Horse blankets have come a long way! There’s a wide range of choices and they’re all designed for specific situations. Selecting the right one for your horse can be a challenge without some guidance, which we’ve provided for you here. It’s all illustrated in the infographic below.

How to Choose the Best Blanket for Your Horse

Before you even get into what’s available on the market, you should consider the following factors:

  • Prices range from $60 to $500+ and you probably will need more than one type.
  • Older or thinner horses with a lower condition score may need extra warmth.
  • If your horse is clipped in the Winter, he’ll need a heavier, warmer blanket.
  • Does your horse stay indoors or outdoors more? If he’s indoors at night or during Winter you can save money by using a stable blanket instead of a heavy turnout blanket.
  • Destructive horses can leave blankets in shreds no matter what you choose. If this is your horse, you may have to go without a blanket at all

Measuring your horse for a blanket is pretty straight forward. Measure from the center of your horse’s chest to the pointy part of the buttocks. Include the widest part of his shoulder and keep the tape measure level. You can also take a guess based on your horse’s height. For example, at 14 hands you’d need a 63″ blanket (full chart below).

When selecting a horse blanket, the material it’s made from can make a significant difference in functionality, durability and cost. Plus, the material must be breathable and easy to clean. The most durable is ballistic nylon but it’s also the most expensive. Polyester offers more UV protection and is usually the cheapest choice, but it isn’t very durable.  Polypropylene is somewhere in the middle of all factors. All are machine washable.

What is the Best Type of Horse Blanket For…

  • Turnout? To protect against wind, rain, snow and hail while the horse is in the pasture, look for a lightweight, waterproof Turnout Sheet with less than 100g of fill. Turnout blankets offer more coverage and warmth.
  • Sweat/Wet? Anti-sweat sheets help to keep the horse clean. Layer it under turnout or stable blankets for added warmth.
  • Warm Up? Quarter sheets cover the hindquarters and wrap up under the saddle flaps or over your legs.
  • Stable Warmth? Stable blankets provide your horse with warmth in their stall. They’re also used under turnout sheets for additional warmth. Stable sheets are more fitted and usually more lightweight.
  • Flies? Fly sheets protect horses against bug bites.
  • Cool Down? Coolers are placed on horses after baths or when sweating heavily. They speed up drying and prevent chills.
  • Rain? A rain sheet is thrown over all riding tack, keeping it and the horse dry.

The Right Horse Blanket for Each Weather Condition

This guide will help you choose the right horse blanket according to current weather conditions. However, much depends on the horse’s age, health, body condition score, breed, natural coat thickness, how long they’ll be out, how much they typically move while they’re out, shelter availability, and climate experience.

Horses with a Full Coat

  • 60°F – A horse blanket isn’t required, but you might want to use a fly sheet.
  • 50-60°F – Use a sheet if there’s rain or wind.
  • 40-50°F – None or a light blanket (100g)
  • 32-40°F – None or a light/medium blanket (150-300g)
  • 14-32°F – None or a light/medium blanket (150-300g)
  • <14°F – Medium/heavy blanket (300-400g)

Horses that are Clipped

  • 60°F – A horse blanket isn’t required, but you might want to use a fly sheet.
  • 50-60°F – Use a sheet if there’s rain or wind.
  • 40-50°F – Light/medium blanket (150-250g)
  • 32-40°F – Medium/heavy blanket (200-300g)
  • 14-32°F – Medium blanket (200-300g) with liner or heavy blanket (300-400g)
  • <14°F – Heavy blanket (300-500g)


The Complete Guide to Horse Blanketing

From Visually.

What’s your favourite horse blanket and when do you use it?

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3 thoughts on “How to Choose the Best Type of Blanket for Your Horse (Infographic)

  1. That’s wonderful! In most cases we have to rescue horses and they need protection from the cold.
    on the other hand it will depend on what one needs to do.

  2. That’s so helpful! We sometimes have to rescue horses and they always need protection from the cold or we have to cover wounds. What do you recommend for us? It has to be able to be washed too.

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