Horse blanket fit is a little like buying jeans. Buy from one manufacturer and you’re a size 8. Walk across the mall, try on a different maker and you’re a 12. Frustrating!
Just like fashion designers, horse blanket manufacturers have their own patterns, cuts and fits. And just like their owners, horses can gain and lose weight periodically. Yes, your horse may need “fat blankets” just like some of us need fat jeans.
Poor fit will provide poor performance. Follow these steps to be sure your horse’s blanket fits correctly.
1. You should be able to slip your hand easily between the blanket and her withers. Pressure here can cause discomfort and even injury.
2. Slide your hand up into her shoulder area. Too snug a fit here will rub her hair off and cause friction injuries.
3. Check the cut of the neck. Can she graze easily? Put a tasty treat on the floor and check front buckle pressure.
4. The tail flap should lift easily when your horse passes manure.
5. The blanket should stay in place without excessive tightening of the surcingle. If you need to do a lot of adjusting, the cut may not be right for your horses body shape.
Some simple alterations may solve some minor fit problems, but there’s no substitute for an excellent fit. Measure your horse properly before purchasing and be sure there’s a return policy. Drape a bed sheet over your horse and try the blanket on so that it will be clean and hair-free is you need to return it.