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.

 

horse in brown fly sheet grazing on brown dry grass

 

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.

 

horse wearing a fly sheet that's too small

 
 
  • 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.

 

horse wearing a fly sheet that's falling off

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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For fly-busting products, you can pick up these to add to your arsenal. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are at no additional cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support! You can also visit my Amazon storefront here:  PEG storefront.

 

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