As the leaves begin to fall and the temperatures drop, horse blankets become a hot topic of discussion in the equestrian community. Consider these three factors when deciding to blanket or not to blanket your horse:
Your horse’s living environment
If your horse is stabled indoors and protected from the winter elements, you may not need a heavy-duty blanket or even a blanket at all. But horses who are pastured can face frigid winds and wet snow that can take a toll on their health. These horses can benefit from a waterproof blanket to keep them warm and dry.
Your horse’s age and health status
To assess your horse’s physical condition, the Henneke Body Condition Scoring method can be used. This popular method can help you determine where your horse stands on a 1 to 9 scale by assessing critical areas of the body. As horses age, their body condition score can decline, and certain body systems become less efficient. If your horse is below the ideal value, blanketing them can provide their body support and help them to save energy.
Your horse’s hair coat
Not every horse’s hair coat is created equal. Horse health, nutrition, breed, and environment can have an effect on how thick or thin their winter coat grows. If your horse typically has a thinner coat or your horse has moved from a warmer climate to a colder one, you will want to be prepared to provide them more warmth. Horses that are body clipped will also need a blanket to stay warm as their regular thick winter coat doesn’t exist.
So, What Blanket do I choose?
Shopping for a blanket can be overwhelming. There are so many different brands, styles, and features available, how do you know what to choose for your horse? Considering the three factors above, start with determining how warm and how durable your blanket needs to be for your horse.
Poly Fill: Warmth
A blanket’s “weight” determines its warmth. Poly fill is measured in grams, and the higher the value, the warmer the blanket. Tough1 Blankets range from 0g all the way up to 300g. Tough1’s warmest blanket is the 1200D Tough1 Turnout Blanket with Full Neck, which keeps your horse warm literally from ears to tail. Layering blankets is also a great solution for ever-changing temperatures in the fall and spring. The Tough1 70D Blanket Liner is available in 150g or 250g poly fill and is an affordable option to add more warmth under any blanket.
A blanket’s denier value represents the thickness of the material’s thread. The higher the denier, the more durable the blanket is. If you have an energetic horse, you should consider a higher denier blanket such as the 1680D Tough1 Turnout Blanket. This blanket has all the bells and whistles to keep your horse warm and dry without inhibiting their playful spirit. But if your horse is older or turned out alone, you may consider Tough1’s best-selling blanket, the 600D Turnout Blanket, which has 250g of poly fill.
Tough1 has a wide range of blanket styles, sizes, and colors to fit your unique horse’s needs. Browse their complete affordable horsewear line online at www.jtidist.com/horse-wear.html.