need a blanket for the coldest, wettest, windiest weather. However, if your horse’s diet consists primarily of grain and they are stabled more often than not, they will likely need a heavy blanket at the slightest drop in temperature.
Some horses who stay in work year-round also get clipped. This allows them to cool off more quickly and avoid a chill, but it also means that a blanket is required to keep them warm in winter.
Need something a little lighter for fall weather, cool spring breezes or after exercise? Check out the options for fleece and lightweight horse blankets on BestReviews.
What to look for in a quality horse blanket
Fabric and fill weight
Horse blanket fabric is usually a synthetic blend measured in dernier units. The higher the dernier, the more resistant a horse blanket is to rips and tears. For turnout blankets, look for a dernier of at least 900.
The fill weight determines how warm a blanket is. Avoid anything labeled “fleece” or “cooler” for winter horse blankets and head straight to a minimum fill weight of 300 grams. This keeps your equine friend warm and toasty.
There should be at least two belly straps, called a “surcingle,” to keep your horse’s blanket secure. They should cross under the belly to form an “x” when fastened.
Leg straps cross underneath the back legs to keep the blanket secured around the horse’s hindquarters. Some blankets have one strap that holds the blanket underneath either side of the tail. Both of these options work well, but some horses do not like the feeling of the strap underneath their tail.
Reinforced seams, wither padding and fleece
All horse blankets should have reinforced seams, but some go the extra mile and add padding and fleece lining on the withers. This is not strictly necessary, but some horses appreciate the extra comfort.
Shoulder gussets allow your horse to walk freely. All but the lowest-quality blankets have shoulder gussets with reinforced seams.
Clasp closures in the front of the blanket will make for a much easier time in cold weather than a complicated buckle or another type of fastener. Belly straps should also feature easy closures.
How much you can expect to spend on a horse blanket
Horse blankets can cost as much as human ones (and sometimes more). Expect to pay $75-$350.
Horse blanket FAQ
How do I measure my horse for a blanket?
A. Have a friend hold both your horse’s head and a tape measure in the center of your horse’s chest. Run the tape measure down the side of their body to the center of their tail. This measurement, in inches, is the size blanket you’ll need. If your horse falls between measurements, buy the larger size.
How do I care for my horse’s blanket?
A. Horse blankets can handle getting muddy and dirty, but you can prolong a blanket’s lifespan with proper care and regular cleaning. During the winter, brush off excess mud or dirt when you remove the blanket. Check underneath the blanket for dirt that might irritate or rub your horse.
As the weather gets warmer, it’s best to have your horse blankets professionally laundered and repaired. If this service is not available near you, you can use an industrial size washing machine and a mild detergent, but do not dry clean. Hang until dry on a fence.
What’s the best horse blanket to buy?
Top horse blanket
What you need to know: This warm and cozy winter horse blanket is made from over 340 recycled plastic bottles.
What you’ll love: This blanket has easy-fasten snaps in the front and two belly straps to keep it secure. It has a 360-gram fill and a detachable neck to keep out the wind and water.
What you should consider: This durable and lasting blanket is one of the more expensive options.
Top horse blanket for the money
What you need to know: Save money without sacrificing quality with this affordable horse blanket.
What you’ll love: The heaviest and most durable of all of the blankets listed, the Challenger comes with a 400-gram fill and 1,680 dernier fabric to withstand the naughtiest ponies. It also features padded withers, generous gussets, a tail flap and total waterproofing.
What you should consider: This blanket is only available in two colors.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This blanket is a solid choice for full-time turnout.
What you’ll love: Taped seams and waterproofing help keep your horse warm and dry. This 1,200-denier blanket with 300-gram polyfill comes in 11 colors and also has a front-buckle closure and two belly straps.
What you should consider: The front closures and surcingle are not as durable as they could be.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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