Tack n' Talk

Online Equestrian Resource

Blanket Terminology


The decision to buy a horse blanket is easy but shopping for and selecting the best blanket for your buddy can be difficult at times as there are just so many to choose from. 

As you read the catalogues and blanket literature, you’ll come across various terms for blanket features.  Some of us just gloss over the terms and look at the pictures, as I do, to make the selection.  However, some of these options may actually benefit your horse.


Here are what some of the common terms actually mean. 

Standard Cut:  This cut is designed for a wider, stock-type of horse body.  This cut is generally shaped for the curvy, muscular shoulders and hip.  Generally, they are measured in 2-inch increments.

European Cut:  This blanket would suit a slim, long-bodied horse.  They have smaller neck openings and are generally straight in profit from the withers to tail than the standard cut.  Generally, this blanket is measured in 3-inch increments.

Open Front:  The chest front section of this blankets opens and closes using buckles, either one or two.  However, the one buckle closure should be for supervised wear only as if this breaks and a horse is turned out there is nothing that would hold the blanket in place.  I have witnessed a horse break the single closure buckle and buck his way through the stall wall seriously injuring the horse in the other stall.  Be careful of single buckle closures.

Closed Front:  Just as it says, there are no closures for this type of blanket.  There are pros and cons to this type of blanket.  You will see this type of blanket in blanket liners.  Adjustability is sacrificed.

Shoulder Darts:  This is sewn-in construction that allows for movement of the horse’s shoulder reducing shoulder rubs.  However, rubs will only be reduced if the dart is above the point of shoulder!

Drop:  This term is often questioned.  Standard blankets drop a few inches below the horse’s belly.  Extra long drops add inches to the sides and may be desirable if you want more coverage in the hind or forearms.

Shaped Withers:  This type of construction provides pressure relief over the top of prominent withers.  Thoroughbred breeds would benefit from this type of blanket.

Back Seam:  This is the description of the blanket with a seam down the middle of the back.  Avoid this type of blanket if you’re looking at buying a turnout blanket for your horse as there is a greater potential for leakage especially as the blanket ages.

Tail Cover:  The portion of the blanket that covers the top of the horse’s tail as this helps in preventing drafts making their way under the blanket as the wind blows.

Belly Band:  The under belly closure system that uses a wide band of fabric.  This is very popular in cold climates as this added section traps any heat loss through the belly.

Attached Neck Cover:  Some blankets have a sewn in extra piece of fabric to the blanket, generally half way up the neck.  The disadvantage of this type of blanket is when it’s too warm for a neck cover, the entire blanket can’t be used.


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