Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: March 31, 2021
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When winter is fast approaching, the eternal question of covering up our horse(s) runs through our head. Remember that the horse is not afraid of cold, but humidity and drafts. Blankets, therefore, provide the horse with comfort and protection against bad weather. The start of summer is the best time to think about horse blankets! And yes, it is at this period that the saddlers destock them. They are much cheaper during this time!
Is there a rider who hasn’t asked himself the question: “what is the best blanket for my horse?” But to get the best horse blankets, there are many things to know. Do you want a stable, outdoor, waterproof or drying, fleece, or fly-proof cover? Focusing on models with the best materials, color, weight, value for money, and size, here are our advice and recommendations for choosing the best horse blanket.
One of the best-rated horse turnout blankets on the market, the Amigo Horseware Mio, in our opinion, is the best horse blankets for cold weather. 100% waterproof with a ripstop made of 600-denier polyester, the sheet has no polyfill insulation.
Durable and breathable, the robust outer shell not only stops water from permeating. It hermetically locks water and moisture from penetrating your horse’s body. It doesn’t just resist the weather; it’s also ideal for use in fluctuating weather patterns and temperatures. The polyester lining ensures long-lasting retention of heat, while still allowing the cover to be breathable. It is suitable for pasture and on-the-move horses.
The front closure features two clips that secure the cover to the horse. It also features two surcingles which keep the turnout on the horse. Also, the straps, which are adjustable, offer a comfortable fit. There are a tail flap and a rump strap for complete coverage.
The product is available in two color combinations. You can choose the black, turquoise and black combination or the dark blue, dark blue and red combination. It is available in a wide range of sizes. These include in 48 inches, 51 inches, 57 inches, 60 inches, 66 inches, 69 inches, and 72 inches. There are large sizes such as 75 inches, 78 inches, 81 inches, and 84 inches.
The Deluxe 600D from Derby Originals is among the best winter horse blankets on the market. This model offers the best value for money in this review of the best saddle blankets for horses. It is a type of turnout and completely waterproof cover. The materials it’s made of include nylon for the ripstop exterior and 210 Tex for the inner lining.
Designed for horses’ comforts, the 600D material offers durability and warmness without overheating. For these, the blanket has a triple-layer construction design. This includes the silky soft inner lining, the polyfill insulation with a 250g filling, and the sturdy 600D ripstop.
Cleaning this material is a cakewalk! You can use a soapy rag that is damp to remove debris or mud by wiping. You can also wash it in a washing machine. However, before machine-washing, don’t forget to remove the removable parts like the leg straps, etc. Also, the blanket must be washed with gentle cleaners that are safe for animals. Finally, wash it in the gentle cycle mode and only in lukewarm water. Don’t wash the blanket with fabric softener. This will damage the waterproofness, breathability, and the ability to wick water and sweat away.
One of the best horse blankets for winter, the Derby Originals Blanket is a stable cover constructed to be partially waterproof. Made of nylon and wool liner, the sheet is made to ensure the comfort of your horses during harsh winter and fall weather. The wool lining provides insulation and warmness even while the horse is wet. Also, it wicks away water and sweat from the horse. The canvas lining is sturdy and designed to be used for horses with the roughest nature. Very versatile, the horse blanket is also suitable for use on other equines like mules and donkeys.
The sturdy canvas lining was designed to hold up against even the roughest horses. It prevents snow and rain from permeating into the blanket, getting the horse wet. However, it is not totally waterproof. We, therefore, don’t recommend it for long-term use in damp or wet conditions. Meanwhile, if you need it to be waterproof, you can treat the product with waterproof sprays or durable water repellent (DWR) products.
The product is available in three colors and three size range: 70 inches, 78 inches, and 81 inches.
The TGW Riding is a horse blanket made of 1200 denier polyester material. It is a waterproof, lightweight, turnout cover that is available in 14-color options. It’s an ideal blanket for horses with sensitive withers as it offers additional wither comfort. It features adjustable straps. These will even provide your horse with extra comfort and fitting.
Ideal for horses with rougher characteristics, the blanket is durable, despite being light. While the exterior part is very tough, the blanket’s straps tend to go apart easily. So, if your horse likes to chew or play with the straps or strings, you’ll have to be careful with this sheet.
Furthermore, this product is naturally contoured. This makes the sheet breathable, offering your horse even more comfort. It is one of the best quality horse blankets for horses that want to be comfortable in their paddocks and need extra durability. Overall, the horse blanket is lighter than most in its peer. Hence, it is comfortable to wear on the horse and also take off. Its wither fleece gives better comfort. Breathable, this cover will not cause overheating.
The Tough-1 is a waterproof and turnout horse blanket with 1200 denier polyester material. It is suitable for every weather which may come the way of your horse. It’s ideal for trail riding, camping, or for pasture. The blanket is designed to let vapors from the moisture of the horse to pass away, preventing sweat. It also prevents coldness from the outside, retaining heat from the body. The tail cover provides additional protection against moisture. It has a heavy-duty nylon binding that is doubly-sewn. This binding secures the cover, delivering extra durability. The sewing technique, however, offers extra reinforcements against tears.
It features a 300-gram polyfill that provides protection and warmth from the rain and wind. Also, it has a poly lining made of 210 deniers. This ensures the blanket doesn’t rub against each other, while also helping the coat to remain shiny. The lining also prevents shavings, straw, and hair from getting stuck into the blanket.
For over 30 years, Weatherbeeta has established itself as a pioneering brand in saddling items. They specialize in the design of lines and the search for ever more efficient materials for blankets intended for horses. Would you like to keep your horse healthy, warm, and dry, while being well-ventilated? This Weatherbeeta cover is waterproof and breathable, thanks to the repel shell coating on the outside part of the blanket. It is made of 600 Denier Ripstop polyester. It also features adjustable and removable thigh straps. With no polyfills, the cover will reassuringly keep your beast dry and clean, without getting too hot.
The product features exclusive prints of polar bears in the hats, earmuffs, hats, and sweaters, all on blue backgrounds. It’s available in standard necks, in Medium and Lite insulation brackets. The shoulder gussets make movements easy. Some of its extra features include the removable and adjustable leg straps, the Boa fleece, the tail flap, and the surcingles. The latter ensures the blanket is correctly secured to the horse’s body. The adjustable twin buckle closures also help provide a comfortable and secure fit. The tail flap is a standard one, and it helps cover the horse’s tail. Finally, the model’s fleece pad ensures the blanket doesn’t rub against each other. Overall, coming from a trusted brand, the Weatherbeeta Comfitec is one of the best waterproof winter horse blankets.
What we liked:
Waterproof and breathable
Highly durable material
What could be better:
No Velcro front closure
Things to Consider
Whatever your preference is, you’re going to be spending a lot of money. So you must know what to look for in a horse blanket. Given the wide variety of blankets available on the market, we will only focus on waterproof horse blankets. In this section, you’ll find out some features and criteria to consider before buying one. It will be rounded up by 5 of the most frequently asked questions.
Things to consider before choosing horse blankets
It’s necessary to take into account qualitative criteria to make the right choice of blanket for your horse. From the type, material, grammage, durability, and others, here are some features/criteria to watch out for.
Type: The main horse blankets
There are a large number of models of horse blankets. Unlike shirts, they are designed to provide optimal protection with a higher grammage. In other words, they are heavier and keep warmer.
The waterproof cover: Waterproof turnout horse blankets are used mainly in the fall or winter. These outdoor blankets are sometimes used in the spring when the horse is shorn, which makes it sensitive to bad weather. All the models in our review of the best winter turnout blankets for horses are waterproof except for the Derby Originals Water Repellant Stable Blanket,which is partially waterproof or just water-resistant.
The outdoor or turnout cover: The outdoor cover is intended for horses living in the meadow. It’s also suitable for horses leaving the box into the paddock or the meadow, especially if their fur is short. These are meant to be used in very cold or freezing weather. It is generally thick to provide optimal protection against the cold. Most models are waterproof, providing additional protection against rain.
Full coverage blankets: This outdoor cover model includes a neck cover, which can be removable or detachable. It is intended for horses living at altitude, in cold regions, or for those particularly sensitive or recovering from illness.
The stable cover: It is designed for use in a horse trailer or box. Most models are padded and not waterproof. They protect against the cold and light blows, preventing possible injuries during transport.
Drying shirt: Indoor shirt, it is absorbent and allows you to dry your horse after exercise. Just put it on the horse for a few minutes, and the fabric will fully absorb all moisture.
The polar cover: This is designed to protect against drafts. It is useful both in the box and in the meadow as an alternative to the outdoor cover. It is neither too hot nor too cold. Beware of bad weather, however, because it is not waterproof.
The fly or honeycomb shirt: In spring as in summer, insects can disturb the horses while grazing. This is particularly dangerous if the horses can be infected. This type of shirt is best for the equine in this situation and allows it to graze freely.
The simple cotton shirt: Offering light protection, it is particularly suitable for the box. It can be used outdoors while being alert to the weather.
Nylon, polypropylene, and polyester are all slightly breathable. But it is, above all, the treatments applied to fabrics that develop their breathability as well as their impermeability. The polycotton lining, also called fleece (75% polyester and 25% cotton, for example), is preferable to cotton. It wicks away more moisture linked to perspiration. It wears less quickly and washes more easily. Natural wool is also used for some blankets; they are very warm even if they are not necessarily thicker than fleece blankets. The fabrics are treated to become waterproof. There is, in particular, a Teflon treatment, for example, which is very practical. The horse can stay in the rain all day and stay dry in it! Cotton is also used alone for shirts; it is only used to protect the horse, especially during transport. Microfiber has also appeared in the drying section. These are the primary materials used for horse blankets. Of course, the list is not exhaustive! There are constant innovations! But of all these, polyester is the most popularly used material in the best turnout blankets for horses. These can be seen in the review. Of the six recommended models, the Derby Originals Water Repellant Stable Blanket, made of nylon and wool, is one of the two models not made of polyester. It is the least waterproof blanket, but it is still water-resistant.
How do you choose the size of the horse blanket? This is THE question you will face for a moment! Indeed the sizes can vary according to the type of the cover and the brand! Here’s a little guide!
Total dimension in cm
in feet and inches
of the back
0m70 to 0m80
0m80 to 1m00
1m00 to 1m10
1m10 to 1m20
1.20m to 1.30m
1m30 to 1m50
1m50 to 1m60
1.60m to 1.70m
The best thing is to measure your horse and take a meter with you when you go to the tack room to get the blanket(s) of your choice! The theoretical dimension of the back corresponds to the usual sizes, such as 125 or 145. This involves measuring the horse from the withers at the base of the tail. But with the covers that go up on the neck, this measurement loses its meaning. The total dimension is more important. Measure from the middle of your horse’s chest to the back of its thigh. This corresponds to the front of the cover (where the fasteners are) to the back of the cover.
Straps, flaps and other fixing devices
The blankets must have fixing devices so they can always be adjusted appropriately. Otherwise, the blanket will interfere with or even injure your horse. The covers must have straps and flaps that are easily adjustable and in good numbers. The double chest closures, the presence of leg straps, or the crossed over-straps ensure good fixation.
The idea is simple: the higher the density of the padding, the heavier the cover. So the grammage is important. A very warm blanket will have a high grammage while an unlined blanket will have no grammage. The different grams are part of the basics to look for when buying horse blankets.
Here is a small table to guide you on the different blankets for horses according to the weight.
Cotton shirt, microfiber, anti-fly
From 80 to 100 grams
Waterproof fleece-lined shirt
From 80 to 100 grams
From 200 to 400 grams
300 grams to 600 grams
The horse blankets will get dirty and must be reusable. So, the ease of maintenance of the blankets is also an important criterion to consider. Therefore, you may be looking to choose a model that is both hand-washable and machine-washable. Blankets made of softer materials such as nylon and wool, like the Derby Originals Deluxe 600D model are easier to maintain. However, note that they may not have high performance in terms of their practicality. So, you have to access your needs, situation, and find a balance.
Before cleaning the covers, always remove as much hair and other foreign bodies embedded in them. The non-waterproof blankets can be placed in machine at low temperature and with a slight spin, preferably. The waterproof blankets should not be put in machines, or it may lose its water repellency. The best means of cleaning is to scrub with a brush with lukewarm water and mild soap. This has the least possible impact on the qualities of the fabric. When you’re done, let it dry thoroughly in the open air, out of the sun.
Alternatively, there are specialized dry cleaning services to look on the net. They offer services such as the cleaning of all textile articles, waterproofing, repairs, etc. They often even have a collection and delivery service.
The environment of the horse
Does your horse live in the meadow? Or does it have to go out to the paddock during the day, and you do not want to change the cover? It is essential to choose a waterproof cover or outdoor cover like the Tough-1 1200D or AMIGO Horseware Mio.The exterior cover has the property of being waterproof. The fabrics and seams are ideal for protecting your horse from bad weather. They, of course, have thigh straps to help keep the blanket in place. The particularity of waterproof covers is found in the presence of gussets and a tail flap. While the former helps for better mobility, the latter protects from wind and weather.
The so-called “stable or box” covers are not waterproof and are therefore reserved for horses who are permanently sheltered. They are designed to provide maximum comfort to the horse who lives in the box.
The contribution of heat: the grammage
Choose the level of warmth of your blanket according to your region, ambient temperatures (outside or in the stable), and according to the clipping of your horse. An uncarved horse already has a natural contribution of heat thanks to its hair. It is not always necessary to cover it. On the contrary, it is essential to cover a shorn horse because it is deprived of its natural protection. For the comfort of your horse, it is necessary to adapt the blanket it wears during the winter season. Also, you will need several sheets to always adjust the level of heat depending on outside temperatures. A warm blanket for the start and end of the season and a very warm blanket for frigid weather.
So, what makes one blanket warmer than the other? Here, we will have to look at the grammage level of the cover, i.e., the quantity of cotton wool inside the product. A 300 gram blanket will be warmer than a 200 gram, but less than a 500-gram model.
The same is true for stable blankets: Stable 200, Stable 400, or Indoor 200. It’s up to you to adapt the cover according to your horse. Is it a little more or less chilly, according to the climates? Is it more or less humid, according to the temperatures, especially if actual and felt temperatures are out of step? It is possible to multiply the layers to bring a little more warmth to your horse. It is not uncommon to see a fleece under a large blanket. Make sure that the two layers do not injure your horse through friction. Do not forget to take into account the thermal amplitude. This can be quite strong in specific regions or at certain times of the year. This means you can have relatively cold temperatures at night and in the morning, which quickly become mild during the day. In this case, it is best to change the cover between night and day time for more comfort for your horse.
Resistance: expressed in denarii (D)
The resistance of a blanket is particularly vital if your horse lives in the meadow (friction with the trees, etc.) It’s also essential if it is the type that uses its teeth on the fabrics or the straps.
The resistance of the material is expressed in deniers. The more the cover has a large number of denarii (between 200 and 2000 on average), the more reliable it will be. The denier tells you the weight in grams of the thread of the fabric for a length of 9 meters long. Here’s a small example: A 600 denier fabric indicates a weight of 600 grams for 9 meters long. This will correspond to excellent material.
On the other hand, a material of 1200 denier will be much thicker and resistant because it weighs 1200 grams for 9 meters long. So the more a blanket has a large number of deniers, the more sturdy it will be because the more it is woven fine! Most often, covers are found between 600 and 1200 denier. While models such as the TGW RIDING and Tough-1 have 1200D resistance, the trio of Derby Originals Deluxe, Weatherbeeta Comfitec Essential Standard, and AMIGO Horseware Mio have 600D resistance. If your horse tends to tear his blankets, this criterion should not be overlooked. An outdoor or turnout cover is more reliable against tearing than a stable cover.
The evaporation of sweat: Some fabrics allow evaporation to escape to the outside. This enables your equine to stay dry. A blanket or shirt performing this function is indicated by the expression “breathable fabric” or “weaving.”
Sealing or impermeability: The fabric prevents water from entering. A turnout cover generally includes a waterproof material on the outside and another fleece or quilted type on the inside. A waterproof cover is made of simple waterproof fabric. Note that, for optimal comfort and safety, a material should be both waterproof and breathable.
Anti-UV treatment: Some models offer additional protection against ultraviolet radiation. This is particularly important for protecting the horse during long summer days in the meadow.
Layout and solidity of seams: The higher the range, the more reliable the seams. The thermo-welded seams offer optimal comfort. On the other hand, the seams on the top are not recommended because the wear of these causes the loss of waterproofness of the cover, exposing the horse to water.
First, the stable covers are blankets for more or less warm weather. They are not waterproof. They can be used in the box. The goal is to protect the horse from the cold. It is often used for shorn horses to replace the hair and keep it warm. The outdoor, meadow, or turnout blanket is a cover intended to protect the horse from very cold weather. It is, therefore, waterproof. This blanket must be able to withstand outdoor life. It must be resistant, especially if Kiki lives with wild and fierce friends. It can be warm or only waterproof (we speak of a waterproof shirt in this case). The only significant difference with the box cover is its waterproofness. You can easily use it in the box.
You can clean the blanket in a laundromat or at a specialized service provider. You can also have a more thorough cleaning, with the possibility of having it disinfected against the presence of micro, small, tiny, unwanted tenants. In preparation for the next cold and rainy season, it is also possible to re-waterproof your meadow blanket after washing. In use, textiles with water-repellent properties deteriorate faster. The water-repellent treatment layer gradually disappears. Note that frequent washing will quickly further alter the waterproof properties of the fabric. It is therefore advisable that before reusing these blankets at the start of the season, you apply a layer of special waterproofing product for blankets. Re-waterproofing is the best way to repair horse blankets that are starting to seep water in. You can also take the opportunity to give your blanket a facelift. You may try to repair broken or chewed loop by your horse. You can even try to fix a seam that has given way. It’s a way to start on the right foot next winter. You will not have to buy a blanket at the last minute. You may also not have time to have it repaired by then. Cleaning the blankets of your pet not only saves money over time. More importantly, you greatly limit the spread of diseases caused by parasites and other fungi and bacteria that blankets can shelter over time.
To precisely calculate the cover size for your horse, calculate the length between the withers and the tip of the tail. You can also measure it from the tip of the shoulder to the middle of the tail. Remember that a cover that is too tight will rub and compress the shoulders. This will hinder the movements of your horse. Meanwhile, a bigger size may result in the turning and injuring of the tourniquet.
Clean blankets should remain stored throughout the summer. Make sure they are brought in while they are very dry so that they do not rot or develop molds. Fold them carefully in a suitable cover or at worst in a large bag. It will be necessary to choose a place sheltered from pests (insects, rodents, etc.), which could damage them.
Do not leave the blankets on the outside in stable bars. They will discolor in the sun, be invaded by insects, or be prey to rodents. They may be damaged and lose their waterproofness or other qualities.
Beware of washing machines, detergents, and wringing. Also, high temperatures are often too aggressive and deteriorate the qualities of the blankets. Ditto for dryers. They are to be avoided altogether.
The Karcher can be a solution for a pre-cleaning. However, ensure that the pressure is not too strong. This may damage the breathable and waterproof properties of the fabrics.
The horse naturally adapts to climatic variations. However, it is sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. In extreme cold or after exercise, it becomes vulnerable and can get sick. To protect it, it should be covered with a blanket or shirt. Before making your choice, it is essential to know the specific uses of a horse blanket and shirt. Then, it is necessary to determine, according to the living environment of your equine, the most suitable blanket characteristics. Finally, you need to know what is the appropriate size, resistance, weight, material, etc.
Thanks to our researches and user recommendations, we’ve cherry-picked three best horse blankets. The Derby Originals Water Repellant Stable Blanket, the partially waterproof model with nylon and wool materials, is our Budget Pick. It is one of the best for stable horses. The Derby Originals Deluxe 600D is regarded as the best product with the Best Value. This is thanks to its complete accessories, waterproofness, and outdoor usability. The AMIGO Horseware Mio, the Editor’s Choice, is the standard-bearer for quality blankets. Made of 600D polyester, the turnout blanket is fully waterproof and comes in different sizes and colors.