Horses and ponies typically handle outdoor exposure in cold weather well, but rain, snow, and wind can affect their resilience when the cold sets in. When the horse's coat gets wet, its ability to retain body heat diminishes. Additionally, in windy conditions, the horse rapidly loses body heat unless it is acclimated to the conditions.
An outdoor blanket helps protect against precipitation, wind, and very low temperatures. Outdoor blankets are available in everything from lighter shell and rain blankets, suitable for autumn, to thick winter blankets, suitable for the winter months.
Choosing the Right Outdoor Blanket for Your Horse and Pony
Which outdoor blanket you should choose depends on several factors. As mentioned above, different outdoor blankets have different purposes. Some are intended for somewhat warmer temperatures during precipitation, while others are intended for extremely cold conditions.
In addition to external factors, you also need to consider your horse's individual needs. Whether the horse is clipped or not can be the most significant factor in your choice. Besides this, you need to adjust the model and size of the outdoor blanket to ensure the best fit and minimize the risk of rubbing on your horse.
Find the Right Size for the Outdoor Blanket
Just like with all horse blankets, you measure the horse's back length, from the withers to the base of the tail, to determine the size of your outdoor blanket. Sizes typically range from 105 cm, increasing by 5 cm each, up to 165 cm. If your horse or pony measures between two sizes, we recommend rounding up to allow the horse to move freely. However, be aware that the blanket should never fit loosely on the horse, as chafing can easily occur due to the friction when the blanket slides as the horse moves outdoors. The outdoor blanket should fit snugly against the shoulders without being loose, but also in such a way that you can tighten and fasten it without difficulty, not just under the girth. Leg straps and girths should be reasonably loose so the horse can lie down and roll without anything being stretched across the belly, but they should never be so loose that the horse risks getting tangled up with its legs outside in the paddock. Also, remember that a well-fitting outdoor blanket should cover the withers, not be under them.
Try on Your Outdoor Blanket at Home
In our wide range, you can be sure to find an outdoor blanket that suits both your horse and your personal taste - and of course, you can try it at home and exchange it if it doesn't fit as expected. It's a good idea to place a sheet or another thin fabric between the horse and the blanket if you're unsure about the size and want to try on the outdoor blanket you ordered from us, to avoid hair and dirt sticking to a blanket that may need to be returned. Read more about our policies for exchanges and returns in our terms and conditions.
Just like with riding clothes, blankets can also vary in size between different brands and manufacturers. Some outdoor blankets may feel narrower or wider in design, while others, for example, may have a higher wither. At our store, you'll find outdoor blankets from well-known brands such as Bucas and Lippo, not to mention the immensely popular collections Amigo and Rambo from Horseware. Once you've found an outdoor blanket that fits your horse, it's a good idea to remember which brand it was, so you don't have to try again when it's time for a new one!
Outdoor Blanket - with Neck or Without?
Outdoor blankets often come with a neck cover. The advantage of an outdoor blanket with a neck cover is that the neck part helps to provide additional protection against weather and wind. It can also protect against flies and other insects that can be very bothersome during the horse's outdoor time. Most blankets with neck covers have a removable one, but there are also models with a fixed neck cover. It is usually possible to buy a separate neck cover for your outdoor blanket, and of course, we also have a range of separate neck covers for you to choose from - just check in the product description if the neck cover is compatible with your specific outdoor blanket.