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Tips for Fitting Blankets or Sheets
The best way to put a sheet or horse blanket on your horse is to tie or cross-tie him or have someone hold him so that his movements are limited. Fasten closures working from the front to the back. By starting at the chest closure and working toward the belly surcingles and finally the leg straps, the blanket is more stable should your horse suddenly move. For the same reason, the best way to unfasten a blanket is to start at the back and work your way to the front.

Follow these steps to determine whether a blanket or turnout sheet fits correctly for the comfort of your horse.

    1) Place the garment on your horse and fasten the chest closure. The fabric at the chest should be able to overlap, with the buckle or clip adjustment somewhere near the middle. When the chest closure is fastened appropriately, the tail seam should sit at the point where you want the clothing to end. This point corresponds to the measurement you took as described in How to Measure Your Horse for a Blanket, and is a matter of personal preference.

    2) If the blanket seems appropriate after Step 1, adjust the belly surcingle(s). Your blanket may have a belly band, two bias (angled) surcingles that should cross under the belly, or one or two straight surcingles. No matter what type you have, these straps should be set so that you can slide only one flat hand between the strap and the belly. If you can fit more than this, then there is enough room for a horse's leg to become entangled while lying down or rolling. Less than this amount of space can cause the blanket to rub the horse.

    3) If the blanket has leg straps, then pass the left strap through the horse's hind legs and clip it to the dee ring on the left side of the blanket. Cross right leg strap through the left leg strap and clip it to the dee ring on the right side. These straps should be adjusted so that you can fit only one hand's width between the strap and the inside of the leg. If they are too long and hang down to the horse's hocks, then a leg can become entangled. If the straps are too short, they may inhibit movement and may rub the tender insides of the gaskin or groin area.

    4) If the blanket has a tail strap, it should be adjusted so that you have about a hand's width between the strap and the horse.

    5) With fastenings done, stand back and look at the overall effect of the clothing on your horse. The shoulders of the blanket should not be stretched tightly over your horse's shoulders, yet the blanket should not appear too large either. The hem should not hang at the horse's knees or below. If the neck opening is too large or too wide, then your horse could get its foot caught in the opening while lying down or rolling, and it may rub your horse's shoulders.


For more assistance or to request a catalog call 1-800-989-1500. Or, stop by any of our retail stores to speak with a Dover Saddlery product adviser. Visit www.DoverSaddlery.com for a complete store listing and the full product offering.

Related Topics:
How to Measure Your Horse for a Blanket
About Blanketing and Horse Clothing
How and Why to Use an Exercise Rug
How to Body Clip a Horse