Blanketing is fantastic tool for horses that are more vulnerable to cold, damp weather; seniors who can’t keep weight on, sensitive horses, clipped horse, horses in training that get sweaty, horses that go indoors and outdoors, heath compromised horses, etc. Note: it is a lawful requirement for horses to have access to adequate shelter. Horse blankets can be a great addition to assist in your horses well-being.
Below are some common blanketing mistakes:
1) Over heating your horse by over blanketing
Horses can over heat which results in heat stress and can also cause sores under their blankets. It’s better to have a horse on the cooler side than too hot. One blanket is not suitable for all weather conditions. There is every type, thickness, size, durability, water resistance, coverage blanket out there. Make sure you know what you are buying and when you would use that specific blanket.
2) Blankets not fitting properly
Blankets can start rubbing on withers and shoulders, slide to the side amd some horses can even escape from their blanket, etc. The tail flap seam should be at the top of the tail. Make sure you have the properly sized horse blanket. Tip: measure the length of your horses body by measuring from the centre of the chest to the middle of the tail in inches.
3) Over tightening the chest straps
Your horse should be able to move freely under the blanket without it slipping. You should be able to slide your hand down the neck of the blanket. 4) Failing to cross the belly straps
Blankets with double belly straps are to be crossed. The cross needs to be in the centre of the belly, leaving a hands width (2.5 to 4 inches) of space between the straps and the horses belly.
3)Failing to loop the leg straps together
The leg straps are looped together to prevent the leg straps from rubbing and prevent the blanket from slipping when the horse rolls. ie. left leg strap clips to left side of the blanket, right leg strap loops through the left leg strap before clipping to the right side of the blanket
4)Failing to remove the blanket in correct sequence
When putting on a horse blanket always buckle the horse blanket front to back (chest straps, than belly straps, than leg straps).
When removing a blanket, always unbuckle the straps back to front (Leg straps, than belly straps, than chest straps). This is to ensure the blanket doesn’t slip creating a hazard if the horse is moves while putting on or removing the blanket.
6)Stable sheets used as turnout sheets
Stable sheets are not waterproof and some do not have leg straps. If stable sheets are going to be used outdoors they need to be under a waterproof blanket like a rain sheet or winter sheet and should have leg straps to prevent slipping.
Blankets can offer many benefits but if not done correctly it can create hazards for your horse.
Weatherbeeta. (N.d.). How to your horse blanket. Reference from https://www.weatherbeeta.com/how-to-fit-your-horse-blanket
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