Presented by: Larissa W. Cox, M.Sc. Applied Equine Science
You’ve just purchased a new blanket for your horse but when you get home and try it on, it doesn’t fit. What went wrong? If you want to blanket your horse for winter, careful measurements will ensure a perfect fit and here’s how to get it right the first time.
Stand your horse squarely.
I prefer to stand on the horse’s left when I take measurements, but it’s really up to you. Using a tape measure, start at the point where your horse’s neck meets the center of his chest. See the picture below.
Measure across the widest part of his shoulder to the edge of his tail (about 10 - 12 inches below where his tail joins his body). If you measure too low on the chest, the blanket will be too small. If you don't keep the tape taut or level, you'll be adding inches to the final measurement and then your blanket will be too big.
Blanket sizing either runs in 2 inch increments (66, 68, 70, etc.) or 3 inch increments (66, 69, 72, etc). If you horse falls between sizes, it's best to go up to the next larger size. You may also want to think about whether you will be layering this blanket, if so, add an inch or two.
However, even if you measure there may be times where the blanket just doesn’t fit as measurements vary from one manufacturer to the next.
Baker, Blue Ribbon and Saratog Blankets run true to size.
Rambo, Rhino, Amigo, Triple Crown it is recommended by Horseware to measure from the center of your horse’s chest to the center of the tail and then subtract 4 inches. However, many owners prefer to subtract 2 inches rather than the 4 inches for a better fit.
I tend to keep a journal of blanket manufacture fit so the next time I purchase a blanket, I'll know whether to add or subtract my measurement. Also, check your horse measurement yearly as weight gain plays a factor in a proper fitting blanket. Don't just assume that as your horse was a size 78 last year, that this year he'll be the same size!