The terminology, fit, function, and ever-changing technology of horse blankets are enough to overwhelm any buyer. When you set out to find the best blanket for your horse, every option sounds incredible! But, sometimes you can end up with more or less blanket than your horse needs to stay warm and dry—leaving your pocketbook feeling a little less hefty and your savvy-shopper ego a little deflated.
Your horse is living the life of winter luxury; mild temperatures with little moisture is his wintertime reality. If he has a natural hair coat, he’ll likely need only a nighttime sheet or light-fill blanket; but if he’s kept clipped and slick through the winter, he’ll be more comfortable in a light- to medium-weight (up to 180 grams of fill) blanket.
When he’s kept inside or has limited turnout, you can save some money with a lower-denier blanket. In general terms, denier is a measurement of fabric density; the lower the denier, the less dense the fabric. A nylon outer liner (210- or 420-denier) will stave off odor, and a poly outer (300- or 600-denier) will be breathable, so your horse won’t get too hot. If he’s easily bored and takes it out on his blanket, opt for a higher-denier option for added resilience.
Professional’s Choice: The Equisential 600-denier Winter Turnout Blanket (#EQWB) has shoulder gussets to maximize free movement. The 250-gram hollofil insulation, taped seams, and protective tail flap keep wind out so he can stay warm. More info: $119.95; (619) 873-1100; profchoice.com.
Saxon by Weatherbeeta:
The 600-denier, polypropylene outer-lined Saxon Polypropylene Stable Blanket by Weatherbeeta keeps your horse cozy and clean in his stall. It’s a medium-weight option that has 180 grams of polyfill, with a 210-denier polyester inner liner.
More info: $84.99;
Your horse spends his time outdoors. He’s also likely to get wet this winter, but it’ll just be from rain since it’s rarely cold enough for snow. To keep him dry, you’ll want a blanket with a seamless back that won’t leak and has at least 3,000-milimeter waterproofing technology. A tail flap will add protection to his hind end, but isn’t mandatory. You may want to consider a detachable neck cover to keep his neck dry. A sheet or light- to medium-weight (280-gram polyfil or less) blanket will provide adequate warmth for mild temperatures.
A low-denier nylon (210- or 420-denier) or poly (300- or 600-denier) outer lining will be durable enough to withstand his living conditions. If he’s a known blanket destroyer or will sometimes be turned out with his buddies, you’ll want to invest in a higher-denier option for more durability.
Classic Equine: The Windbreaker Turnout Sheet (#CXS) is a mild-weather waterproofer. The durable, ripstop nylon shell is breathable and waterproof, and the contoured shape fits closely for better insulation. More info: $159.99; equibrand.com.
Cactus Gear: The 600-denier Turn-Out Blanket (#PE700) is waterproof and breathable. The 200-gram hollofil protects against mild to moderate conditions, and the 70-denier nylon inner liner keeps his coat slick. More info: $146.99; (800) 921-8744; cactusgear.com.
Kensington: Tear-resistant and waterproof, the All Around HD 1,200-denier turnout is breathable to wick away condensation and body moisture. The medium-weight, 180-gram fill insulates and retains body heat. More info: $149.99; (877) 469-1240;
Your horse is tough! Winters are undoubtedly long and wet experiences for both of you. To withstand snow, sleet, or any other variable moisture, your horse will need a seamless-back blanket with 3,000-milimeter waterproofing. A tail flap isn’t necessary, but he’ll appreciate its extra protection and warmth. A heavy- to extra-heavy-weight with poly (200 to 400 grams) or fleece (280 grams) inner fill will provide the warmth he’ll need in sub-freezing temperatures.
Choose a durable blanket with a high-denier outer liner; it’ll be thicker to withstand harsh winter conditions. Nylon (840- or 1,680-denier) can handle abrasion well and resists odor from mold, mildew, and fungi—especially important in damp weather. Poly (1,200- or 1,800-denier) is another outer-liner option that’s breathable and especially effective at wicking moisture.
Weaver: The Premium Fashion Turnout (#35-1557), with its 300-gram poly fill and 70-denier liner, will keep him warm. Plus, the 1,200-denier ripstop outer is durable to withstand turnout damage. More info: $129; (800) 932-8371; ridethebrand.com.
SmartPak: Also available in light and medium weights, the Rockin’ SP Ultimate Turnout (#21871) has a tough 1,000-denier nylon outer that’s breathable, waterproof, and will withstand damage from your horse’s pasture mates. More info: $179.95 to $199.95; (888) 339-9695; smartpakequine.com.
Relentless: Keep his hair slick and his body warm in the 420-denier All Around Stable Blanket (#PE650). The 300-gram hollofil and 70-denier inner liner keep him well insulated, and the closed-front design seals in heat. More info: $119.99;
Although he may not have to handle much rain or snow, wind and sub-freezing temperatures will have your horse a little chilly. If he lives largely indoors, a heavy to extra-heavy stable blanket will provide adequate warmth; look for poly (200 to 400 grams) or fleece (280 grams) inner-lined options. If he’s an outdoor horse, he’ll be most comfortable in a waterproof blanket with these same features.
A thick weave will ensure that his blanket has the durability to withstand whipping wind and drafts. An 840- and 1,680-denier nylon or 1,200- and 1,800-denier poly outer should be enough protection. However, if he’s turned out with his buddies, he’ll need a stronger blanket to keep his cover intact and doing its job.
Turn-Two: The 1,200-denier Turnout Blanket (#469550) will keep him warm and dry. The umbrella tail flap and 210-denier quick-dry nylon lining stave off moisture and the poly ripstop outer withstands damage. More info: $134.95; (866) 569-1600; turntwoequine.com.
Tough-1: The 1,200-denier Waterproof Poly Turnout (#32-21202S) has a waterproof, ripstop poly outer shell to keep him dry. The 210-denier liner and 200-gram poly fill retain heat, and the Snuggit-neck construction provides customizable fit. More info: $144.88; (888) 584-4677; jtidist.com.
Horseware: The Rambo Duo turnout features varied-weight liners, in addition to the standard 300-gram inner, to keep him comfortable in all conditions. The waterproof, 1,000-denier ballistic nylon is durable, and the 100-gram outer insulates. More info: $449; (800) 887-6688; horseware.com.