Measuring for a Blanket

Cheyenne

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Having a correctly sized blanket (or fly sheet for the hot summer months) is extremely important to the comfort of your horse. An ill-fitting blanket can leave rubs, hairless patches, and constrict your horse’s movement. Measuring for a blanket is easy, and if done correctly, can help you find the best blanket for your horse.

Measuring for a blanket

If you are buying a blanket for the first time, or for a new equine pal, follow these simple steps for measuring your horse:
  • Start with your horse standing as square as possible, on an even surface
  • Using a flexible tape measure (like a seamstress tape), measure from the center of your horse’s chest, alongside his body, to the back of their hind leg. If you don’t have a seamstress tape, you can use a length of rope or string and measure it with a tape measure once you are done.
  • Try to keep the tape as straight and tight as possible, not contouring to their body
  • This measurement is the size of the blanket you will need. If the measurement falls in-between a size offered, it is usually better to go up to the next size to ensure they will have enough room.

Assessing the fit

This can often be the most difficult part of finding the right blanket, and often times you have to go with what looks right. However, there are some areas to check to help assess the fit once the blanket is on your horse:

  • Chest - When you buckle the chest straps, does the blanket hang down, or does it fit snug? Does it settle tightly against your horse’s chest, looking tight or pulled? You should be able to place a hand comfortably in-between your horse’s chest and the blanket.
  • Withers - Does the blanket rest above, at, or behind your horse’s withers? Generally, you want the blanket to rest either above or below the withers, not in the slope, which can cause pressure or rubbing to occur. If your horse has higher withers, consider a cutback design or mid-high neck cuts that help to keep the blanket from settling onto the withers.
  • Barrel - When assessing the fit around your horse’s barrel, you want to make sure that the blanket is hanging down low enough so that his whole body will be covered. Generally, a blanket should hang a little bit below the elbows. Also, remember to check that the belly straps are long enough to provide at least 4 fingers between your horse’s belly and the straps. You don't want too much more room than that to make sure they can't get a leg caught in the straps if they lay down.
  • Rump - Does the blanket extend to the dock of your horse’s tail comfortably? Or does it stop a few inches before the top of his tail? A well-fitting blanket should rest just above the top of his tail, and cover both sides of his rump to his tail to provide adequate warmth. If your blanket has a tail cover, the top of the cover should be at the top of his tail.
 
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