Properly Adjusting a Horse Blanket for Safety & Security
Simply putting a blanket on your horse is not enough.
As the colder months approach, one of the essential items for keeping your horse warm and protected is a horse blanket. It is crucial to ensure that the straps are properly adjusted to ensure maximum comfort, mobility, and safety for your horse. In this blog post, we will discuss the correct way to adjust the straps on a horse blanket.
Step 1: Start with a Clean and Dust-free Blanket
Before adjusting the straps, make sure the horse blanket is clean and free from any dirt or debris. A dirty blanket can cause discomfort to your horse and may result in skin irritations. Brush or shake off any loose dirt before proceeding further. If your horse, pony, mini or draft needs a new blanket, be sure to check out our collection here.
Step 2: Position the Blanket Properly on Your Horse
Lay the blanket over your horse's back. Make sure it's centered and positioned correctly so that it covers the entire body, including the neck, sides, and hindquarters. The front edge of the blanket should be aligned with the point of the horse's shoulder.
Step 3: Adjust the Surcingle Straps
The surcingle straps are located on the belly of the blanket and are responsible for keeping the blanket in place. Start by adjusting the first surcingle strap. It should be fastened snugly, but not too tight, allowing enough room for your horse to move comfortably, but not so much that they can get a hoof stuck while laying down.
Next, adjust the other surcingle strap. It should be adjusted in a similar manner to the front strap, snug but not overly tight. Ensure that both surcingle straps are of equal length and at the same level along your horse's belly.
Step 4: Check the Leg Straps
The leg straps are designed to prevent the blanket from shifting sideways or becoming tangled underneath your horse's belly. Each leg strap consists of two parts - the front and rear straps.
To adjust the leg straps correctly, start with one strap. It should be fastened around the hind leg, just above the hock joint. Make sure the strap is not too tight or too loose, allowing enough room for your horse to move comfortably.
Next, adjust the other strap. It should be fastened around the other back leg, but looped through the one you previously fastened, so that they are linked. This link will encourage the straps to not lay on the horse's inner leg, which is more comfortable for your horse.
Step 5: Final Adjustments and Safety Checks
After adjusting the straps, double-check everything to ensure a proper fit. Make sure all the straps are straight and even, without any twists. Ensure that the blanket is not pulling too tightly across your horse's withers, shoulders, or hips, as this can cause discomfort or restrict movement.
Check the blanket for any signs of rubbing or pressure points. If you notice any redness or hair loss, readjust the straps or consider using spandex slickers or fleece covers to protect your horse's skin.
Finally, monitor your horse regularly while they are wearing the blanket. Look for any signs of discomfort, rubbing, or chafing. Adjust the straps if needed to ensure your horse remains comfortable, and always address any issues promptly.
Taking the time to properly adjust the straps on a horse blanket is essential for your horse's well-being, comfort, and safety. Follow these steps and remember to check the fit regularly to ensure your horse stays warm and happy throughout the colder months.