September 29, 2021 4 min read
If you put 10 equestrians in a room and ask their opinion on what winter turnout blankets your horse needs, you'll have 15 different opinions. If, when, and with what to blanket your horse varies greatly based on where you’re located, the age and breed of your horse, your horse’s lifestyle, and whether or not they’re clipped. But regardless of all these factors, there are three staples in the winter wardrobe of almost every horse.
A good waterproof rain sheet keeps your horse warm and dry on cold rainy days. Most horse’s hair coats are excellent at keeping them well-insulated on frigid winter nights. But once the hair gets wet all the way through, its ability to keep your horse warm is compromised. For some horses with a thin hair coat, rain will soak them through in a very short time. Other horses have a thick, almost double-layered coat that seems to repel the water. No matter which hair coat your horse has, they all seem to appreciate an extra layer to keep the rain off, especially when you get a combination of wind and rain.
The best rain sheets are extremely durable, waterproof, and well-fitted with shoulder gussets for added comfort. If you have to double layer a medium blanket and a rain sheet, the rain sheet will go on the outside, which means it gets twice the wear as your other blankets. If you have to pick a blanket to splurge on, spend extra on your rain sheet. This is the blanket that you’ll find yourself using the most: to double layer on extra cold nights, on rainy spring days and misty fall nights, when it’s blizzarding, sleeting, and just plain nasty outside.
One of our favorite rain sheets is the 5/A Baker Turnout Sheet. Sold in their signature plaid, the outer shell is made of an impressive 1500-denier ripstop fabric that can handle whatever your horse might throw at it. A smooth satin lining prevents rubs and keeps your horse’s coat shining. While it is waterproof, it is also breathable and allows any water vapor from a sweaty horse to evaporate through the blanket membrane. When it comes to winter turnout blankets for horses, start your winter wardrobe with a high-quality sheet, like the 5/A Baker Turnout Sheet.
Next up is the medium blanket. A medium winter turnout blanket for horses typically has between 200 and 300 grams of polyfill. It’s designed to keep the horse warm in the majority of cold weather situations. Most horse owners use this blanket when it’s between 25 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, but this also depends on the individual horse as well as other weather conditions such as snow, rain, wind, etc. It’s important that every blanket you buy can handle moisture- even if it’s not raining or snowing, a winter pasture is bound to be muddy. You would hate for your horse to roll in the mud and have the additional moisture soak through the blanket, leaving them wet and cold.
A medium blanket is incredibly versatile compared to a heavy weight or rain sheet. Rain sheets have no fill and are not a good choice for when the weather is particularly cold. If you use a heavy weight blanket when it’s too warm, you run the risk of your horse sweating and overheating, making them uncomfortable and possibly even sick. A medium blanket can be used in a wide variety of conditions as it is waterproof and has some fill.
Our recommended medium weight winter turnout blanket for horses is the TuffRider Optimum Medium Weight Hi Neck Turnout blanket. This blanket is made of a 1680-denier triple weave fabric for added durability. The Thermo Manager lining is cutting-edge technology that keeps your horse warm without added weight, allowing them more freedom of movement. The reflective trim makes it easy to find your horse on cold winter nights and the rich Tawny Port color adds a touch of elegance-- at least until your horse rolls in the mud! Memory foam wither relief increases comfort.
You might be surprised to see a second medium weight blanket on our list instead of a heavy weight blanket. The majority of horses tend not to wear or need a heavy weight blanket in the United States, unless you live in a particularly cold northern region, like New England, or have a thin-skinned and clipped horse. For the purposes of this list of winter turnout blanket staples for horses, a medium weight blanket with a neck is more versatile for the average equestrian.
A blanket with a neck protects your horse from head to toe on windy and rainy nights. It’s common to find your horse in the rain with wet shoulders from water dripping down their neck and rolling underneath the blanket. A neck cover prevents this from happening as it directs rain and moisture on top of the blanket, instead of underneath. Instead of buying a whole new blanket with an attached neck cover, you can buy a medium weight blanket with a detachable neck for more versatility.
Check out the TuffRider Comfy Medium Weight Winter Turnout Blanket with Detachable Neck. The ability to remove the neck easily means you can use it in an even wider variety of weather conditions. The waterproof and breathable outer shell is in a ripstop pattern to prevent tearing. Removable/adjustable leg straps, shoulder gussets and a detachable neck give your horse added comfort and freedom of movement. Available in turquoise, navy, or purple, your horse is sure to look good in the paddock.
Whether you’re looking for a stable blanket or a heavy weight turnout blanket, Breeches.com has a wide variety of horse clothing to choose from. With brands like 5/A Baker, TuffRider, and Horze, we pride ourselves on offering our customers high-quality products at affordable prices. For more information on winter turnout blankets, check out this guide.
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