Protecting your horse from the elements is important for his coat and overall health. And thankfully, there are a range of equine blankets and sheets to suit any need around the barn, pasture, or show and competition ring from sweat sheets & scrims to heavy winter blankets.
To ensure your horse's blanket fits properly use this simple checklist:
Can you easily slip your hand between the blanket and withers? A blanket or sheet that is too tight here can cause your horse extreme discomfort or worse, injury.
Can you slide your hand up to your horse's shoulder area? If it's too tight here, hair could rub off and irritations or infected sores could occur.
Can your horse graze without pain? Place a horse treat at floor level and watch for pressure near the front buckles as your horse reaches for the treat.
Can your horse pass manure without obstruction from the tail flap?
Can you fit the blanket without the surcingles being over-tight?
But do you know how to correctly measure your horse so her turnout blankets and insect or dress sheets properly fit? Use these helpful hints and simple guidelines to ensure your horse is perfectly dressed in protection and style.
Basically, all equine blankets and sheets have similar designs. They cover your horse's barrel from withers to tail and hang to just below the elbows and stifles. However, not all blankets or sheets are cut in the same manner. As such, check the manufacturer's measuring guidelines to ensure the best fit of your chosen blanket or sheet.
You can measure your horse in six simple steps:
Ensure your horse stands squarely in a natural position.
Stand on your horse's left with the end of your measuring tape in your left hand. Place the end of the measuring tape at the point where your horse's neck meets the center of her chest.
Using your right hand, draw the tape along her left side and over the widest part of her shoulder. Continue to draw the tape in this manner for the extent of your reach.
Note the measurement. Then mark the spot of your reach with your right thumb. Move down to the spot you've marked with your thumb. Place the end of the measuring tape at this point.
Using your right hand, continue to draw the tape along your horse's side and across the point of her buttocks, which is the hindmost part of the quarters and about 10 to 12 inches below where the tail and body meet. Note this measurement.
Add your two measurements together to get your blanket size.