*SURPRISE* THERE’S A DIFFERENCE!
YES! There is a DIFFERENCE!! A STABLE BLANKET and A TURNOUT BLANKET are TWO different things! Are you using the right one? Can you tell? Guess now….
Annually, I get in several, and I mean hundreds of stable blankets that are dirty and shredded, straps completely severed from the blanket, hardware gone…forever. A conversation that goes a little something like this : Customer: “I don’t know how it happened! He went out and when he came back in, it was completely destroyed!” Me: “Out? Out where? This is a stable blanket…” Customer: “Yea I know, it must be junk!”
While yes, the name makes sense, but when we start looking to buy a blanket, both turnouts and stable blankets are all mixed together on a page filled with hundreds of pictures of horses in colorful blankets. Well, that is confusing, especially when the majority of the pictures of horses in stable blankets, are actually standing OUTSIDE! Obviously that is not your fault! I’m sure it has something to do with more light, look how that freshly groomed and shiny horse glistens in the sun (that happens in the winter, right?)…but it is confusing to buyers! Especially if you don’t know what to look for. My first sign, if I am being honest, a Belly Band with a WHOLE LOTTA VELCRO!!
Velcro will be my demise! Belly bands chalked full of grass, dirt, hay, sticks, is never good and the time it takes to remove all that dirt is painstakingly long! But that is MY clear sign. Another clear sign, fleece or wool, one surcingle strap, leg straps which connect to the outside of the blanket, thick leg straps, anything that looks quilted and full of padding similar to your grandmothers slippers, and a lot of leather, no shoulder gussets (sometimes). There are just some of the visuals to look for!
Other things you may notice if you click on and start reading the details, a stable blanket is typically a very low denier. If you were following the posts from before, that is how tightly woven the fibers are. The higher the number, the more tightly woven, which will result in a fabric that is harder to destroy. Therefore, if you have a low denier, your blanket will be more likely to shred easily. Also you may notice that it will NOT mention that the blanket is waterproof. That is simply because, a stable blanket is made to be worn inside…typically no waterproofing is needed. Examples of stable blankets….were you right? How SIMILAR, RIGHT?!
A turnout will be waterproof, have a higher denier, and will be more secure on a horse that is active. These blankets will also have a tail flap and it is now much more common to see turnouts with shoulder gussets. *Some blankets DO NOT have them, and older blankets typically do not* just make sure you are not noticing any bad rubs, or lameness. These shoulder gussets help with the movement of the shoulder and it seems that more recently, within the past few years, it has become much more common to find blankets with gussets, rather than without. Also, these blankets are waterproof, and are made with a higher denier. They are made to be worn outside, and come with the functions and features that enable a horse to be safe and comfortable in wind, rain, snow and even when playing or being active.
So, Be HONEST! How did you do? Did you guess correctly?? Some were a given right? But some are very similar looking…it is hard to tell. But make sure you are reading the description of the blankets and make sure that if you see low denier numbers, you see that the blanket is not waterproof, or quilted, maybe it even has the ton of Velcro, or no tail flap…those are (typically) clear signs that your horse should be wearing this blanket within the barn or trailer…and is not suggested for being used as a turn out!!
Best of luck in your hunting for your blanket and appropriately dressing your ponies!
Until next time my friends!!