Products: Winter Rugs for Horses
Winter blanket horse / horse blanket
As the winter grows bitterly cold, it’s time to make provisions, not just for ourselves but also for the animals in our care. Whoever keeps horses should think about buying a heatable trough and warm horse blankets. Both help to make the winter more bearable for the animals so that, despite sub-zero temperatures, they remain comfortable and happy outside in the cold. A winter blanket for your horse can generally be used in two ways: It can be used as an outdoor blanket for your horse or as a stable rug. What are the differences and similarities? Which are the most effective versions?
The time of year when we humans start to wear thicker jackets is exactly the time when your horse can also start wearing a blanket.
Why buy a winter blanket for your horse?
This question is actually irrelevant, as, if you really love your horse, you’ll want to take care of his well-being. Whether your horse is kept outside in the cold weather or endures the harsh winter months in a stable, it will generally be too cold for him. Especially when the thermometer falls below zero; not only does this mean that your beloved horse will miserable, but he can also be exposed to health risks. Hypothermia and further consequences are a problem that simply cannot be ignored. With heatable drinkers for horses, you can ensure that his drinking water will not freeze over or become unusable – but what about his general feeling of warmth? Who can afford stable heating? And what if he is kept out in the field? This is precisely where winter blankets for horses are effective and come in the widest variety of designs. By purchasing a winter blanket for your horse, you are investing in a healthy, happy animal for many years. Horse blankets are used virtually everywhere.
Turnout blankets and stable rugs are sometimes described as thermal blankets for horses, which explains how they function. Incidentally, these are not necessarily winter blankets, as outdoor blankets can also be used as horse blankets in other seasons too. Specific blankets for riding, exercise sheets, fly blankets and transport blankets also exist. Practical information and the advantages of each product available in the online shop can be found below.
Outdoor blankets for horses
You really can’t go wrong with a horse blanket for outdoor use. These are available as lined, thermal winter blankets, however, in most cases they come in the form of a type of rain cover. They are characterised by the fact that they are rain-proof and watertight. Rain covers are the right choice, particularly for sick or vulnerable animals, foals or pregnant mares, old animals or valuable thoroughbred horses, or horses which have a particularly beautiful coat. They leave the leg and neck area free to allow sufficient freedom of movement and to ensure that the horses are not afraid of wearing the rain cover. At the same time, turnout blankets are designed so that they cover as much of the animal’s body as possible while fitting sufficiently tightly. The horse’s chest and rear are protected along with his organs.
Among the characteristics which speak in favour of the rain cover are:
- waterproof and water-repellent
- easy to clean
- unlined or lined very thinly (therefore can be used in the summer)
- lightweight outdoor blanket
- good freedom of movement
With high-quality turnout blankets in the style of a horse rain cover, it’s possible to attach a neck section to ensure even greater protection and safety. The broad range of temperatures covered by the horse rain cover means that it can be used virtually all year round, although a winter blanket is a better choice for the cold winter months. If required, the rain cover can be combined with a lined, soft under blanket to keep out the rain and cold.
While general turnout blankets are designed for the cold season, rain covers are especially designed for the spring, summer and autumn. Of course, outdoor covers are not just waterproof, but generally also wind-proof. Lighter-weight versions allow air to pass through, enabling the skin to breathe and ensuring wearing comfort and a feeling of naturalness. Rain covers with the capacity to wick away sweat are particularly tried and trusted, whereby rain covers with a neck section are also popular. For general horse husbandry, breeding and transporting horses, the use of rain covers for horses is common practice. They are suitable for horses to wear when grazing in the short- to long-term, for use when out riding, and when kept out in the field or in a stable.
Practical paddock covers are not just tear-resistant but in general do not tend to slip, even with brisk movements. The sweat rug is ideal for horses which sweat during competitions and therefore are at risk of hypothermia. Branded goods also feature antibacterial treatment and cover a broad range of temperatures from approx. –10 to +16 degrees. The seams are sealed to prevent the penetration of water. As far as the material is concerned, the blankets are often made of lightweight, tear-resistant Ripstop nylon or flexible and strong ballistic nylon. This type of material is used, for example, on hot air balloons, umbrellas and bullet-proof vests. Even aggressive or curious animals should not be able to damage the rain covers.
Outdoor blankets for horses
Many people also use turnout blankets in the stable or stable rugs in the paddock, however, there are basically different designs for both purposes. The indoor cover is largely designed for use in the winter. It distinguishes itself from the rain cover in that although not waterproof or water-repellent, it keeps the horse nice and warm. Lined stable rugs ensure comfort in the winter. The horses can relax, no longer freeze and shiver and are therefore in good spirits when being handled. Mothers and their young, in particular and also old and sick horses will benefit from a lined stable rug. However, often all animals in the stable can be kitted out with a stable rug so that they don’t become ill. Precisely in such cases, we recommend that you don’t just randomly buy the same blanket for all horses. Of course, it makes sense to emphasize good quality, and to buy horse blankets which are as warm as possible, however, it makes even more sense to take the individual animal’s sensitivity to temperature into account. For example, if you are aware that your Haflinger is virtually insensitive to cold, you don’t need to buy him a thickly padded stable rug. This will heat him up too much and could have the opposite of the desired effect. The horse could start to sweat which would make him cool down and catch a chill, rather than protecting him. Inversely, in the case of a mare which is extremely sensitive to the cold, or a foal in need of protection, the warmest indoor rug possible should be used.
Apart from this, additional criteria will help you decide which stable rug makes the most sense. In temperatures around 0 degrees or sub-zero temperatures, even an unlined stable rug, or alternatively, a turnout blanket / outdoor blanket, should be sufficient. At up to –15 degrees, experts advise using a stable rug with padding of 100 g to 150 g. This lightweight lining makes the horse blanket less heavy, while reliably keeping the cold away from the skin and organs. Horse blankets with 300 g or 400 g padding are recommended if you wish to keep the bitter cold away. Even if the thermometer indicates temperatures as low as –20 degrees, this type of cover will keep your horse warm. This type of stable rug is very similar to lined turnout rugs. These values are related to animals which are not shaved, whereby horses with thick hair tend to be better protected from the coldness of winter by nature. If you keep horses which are shaved, we advise using lightweight stable rugs before the temperatures fall below zero, or, if in doubt, use warmer, thicker versions.
What characterises high-quality winter blankets for horses?
The padding, insulating material, denier (e.g. 1,200) and the right size all play an important role. Winter blankets for horses stand out from the crowd when they fit like a glove and can be individually adjusted to your horse. One of the advantages of stable rugs and covers with flexible adjustment in practical universal sizes is that they can be used for more than one horse. Whenever necessary, the horse covers can be adjusted so that they fit without slipping yet do not restrict movement. The stitching should be positioned so that it doesn’t leave any pressure marks or cut into the skin while at the same time not being too loose so that the horse feels the cold, wind and damp. Adjustable girths are an absolute must. Winter blankets with safety fastenings and crossed surcingles are ideal. They can be used without problem during transport or competitions. Tail straps and leg straps ensure a secure hold.
Leading brands among winter blankets for horses feature a special intermediate layer between the weather-resistant, durable top layer and the padding / lining. This wicks away any sweat, preventing it from reaching the skin and causing a risk of hyperthermia. This type of modern horse cover is used as a sweat rug. Certain designs are characterised by their dirt-repellent surface treatment. As they do not include waterproofing, stable rugs are often cheaper than turnout blankets. However, it’s worth digging a little deeper into the pocket to buy a horse blanket for the winter which is suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. Winter blankets with or without a neck section, with an eye-catching look or with an under-blanket are available in a wide range of sizes and colours. Foal blankets are also available in the online shop. XXL versions are available for very large, heavy or long animals. Horse blanket accessories such as girths, leg straps, cover hangers, fasteners and cover bags complete the range.