As the temperature begins to drop and daylight savings will soon be approaching, it is inevitable that blanket season is upon us. Whether you are a snow bird and head to warmer climates this winter, or remain in your local barn throughout in the colder months, choosing products for your horse that beat the weather are crucial. From coolers that wick away moisture to turnout blankets, selecting products that suite your horse’s needs, lifestyle and budget are very important.
Once deciding on the weight of the turnout your horse requires, look for these key features designed to conquer the elements:
1. Full Wrap Tail Flap
A full wrap tail flap is a two-piece design that wraps around the horse’s hind quarters. This is a great feature to any blanket as it shields your horse’s hind quarters from unpredictable weather to gusty winds, precipitation, sleet or snow.
2. Reflective Strips
Reflective strips within tail flaps, shoulder gussets and in front of the chest area are amazing features to have! When the nights begin to become darker and your horse is out in the field, the reflective strips will make it easier to find them.
Detach-a-necks are a great feature on blankets as they provide versatility throughout the Fall and Winter. When the temperature drops, you can place your detach-a-neck onto your blanket and it will shield your horse from becoming cold, wet or damp. Detach-a-necks with a longer cut design such as a Cozi Guard offers unbeatable protection as it provides complete coverage of the neck and chest area.
4. Snug Fit
Some Detach-a-Necks also offer the removable Snug Fit – an elasticized polar fleece cuff that sits behind the horse’s ears. As its name suggests the Snug Fit offers a fitted closure at the top of the neck, closing the top of the blanket to protect the horse from wind, rain, or other precipitation. The polar fleece material keeps the horse warm even when damp, and the elastic provides a fitted cuff, keeping the top of the neck secure despite turnout, grazing, etc. Many detach-a-neck blankets have gaps where the horse’s neck or chest area are exposed, whereas the Cozi Guard and Snug Fit allows complete coverage and the ability to add for more warmth, or remove if you desired. These features allow the blanket to move freely with your horse and give them the ultimate in comfort and protection.
A turnout blanket with features such as reflective strips, full wrap tail flap, Cozi Guard and snug fit will conquer the elements and your worries! When choosing a blanket, questions you should ask yourself are: Is my horse likely to wreck or escape his blanket? Will my horse treat their blankets nicely? Understanding how your horse behaves in a blanket will help in choosing which product is best suitable. Environmental factors such as precipitation and geographical location, as well as your horse’s natural body temperature, should all be considered. These are factors that you can discuss with your veterinarian or even your trainer if you’re looking for specific recommendations for your individual horse. Even so, there are key blanket features that will assist in providing your horse all day comfort, and beat the weather.