Did you know that there are approximately 400 breeds of the domestic horse, all of whom are classified as grazers? Savvy horse owners don’t need to be reminded about the importance of fleece blankets for horses and cover for horse neck whenever temperatures drop. Even so, horse dressing when riding in cold weather is a matter that should not be overlooked. There is no doubt that horses warm up when working, but pre-preparation is always essential as a way of preventing injuries as well as keeping the horse comfortable.
Picture your horse munching on hay with the best blanket for horses on, only for you to remove the blanket and start tacking up. You then wear your equestrian riding helmet and immediately hop on expecting supple, flexible muscles coupled with a responsive, even-tempered mount. In the meantime, the horse is trying its best to take its body temperature a notch higher to what it was with the blanket on. The point here is that your horse needs ample preparation before embarking on a winter ride because the muscles are usually tight and need to move before heating up. Keep reading to know how to make winter riding a rewarding experience for you and your horse!
Quarter sheets for horses help in protecting your horse’s uncovered hindquarters and back, to wick traces of moisture, as well as help gradual cooling down to prevent chills. Quarter sheets also play an essential role in keeping the uncovered area temperate when you are warming up and grooming.
Also,there are quarter sheets for horses that remain secured beneath the saddle whereas others keep you warm because they are fastened over your legs.
Anti-sweat Coolers and Sheets
Anti-sweat coolers and sheets also come in handy during, before, and after riding transitions. Just like a fleece blanket for a horse, they cover the majority of the horse’s body, given that they are bigger than quarter sheets. The fact that they are made of materials that help wick moisture makes them ideal for keeping your horse warm and dry.
Anti-sweat sheets are ideal for mild weather conditions such as during fall or spring when there is the need to wick moisture with no need to offer much warmth. Mostly made of cotton, anti-sweat sheets are knitted in most cases and have ventilation holes to shield the horse from overheating during warm weather.
As the word suggests, coolers are ideal during cool weather when it becomes necessary to offer both warmth and wick moisture. Some of them are in the form of big rectangular fabrics having attachments near your horse’s tail and ears. This style ensures the horse’s neck remains covered, not to mention the fabric comes off and goes on easily and quickly. On the flip side, this also means that the fabric can move out of its rightful place, possibly spooking the horse and consequently tripping on the cooler. It is for this reason that the better part of coolers in the market today come with a belly surcingle and chest straps.
Most coolers are made of fleece fabric due to its ability to insulate heat, wick moisture not to mention the ease of washing and drying. This explains why most horse owners consider a fleece blanket for a horse a must-have. Should you prefer a non-rectangular cover for horse neck, you will be glad to know that some coolers have a neck combo.
When Should You Blanket Your Horse?
Always keep in mind that every horse is unique, and the same goes for blanketing. A clipped horse is definitely in more need of a fleece blanket for a horse than another horse that has a heavy winter coat. After your horse’s coat gets wet due to factors such as precipitation and sweat, the horse becomes more prone to the cold. Therefore, it is essential to have your horse cool down appropriately during winter, more so after sweating. Aging horses, smaller horses, underweight horses, and horses in the new environment tend to have a higher sensitivity to the cold than stockier and bigger horses. Don’t hesitate to buy your horse a warm fleece blanket for a horse should you see him/her shivering.