Pioneering Equine Blankets

Person putting on blanket

Do you blanket your horses during the winter? Some experts say blanketing a healthy horse can disturb their ability to regulate body temperatures while others may say your horse needs to only be blanketed if they are geriatric, don’t have a long coat, are outside in below freezing temperatures for too long, or if they are immunocompromised. While that may be true, there are developing technologies allowing healthy-coated horses to be blanketed while being more protected.

During this exclusive interview with Rachel Beckham, Northern Hemisphere Product Manager at WeatherBeeta, Rachel gives a behind-the-scenes look into how they design and create WeatherBeeta blankets to fit your horse’s needs. Learn from their top expert, Rachel Beckham, on how to keep your horse protected this season by learning how they design their blankets.

EQ: Can you share insights into your role at WeatherBeeta and the recent innovations in the blanket industry?

Rachel: I am the Northern Hemisphere Product Development Manager for WeatherBeeta based in Oxfordshire in the UK. I have been with WeatherBeeta now for 24 years, and during that time have worked in several different areas gaining experience in many areas of the business. My role is extremely varied, and my main responsibility is to ensure that WeatherBeeta has the products and stock levels required to build profitable sales. To achieve this, I need to have a great knowledge of the UK & USA markets, WeatherBeeta’s share by category within those markets and what the specific opportunities are for profitable growth. Along side this I need to ensure that the northern hemisphere stock levels are proactively managed to maximize sales.

EQ: What are some of the biggest innovations in the blanket industry right now? 

Rachel: Obviously, developments have evolved hugely over the years, gone are the days of canvas blankets. These days we have different neck styles, weights, deniers, features, in the past blankets were very basic and just kept horses dry (ish) but nowadays we develop blankets with the horse’s comfort at the forefront of our minds and the features we have in our blankets demonstrate this, with features like wither relief, various gusset styles, tail flaps, fixtures and fixings and outer fabrics.

We all know that plastic waste is one of the most pressing problems our planet faces, we need to find uses for this waste to prevent it from being dumped into the environment. That’s why we have created the New WeatherBeeta Green Tec Range which uses recycled plastic for the outer fabric, fill and lining. Each blanket, on average, saves 380 plastic bottles (size dependent) going into landfill or the ocean, also that’s not the only reason this blanket is better choice for the environment, the way in which It is manufactured uses over 50% less energy to produce the fabric than a traditional blanket. The development of blankets is always evolving, there are new fabrics, technologies and innovations coming to market all the time, you need to be pretty fast paced to keep up with things!

EQ: What materials ensure durability in equine blankets, and how do they impact a horse’s well-being?

Rachel: You need to firstly understand you horses’ behaviour, if your horse is calm and relaxed when turned out, a 600 denier will be perfectly suitable. If your horse likes to destroy or attempt to escape the blanket, a minimum of a 1200 denier blanket is sure to save you money in the long run. At WeatherBeeta we refer to these two horse types as either a “Blanket Wrecker” or a “Blanket Houdini” – and we’ve all known at least one of those in our time. When looking for durability in a blanket you need to consider the denier. Denier is the thickness and weight of the fibers used to make the fabric of the blanket. The strength of the fabric, and subsequently the blanket, is determined by its denier. Common thicknesses of denier you will find are: 600D, 1200D, and 1680D. The higher the denier number, the thicker the weave, and the stronger the material. 

Horse wearing a WeatherBeeta Red blanket

EQ: What goes into developing a new equine blanket, and how does WeatherBeeta continually improve its products?

Rachel: Here at Weatherbeeta we are constantly, researching horses, their behaviors and how we can improve blankets for the horses, comfort and protection as well as keeping the owners needs in mind as well. We also keep abreast of new innovations and technologies within materials to see what improvements we can bring to the market.

EQ: Could you tell us more about WeatherBeeta Labs and any upcoming innovations?

Rachel: This is a very exciting time for us all here at WeatherBeeta we will be launching some great new innovations for the winter ’24 season, I wish I could say more but at this stage its all still under wraps but keep your eyes open ready for winter ’24.

EQ: What advice do you offer for selecting the right blanket for a horse?

Rachel: There are a few factors when considering which blanket to choose. Consider your budget, your horse’s nature, and its natural environment. All of these play a part in what blanket you choose, if you horse is fully clipped and is living out in extreme weathers, they will need a heavy weight blanket to provide them with as much protection as possible. On the other hand, if they are not clipped and are only out a few hours of the day in a warmer geographic region of the country they will need something lighter weight to keep off the worst of the weather. Fully understanding your horse is the key part and then considering your budget is key, your local retailer will always be able to offer sound advice too.

EQ: What are your top picks from WeatherBeeta for this winter season?

Grazing shot of horse in WeatherBeeta Green-Tec blanket

Rachel: The WeatherBeeta Green Tec Range is my personal favorite because I am very conscious of the environmental impact we are all making, if we can all do a small thing to help secure the future of the planet for the next generation this can only be a good thing.

Today WeatherBeeta stands as the trailblazer in equine blanket technology. Pioneering the synthetic blanket design, WeatherBeeta’s blankets ensure your horse is protected in all weather conditions. Nuzzle your horse up with WeatherBeeta’s blankets, ensuring your noble companion flourishes in comfort and style this season.

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