We have all been there…staring at pages and pages of blankets! A conversation in your head that looks quite similar to this… “Blue, Black, Pink, Green, Plaid, Camo… numbers 60, 600, 1000, 1200, 1600? What in the world is D?! Wait, who is Gram, or is it what? 0, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400….filler? Weight? What’s the best? Woah not for that Price! Brand? Who cares about brand? They all look the same…but that price! But all I really wanted was the….” STOP! It is not rocket science! Don’t get overwhelmed now…Let me explain!!
Let’s break it down! I have had huge requests for “What blanket do you recommend for my horse?” I get asked almost daily. And here is the simple answer, I cannot answer that for you! I don’t know your horse as well as you do, most of the time I don’t know your horse at all! Personality, body shape, your budget…but if you know some of these simple- simple questions to ask yourself, you can find out the simple ways to determine which blanket is right for you!
Our NON-NEGOTIABLE! Every year I get 5-10 people in that say “They didn’t have the 78″ that I needed, so I went with an 82″, can you alter it?” or the “I really liked this pattern, but it is a 68″ and my horse measures an 80″, can you fix it?” Well here is the answer, can I fix it…yes, but you don’t want me to! An altered blanket will never be as strong as the original, the more cuts that are made, the more weak spots that are created. Lets be honest, a horse can be rough on their blankets and the last thing you or I want, is a weak spot.
Size is a NON-NEGOTIABLE! If you need a 78″ get a 78″, sometimes blankets come in odd sizes, then get A size up. Yes, JUST ONE size up…it will be fine. Do not go down in size! You don’t need a horse with a whole bunch of rubs, or wither wounds, because you had to have that specific pink flower pattern. Would you be more comfortable exercising in athletic pants with no stretch, that were too tight…or a size bigger than you usually need? I’m sure 90% of you would say a size bigger.
BASIC HOW TO SIZE:
*Still unsure? check out videos on youtube for detailed how-to’s.
*Tips: Use braiding string or yarn, or tie baling twine together and use this to help measure the length between the starting and ending points start, then hold up against a measuring stick or tape measure. The length in inches (for US) is the blanket size you need.
If you only have $150 to spend, look for the blankets within your price range! You may notice that other than the logo of most of these blankets, a lot of blankets look identical…and you would be correct! After working on many, these blankets are generic, but they all may have different brand logos sewn onto them! DO NOT BE FOOLED! They ARE the exact same! Some of these brands are more expensive than others, and you could find yourself paying $50-$100+ more for a blanket that you could find cheaper. (PPSSTT…YOU ARE PAYING FOR THE NAME…DO YOU THINK YOUR HORSE CARES?!)
Stick with your budget. Just imagine…you broke the bank to get an expensive name brand blanket, that’s great right?…until your horse decides to colic in the middle of winter (increase feed bills, increase hay bills, maybe your horse stays in so now we are talking bedding expenses, the usual farrier bills, dental bills, all those holistic care bills *since I am like you, and treat my horses better than myself*) and NOW that big vet bill with the included emergency fee, farm call, treatment and medications, (just pray you don’t have to go to the university!) Do you think your horse cares that you paid $400 for the medium weight blanket, not looking so great now, huh? So stick with your budget!
Lets Review: 1. SIZE- Get your horses right size, there are plenty of articles or videos already explaining how to appropriately measure, so I will not go in-depth! 2. Price- Stick within your budget! No point of going with the bigger price tag, it is not always better!
What blanket do you need? Fly, Rain, Light, Medium, Heavy? Do you need a neck attachment for those “Just incase” moments? Depending on what you are looking for, that would be your blanket weight, and determine the amount of fill (the amount of cotton padding inside). You will see it in terms of Grams. Light weight blankets including rain sheets have no fill and usually go to 100g, Medium weights range from 150-250g, and heavy weights go from 300g-400g+. There are also blankets that will layer, and you can add onto it, to create a heavier blanket (always a good option if you are in need of all 3 weights). Determine what weight you are in need of, and find a weight in that range. The larger the fill, weight or gram number, the colder the temperature outside.
Again, heavier is NOT better!! But this is a topic itself! Stay tuned and follow us to get more information on selecting the right weight for your horse during different temperatures!!
Think of what jackets you use throughout the year. Summer-no jacket or light UV protectant, Spring/Fall- windbreaker or a fleece, Winter-heavy weight coat.
Now, (this is the most important part…other than SIZE!) Do you have a creative pony? One that likes to Houdini out of a blanket, create A/C vents, alter and customize a blanket to fit their liking? Well then you need to think about Denier. Essentially, denier is how tight the fibers are woven together. The higher the number, the tighter the fibers. The tighter the fibers the more difficult it will be for the creative minded horse to shred, destroy *sorry, I mean…modify* the blanket they are supposed to be living in the cold months of the year. 1600+ will usually always be a better choice for all blanket buyers, than the 600D! Never be afraid of a denier number, rain sheet, light, medium, heavy…bigger denier is always usually better! Again, the higher number means it will be more challenging to tear or shred. SIMPLE! **ALSO, keep in mind the blankets warranty! Some blankets do come with nice warranty, but will require a yearly washing and waterproofing, or some require a blanket be returned clean…they will not be happy should you return a just used blanket, just a HEADS UP!**
Lets Review, AGAIN!
- Size…Say it with me…NON-NEGOTIATIBLE!
- Price…the horse doesn’t care, stick within your budget!
- Purpose…light weight or heavy jacket, heavier is not better
- Pony…creative pony=higher denier
Now, you can go and pick colors, patterns and frills like closures…that is all up to your preference. Also, it will not hurt to mention that some blankets do not fit some bodies as well as others. If you have a big bodied horse, you may be better suited for certain blankets than others. Keep in mind the return policies. If you have questions on what I like for different bodies, please message me and I will be happy to help you!!
Thank you, and I hope we simplified your blanket shopping experience!! Keep it simple, it is not rocket science!!