As winter is quickly approaching, some of us have already had to get our blankets out of storage and fret about when to put them on and when to keep them off. If you need a second opinion, SmartPak has an app, called SmartBlanket. This app is free and you can personalize the app to your location, offering you recommendations based on where you live.
One factor on whether or not to blanket is if your horse is clipped. Below is an infographic made the Instagram account, “barnmanager”, that is helpful to reference back to as the temperature continues to drop.
A second big factor to consider when blanketing is the fear of overheating and having your horse sweat underneath the blanket. A horse is naturally comfortable until the temperature gets well below 20 degrees. Horses have a harder time cooling themselves than keeping themselves warm. Blanketing prevents horses from regulating their own internal temperatures. It is crucial that if we intervene for our own personal advantage, that we are careful to not harm our horses more than help them.
Lastly, denier is a term you will often see when describing blankets. It describes the threading and how tightly woven the fabric of the blanket is. The higher the number, the tougher the outer shell of the blanket. Generally, higher denier blankets also tend to have stronger waterproofing. Most people will not go lower than 600 denier for turnout sheets or blankets. A 1200+ denier blanket is the best choice for horses that are tough on blankets or are turned out with horses that like to "play" with another's blanket. Ballistic nylon is the toughest type of blanket and is the least likely to tear.
Want to learn more? You can also refer to our other blog in reference to blanketing here.