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How to Properly Measure & Fit a Horse Blanket
Equestrian 101:

Equestrian 101:



How to Properly Measure & Fit a Horse Blanket

You want your horse to be comfortable and safe in his stable blanket. It is easy to get the proper fit with a little attention to detail. An improper fitting blanket will cause wither and shoulder rubs; a blanket that is too large can pose danger from straps and excess material. So you want to get it right.

At DressYourHorse.com we want to be certain your blankets fit properly. The process is simple and straightforward.

Measure Your Horse

 Find a level spot and have an assistant hold your horse. Use a flexible cloth measuring tape.

  • Stand your horse squarely on all four legs and face him to the left.
  • Hold the measuring tape at the center of your horse's chest (A) at the point where neck and chest meet, and
  • Keeping your tape level, measure around the widest part of the shoulder and along the barrel and around the widest part of the hindquarter - to the side of the tail (B). Your tape should remain tight and level against all measuring points of the horse.

The blanket size for your horse is the resulting measurement from point A to Point B. If you measure 74 inches from A to B, then your horse wears a Size 74. If your measurement is an odd number, use the next highest even number.

52” – 62” Extra Small
64” – 68” Small
70” – 76” Medium
78” – 82” Large
84” – 90” Extra Large

Fit the Blanket on Your Horse

You have purchased a stable blanket in your horse's correct size. It's easy to dress him in this new blanket, have him look classy, and make him comfortable.

  • Fasten the blanket, in the case of an open front blanket, so that the chest straps allow some fabric overlap and the blanket back falls at the top of the tail. It should fit comfortably across the shoulders and be neither be too loose nor too tight.
  • Your horse blanket may have bias or straight surcingles or it might have just a single surcingle. In the case of bias surcingles, cross them under your horse's belly. Each of the three surcingle styles (straight, bias, single) should be fastened and adjusted to permit a hand's width between the straps and the horse's belly.
  • To fasten the blanket's leg straps, pass the right leg strap between the hind legs and secure at the left D-ring. Likewise, pass the left leg strap between the hind legs, cross through the right strap, and fasten to the right D-ring. Finally, adjust the leg straps to allow one hand width between your horse's thighs and each leg strap. You may also parallel fasten your leg straps - left strap to left D-ring and right strap to right D-ring. Be certain, if you use this method, that the blanket fits securely and the hand's width rule is met.

Common Problems of Incorrectly Fitted Blankets

A blanket that is too big or too small may cause a lot of rubbing. Because the horse is uncomfortable, he may actually rid himself of the blanket.

When the neck of a blanket is too large, it will hang lower on the horse's back. This causes rubbing and consequent slippage. When the horse rolls or stands up after rolling, there is great danger that he will step on the blanket material.

The blanket is too large when it extends beyond the top of the tail. A blanket should reach just over the top of the tail. If it does not reach that far, it is too small.

It is important to allow a hand's width between each leg strap and the horse's thighs and it is equally important to allow the hand's width between belly and surcingles. When straps and surcingles are too loose, the danger is that the horse may get his legs trapped in them. Leg straps secured too tightly will cause rubs.

Remember, if your horse is comfortable in his properly fitted blanket, he will be much happier to stay dressed.

This is another article on horses, horse care or horse blanket care by The Old Gray Mare. Additional articles by The Old Gray Mare can be found at website http://www.DressYourHorse.com.