With summer coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about blankets! For me this means buying ALL the blankets for my new baby horse, Loki, who due to living in the South his whole life doesn’t own any. In fact, I’m pretty sure he has never even worn a blanket, which is going to be a problem all on its own.
I suspected he would probably be a size 75 because he still hasn’t quite filled out, but since my other horse, Indy, is a 78 I figured I might as well try his blankets on Loki to get a feel for what size he’d be. I’m pretty indecisive, so about 7 blanket changes later I finally concluded that Loki is a 75. Of course, since Loki is only 3 years old, I’m going to have to go through all of this again next winter, but at least for now Indy won’t have to share any of his blankets, which is good because he’s used to being an only child and doesn’t share well.
To determine fit I looked at a couple of different components to make sure Loki will be as comfortable as can be in his new wardrobe:
I was looking for the top of the front closure to line up with the point of Loki’s shoulder and for the neckline to lie smoothly across his shoulders. This is one of the reasons I went with the 75, because the 78 was a bit too baggy for Loki’s narrow shoulders and while I knew he would grow into it, I was worried that in the meantime it would shift too much and cause rubs.
On the 75 I looked to make sure that it wasn’t pulling too tightly across his withers, because in addition to causing rubs it would be painful for him.
Loki may have Indy beat on height, but Indy definitely has the barrel to make up for it. This made going with the 75 the easy choice, as it hung nicely at an appropriate length and wasn’t stretched too tight across his belly, while the 78 was a little on the long side.
Here is a list of all of the different types of blankets I’m going to need to buy now that I know Loki’s size:
1) A lightweight cotton sheet (no fill)
My favorite is the SmartPak Stable Sheet because it has lined shoulders with gussets allowing for freedom of movement and decreasing the chance of blanket rubs.
2) A turnout sheet – (no fill)
Because at my barn they will turn the horses out in slightly inclement weather, I have to have multiple turnout sheets so that if Loki comes in all wet and muddy they can swap it for a dry one. And like I mentioned I can be pretty indecisive, so I have two favorites!
I love the SmartPak Deluxe High Neck Turnout Sheet because the high neck will keep him better protected when he is outside in the rain and snow.
I love the SmartPak Classic Turnout Sheet because it’s waterproof and provides all of the features I’m looking for at a very affordable price.
3) A stable blanket (or a “puffy” as we call them at my barn):
My favorite is the SmartPak Stable Blanket. It’s perfect for Loki to wear inside on those chilly nights and works great as an additional layer when it gets even colder.
4) Mid-weight turnout (~200 grams of fill):
The Amigo 1200 D Bravo 12 Turnout Blanket is my favorite not only for it’s incredibly high quality, but I love the arches on the front legs that allow for maximum mobility. It’s a great waterproof option and I like that I can attached the neck cover on those extra frigid days.
5) Heavy weight turnout (~400 grams of fill):
I love the SmartPak Deluxe Turnout Blanket because of its 1200 denier, waterproofing, and lined shoulder gussets that allow for freedom of movement. It pairs great with the neck cover for maximum protection against the elements, which can easily be attached and unattached as needed.
6) Anti-sweat sheet:
The Irish Weave Anti-Sweat Sheet is perfect to use after those sweaty lesson nights when I don’t feel like spending all night at the barn. And I love that it has the two belly straps so I feel comfortable putting Loki in his stall to dry while I do other things.
7) Fleece Cooler:
The SmartPak Fleece Cooler is beautiful and perfect for warming up and cooling out in chilly weather.
8) Quarter sheet:
The SmartPak Fleece Quarter Sheet will be perfect for riding when the temperature drops below 40 degrees and Loki gets body clipped.
9) Back On Track:
Last but not least, my blanket collection wouldn’t be complete without a Back on Track product. The Back on Track Mesh Sheet is perfect for warming up Loki’s body and increasing his circulation before a ride, all the time, but especially in the cold. Since Loki has never used Back on Track, he is only wearing it for small increments of time right now so he doesn’t over heat. But I’ll continue to increase his time in it because I really love what it does for his muscles, especially since he is still developing and this will help with soreness.
As you can see, I have ton of blankets to buy, which is why I started early! Have you started building your horse’s blanket wardrobe yet?