Tack n' Talk

Online Equestrian Resource

General Temperature Guide for Blanket Weights

By:  Larissa Cox, M.Sc. Applied Equine Science

Burr….it’s getting cold outside.  The changing seasons can cause so much stress to the horse owner as many are confused to what blanket weight they should put on their horses.  Do I leave that rain sheet on, or does my boy/girl need a heavier weight blanket?  I know of many owners that change their horse’s blankets throughout the day, but is that truly necessary.

Remember that poorly fitting  blankets can severely chafe or cut a horse’s skin. If winter blankets aren’t made of breathable fabrics, the horse can sweat underneath and become uncomfortably wet.

If you often deal with wet weather, as we do in the Pacific Northwest, it might be handy to have two  waterproof blankets. If one blanket becomes saturated, you’ll have an extra for your horse while the other dries out. Remember, wearing a wet blanket is as bad as wearing no blanket at all.

You can, of course, clip the horse. This is essential if you plan to show through the winter or even if you plan to board at an indoor facility and keep riding. Once you clip, though, you have made a commitment to also blanket.

Happy winter riding – Larissa 🙂

Here is a quick guide that you can use to determine what weight of blanket you should put on your horse.

Guide for Maintaining Current Coat Condition

Warmth of Blanket Short Coat/Clipped Medium/Full Coat
Extra Heavyweight Subzero – 15o F <15o F
Heavyweight 15 o F – 30 o F Subzero – 15 oF
Midweight 30 o F – 50 o F 15 o F – 30 o F
Sheet 50 o F + 30 o F +

Guide for Improving  Coat Condition (This promotes shedding)

Warmth of Blanket Short Coat/Clipped Medium/Full Coat
Extra Heavyweight Subzero – 20o F Subzero – 15 o F
Heavyweight 20 o F – 40 o F 15 o F – 30o F
Midweight 40 o F – 60 o F 30 o F – 40 o F
Sheet 60 o F + 45 o F +


  Kate Dingwall wrote @

Hi Larissa, this is a great article about the importance of horse blankets and the potential skin problems they cause. For exactly this reason I have designed and developed the Hy-Liner, which is a customisable lining that is zipped in and out of the blanket so that a clean, dry lining is always in contact with the horse’s skin and ensures the blanket remains “breathable”. Check out Konabo’s blog:http://konabo.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html

  tackandtalk wrote @

Hi Kate. Thank you. I went onto the blog and read the article, which was a very good one. Also found your website. Your Hy-Liner product looks very, very interesting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any costs related to your products. Since I’m in the UK now for the next year or so, buying it would be easy, but do you also ship to the United States and Canada? May want to feature your product on the site, so get in touch with me to discuss this possibility. Larissa 🙂

  Kate Dingwall wrote @

Hi Larissa

Our eShop will be up and running in the next couple of weeks, and we offer world wide shipping, so buying our blankets in the US and Canada shouldn’t be a problem at all. I will email you separately with further details – thanks! Kate.

  hana14 wrote @

I do not agree. Read: http://www.thehorseandrider.com/winter-horse-blankets/

  tackandtalk wrote @

Thanks Hana for the link. I’m always interested in your comments whether one agrees or not. Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season. – Larissa

[…] and sheets, or rugs to protect them, especially in bad weather.  Read my article on appropriate weather blanketing to give you an idea of what weight of blanket to use […]

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