Selecting a Stable Blanket for Your Horse


♘ مدیریت انجمن اسب ایران ♞
Features to look for when selecting a stable blanket for your horse.

By Jayne Pedigo

Beauty is as Beauty Does
When I first got involved with horses, some 30 years ago, stable blankets in England came in one style -- jute, with central surcingle and a fillet string (a plaited string going from the back of one side to the back of the other and fitting loosely under the horse's tail). It usually had a wool lining and we often put extra blankets on underneath. They kept the horses warm, but often would have slipped to the side by morning.

Since then of course, many variations have been introduced. Quilted stable blankets are very popular nowadays and improvements in the legs straps and surcingles mean that the rug stays in place better and is less likely to slip. The outer shells are often nylon or other synthetic materials and are available in a myriad of colors and can be selected to match your stable's colors. The insulation is usually polyfill of differing weights, depending on how warm you need it to be.

The newest stable blankets have all the latest in space-age technology. Fabrics have improved so much in recent years that bulk is no longer necessary for warmth. Primaloft (TM) insulation, for example, is half the weight of holofill, but three times as warm. Coolmax fabric is often used for linings as it wicks moisture away from the horse's skin, keeping him warm and dry.
Many stable blankets come with bias (or cross) surcingles and some with a central surcingle and leg straps. Whichever design the rug you select has, make sure to adjust the straps correctly for the comfort of your horse and also to help stop the rug from shifting in use.

Other useful features to look for are shoulder gussets, which give the horse room to move and alleviate pressure on the shoulders, and a nylon lining in the shoulder region, which lessens the chance of the rug rubbing the hair and causing bald spots. Avoid rugs with over-large neck openings as the rug will tend to slide back and pull more on the horse's shoulder.

Measuring your Horse for his Stable Blanket
The way to measure a horse for his stable blanket is the same as for turnout blankets, anti-sweat sheets or summer sheets. The measurement is taken from the middle of the horses chest, all the way back to the tail.

This height chart will give you an additional guide:
Horse Size
(In Hands) Rug 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 1/2 - 16 74"
16 - 16 1/2 76"
16 1/2 - 17 1/2 78" - 80"
18 82" - 84"