In general, horses are perfectly capable of regulating their own temperature. But in certain weather conditions it is wise to help your horse with a horse blanket. How can you choose a good horse rug?
Different weather conditions
Your horse will have to deal with different weather conditions throughout the year. In itself, your horse can feel comfortable with the many types of weather. A horse with a winter coat can tolerate temperatures between -5 and +15 degrees, while a horse with a summer coat can tolerate temperatures between +5 and +25 degrees. Horses can therefore take a beating. Nevertheless, it is wise to use the right horse blankets to support your horse. Your choice also depends on a number of factors, such as:
- storage. A horse that spends a lot of time in the stable probably has less winter coat. As a result, your horse will need more protection when it is in the pasture.
- Care. A shaved horse naturally gets cold faster than an unshaven horse.
- Breed. Your horse's winter coat depends on the breed. For example, breeds from southern climates will have a less thick coat. This will affect your choice.
- Condition. Is your horse a bit older or weaker? Then give him extra protection by means of a blanket that suits the circumstances. A 25-year-old horse gets cold faster than a 5-year-old. With these factors in mind, we list the most important options for you so that you can choose a good horse rug.
If it rains for a long time, your horse can get quite cold, in the autumn but also in the summer. It can even make him sick. It is therefore good to provide a place where your horse can hide. But in addition, a rain blanket is also a solution. A good rain sheet is waterproof and prevents your horse from getting wet. With a rain blanket, your horse can also go out into the meadow during a wet summer.
A winter blanket is primarily intended to protect your horse against the cold. But many winter rugs (outdoor rugs) also protect your horse against rain. Check the water column to find out how much water a blanket can withstand. Is your horse stabled a lot? Then it probably needs a winter blanket in the meadow.
Water repellent, waterproof and water column
You regularly hear and read about terms such as waterproof, water-repellent and water column in horse blankets. In itself it is obvious what the difference is between a waterproof and a water-repellent blanket. But perhaps a brief explanation of how such blankets work would be useful.
A water-repellent blanket has a coating over the fabric. This coating forms a barrier on the fabric, preventing rain from entering directly into the fabric. You then see that the droplets remain on the fabric, as it were. If it continues to rain for a while, the water will penetrate.
A waterproof blanket has a coating on the inside, which prevents water from seeping through the fabric. The water column indicates how much water pressure 1 m2 of the fabric can tolerate without water passing through. With a good waterproof blanket, your horse can stand in the pouring rain all day without the water coming through the blanket. Think of a water column of 10,000 mm. From a water column of 5,000 mm, a fabric is completely waterproof and resistant to high pressure. Very comfortable for your horse!
Your horse can sweat under the blanket. If the blanket fabric were waterproof without breathability, your horse would still get wet from its own sweat. That is why a good waterproof rain rug is made of breathable fabric. This way the rain stays outside and the warm and moisture under the blanket is drained to the outside.
You use a stable blanket if your horse spends a lot of time in the stable. With a stable blanket you prevent your horse from producing winter coat. At the same time you prevent the horse from getting cold. Feel under the blanket every now and then whether your horse is too hot or too cold.
Summer blanket and fly blanket
A summer blanket can have several functions. This type of horse blanket protects your horse against stinging flies in the summer (fly blanket) and protects against cold nights. With a summer rug you can also prevent your horse from cooling down too quickly from sweating after riding. In that case it is also called a 'exercise sheet'.
Recently, therapy blankets are on the rise. The blankets are used to help horses recover better after exercise. The operation of these therapy blankets is based on magnets or magnetic fields. This would stimulate blood circulation and oxygen transport in the blood, for optimal recovery.
Other horse blankets
Other blankets you can use for your horse:
- Fleece blanket
- Woollen blanket
- Walker rug
- exercise sheet
What about denier?
You regularly read about denier in horse blankets. Denier expresses the strength and heaviness of the material, where 1 denier equals a weight of 1 gram for 9000 meters of material. 1680 denier therefore means that thick yarn has been used, but that the material is still lightweight and very sturdy. The outer fabric can therefore take quite a beating.
Incidentally, a lot of denier does not always mean that the blanket is better. There may be good reasons to go for a low denier blanket, for example because it is not necessary. If you go for an outdoor blanket, more denier is handy.
Advice on horse blankets
At Horse Riders Classics we have a wide range of horse blankets, with major brands such as Kentucky, Eskadron and Dy'on . The information in this blog gives you general guidelines for choosing a horse rug. But of course every situation is different. Do you want advice on which horse blanket is best for your horse? Please contact us or visit our store in Ansen. We're happy to help.