Choosing the Right Blanket

Horse Blanket Bible

A guide to using, choosing and caring for an equine winter wardrobe

Brought to you by Kensington Protective Products and the Equine Network

Adapted from articles on and in Horse & Rider and EQUUS magazines by Lee Foley,
April Fingerlos, Elaine Pascoe, Jayne D. Wilson, Michelle Anderson and the editors of EQUUS

oes your horse need to be blanketed this winter?
Here are some hints to help you decide, plus tips on
blanket types, fi t and maintenance.

Blanketing Candidates

Kensington’s Roustabout Foal Blanket is 100% waterproof and highlybreathable. It’s adjustable to protect little ones as they grow.

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Blanket Lingo

Demystify the blanket-buying process with this handy guide to horse blanket lingo.

Common Blanket Terms

blanket from the back down the side of the horse. European Cuts drop a couple inches below the belly.

Leg Straps: Detachable straps minimize blanket repair costs.

Seams: Taped seams protect against leaking.

Linings: Nylon linings aid grooming, distributing oils without absorbing.

Material Matters

Denier: Think thread count in bed sheets. The higher the denier, the stronger and more expensive the blanket.Buy the highest quality you can afford.

Cordura®: Synthetic nylon resistant to abrasion,fungi, mold, mildew and rot.

Ballistic nylon: A synthetic designed to withstand a severe beating. Typically greater than 1050 denier.

Rip-stop nylon: A lightweight nylon. A special cross-hatch pattern resists ripping and tearing.

Hollow fiberfill: A polyester fiber that resists water, is machine washable and offers a high insulation value. It provides uniform warmth and maintains its shape.

Measure Twice, Buy Once

Fitting a Horse Blanket Here’s how to get the perfect fit.

All you need is a cloth measuring tape
(or a string that can be placed on a rigid measuring tape).

1. Stand your horse up squarely on a level surface.

2. Take the end of the tape in your left hand and place it in the center of the chest.

Measuring for a blanket

3. With your right hand, draw the tape along the side, across the widest part of his shoulder, keeping the tape level and taut.

4. Bring the tape to the midpoint of
the buttock (about 10 to 12 inches below the place where the tail joins
the body).

5. Note the measurement. If you come

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out with an odd number, round up to the next even number for a Traditional or Standard-Cut blanket. If purchasing a European-Cut blanket,reduce the measurement by 2 inches.

Exact measurments are best for getting the perfect blanket fit; however, you can also approximate blanket size based on horse height using the following chart:

Horse Size
(In Hands)
Blanket Size
11 1/2 58” – 60”
12 -13 1/2 64”
13 1/2 – 14 1/2 68”
14 1/2 -15 1/2 72”
15 12 – 16 74”
16 – 16 1/2 76”
16 1/2 – 17 1/2 78”- 80”
18 82” – 84”

Horse blankets are available in Traditional

Traditional and European Cuts. Traditional Cuts are ideal for horses with broad chests (Quarter Horses) and high withers (Thoroughbreds). Kensington offers
specialized cuts for Minatures, Shetland Ponies, Friesians and draft horses.

Comparing Blanket Cuts European Vs Traditional

European Cut Features Traditional Cut Features
Seamless Back Contoured Back and Rear
Loose Fit Cut Back Neck
Longer Drop Single Belly Strap
High Neck
Criss Cross
Belly Strap

Assessing Blanket Fit

Blanket Fit

Check the Following Areas for Fit:

Kensington’s Protective Sheet creates
an “igloo” pocket.

weights of
or opt to
use layers.
The use of a protective sheet over a blanket keeps snow and ice off the blanket, provides insulation and protects the layers below
from dirt.

A blanket
layering system
includes several
blankets that
work together as
one heavy blanket
or as separate
layers, much like
a winter coat
with a zip-out

Kensington’s 4 All Seasons – 3
Layer Blanket System

Do Your Laundry

To extend the life of your blankets and protect the health of your horse, regularly wash your blankets or have them professionally laundered. If not removed prior to storage, manure, urine, mud and molding hay can damage
your blanket.

Is your horse’s blanket ready for use again this season? Here are some potential signs of trouble:

  • rips and frays in the fabric
  • separated seams or areas
    where the seams are loosening
  • snaps that no longer work
  • elastic that is losing its stretchiness
  • evidence of damage from mice or
  • missing or broken buckles
  • fleece that has matted flat
  • mold or mildew
  • rips and frays in the fabric

If you have blankets that need repair, check to see if they are covered by manufacturer’s warranties. If the blanket
has any rips

or tears, they will become worse in the wash.
A simple whipstitch is an easy way to make quick repairs to tears before laundering. Treat frays with an anti-fray glue such as Fray Stop,available at craft and fabric stores. Heat from a lighter will also stop frays by melting individual threads of synthetic fabrics. Reinforce a blanket’s waterproofing with Kiwi’s Camp Dry (available at sporting stores) or one specifically made

for horse blankets. Use on the outside of the blanket only, focusing on seams or patches. When torn blankets are beyond repair, keep straps, clips, fabric and buckles for future repairs.

Blanket Repair Kit

  • Blanket Pins
  • Extra buckles and straps
  • Blanket wash or mild detergent
  • Upholstery needle
  • Thick thread or embroidery floss
  • Febreze
  • Camp Dry or other waterproofing product
  • Lighter
  • Patches or blanket repair tape

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We’ve got you covered.

Kensington’s 100% waterproof and windproof turnouts are available in sizes from miniature to draft. Innovative technologies, premium fabrics and hardware, quality craftsmanship – that’s the Kensington difference. We’ve got the right blanket for your horse, budget and weather.See all of our blanket collections at

2012 Official Blanket of the ASPC/AMHR