Fly sheet and blanket fit for horses
There are a few things to keep in mind when you are figuring out blanket fit for horses. Mostly it boils down to trial and error, but with some guidelines.
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- Overall fit – does the blanket cover his tushy and overlap at his chest? For blankets and sheets with neckpieces, does the fabric cover high enough, and is loose enough for your horse to eat from the ground and stand in attention at that imaginary spooky thing?
- Is the blanket restricting his movement? Remember that his front legs and shoulders must stretch forward to stand up from a resting position. The position and length of the gussets around the shoulder allow for freedom. You may test several brands and styles before finding a good shoulder fit.
- Is the blanket pulling anywhere? Is the neck opening so big that the blanket slides back and gets caught on the withers? It might also be that a small neck opening pulls on your horse’s neck and chest.
- Are the straps adjusted correctly? You want belly straps to have some room for your horse to sleep comfortably, but not so much room for a hind leg gets caught.
Measure your horse for the perfect blanket fit:
- In order to check for proper fit, start at the chest and move towards the tail. You can “pre-measure” your horse with a tape measure from the center of the chest to center of the tail, this is a good starting point for sizing. Be aware that some blanket styles or “cuts” vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so check the return policy before you buy.
- Some manufacturers may also want you to measure from the center of the chest to the area around the tail that you want the blanket to end.
Try it on!
- Fasten the blanket or sheet at his chest, the sides should overlap.
- Work towards the tail and make sure the sheet rests past the start of his tail to keep his cheeks warm. This also helps prevent the leg straps from rubbing the back of his hind legs.
- The fabric around his front legs should not be bunched up.
- His shoulders should be free to move quite forward. I prefer gussets that start high and are a bit forward, so the blanket doesn’t pinch his shoulders.
- If there is too much space around the chest/shoulders/withers, the blanket can get “stuck” behind the wither and cause rubs and be constricting.
- Cross the leg straps by attaching the left side to the left side, then the right side to the right side through the left one. This keeps the straps safely away from the delicate skin on the inner hind legs. Please make sure the straps are elastic for safety.
This photo demonstrates why leg straps are so critical!
Have your horse take a few steps forward after you try on the blanket! Does he take a shorter stride? If so, you may want to rethink that blanket.
Also remember that if you have a blanket that will be layered, be sure the outer one is adjustable to a comfortable size for fitting over your horse and underlayers.
For help deciding what blanket to buy, check out this horse blanket buying guide.
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Heavy weight and waterproof with a full neck
Another heavy weight horse blanket
Medium weight blanket for horses
A high neck blanket in medium weight
Sheets are great for chilly weather and rain
Rain sheets are a great option for cold weather
Coolers with necks are great for cold weather
Keep it simple with a traditional cooler
This is a lighter scrim style of cooler
These shoulder guards offer some protection around the mane.
These hoodies offer much more! But they shouldn’t get wet if your horse is outdoors.
Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask with Ears and Long Nose – select size
Cashel Quiet Ride Standard Horse Fly Mask with Ears for riding
Another style of long-nose fly mask for horses
Cashel Quiet Ride Bug Armor – 2 Piece Set
Amigo Mio Fly sheet – I love this one, the extra long tail prevents bugs up the butt, and the neckpiece is great. It’s also super light, which means it tears easily.
Sox for Horses – for any skin funk, fly problems, summer sores, stomping, and protection from UV light.