Bridles & Baubles

Bundle Up

We are anticipating our first blast of cold air this weekend with possible wind chills in the 40's and 50's. While I am excited about the changing temps, I am not sure my show horses with their fine, shiny hair coats will appreciate the chilly blast. Plus, with fall shows on the horizon I want to avoid them getting cold enough to start growing hair. Time to dig out the winter blankets!

I recently had to order a new blanket for my yearling filly, her weanling blanket from last winter just won't do. I determined her new size by measuring from the center of her chest to her tail, this measurement determines what size she will wear (FYI she is now in a 72, can't believe how much she has grown). 

Here is a great visual on how to measure a horse for a blanket:

In all my years of showing I have tried a lot of blankets and my two favorites are Bob Avila's Northwest Stable Blanket and Schneider's Stable Blankets. Their mid-weight is perfect for keeping horses warm that stay in a barn as well as easily fit into the washing machine. I can't stand dirty, smelly horse blankets, so mine get washed weekly and these two brands stand up beautifully to wear and tear from my horses as well as the wear and tear of weekly washings. Both brands tend to fit the quarter horse body better than other european brands that are made for leggy, narrow breeds.

They are also cut back from the withers a bit so there is no chance of the blanket rubbing out any part of the mane. The Schneider's blankets are available with a belly strap or a belly band which provide more warmth while helping keep the blanket in place. I also like the stretchy, detachable (and replaceable) back leg straps on the Schneider's blankets because I have had many a sewn on back strap ripped off while a horse was running and playing.

Bob Avila's blankets are available at AvilaProShop.com and Schneider's blankets are available at SSTack.com.

Bob Avila's Northwest Stable Blanket:

Schneider's Adjusta-Fit Bellyband Blanket:

Although a blanket will help keep your horse warm and deter the growth of hair the best way to keep your show horse hair free in the winter is to make sure they are under 16 hours of natural and/or artificial light each day. Having a timer on your lights in your barn will help ensure they get the right amount of light.

Scout wearing her Schneider's blanket last winter: