Oct 29, 2019

Top 10 Tips for Blanketing with Daniel and Kaitlin Clasing

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

As the colors change and the temperature begins to drop, it's time to think about pulling your blankets out of the barn loft. The correct blanket will help keep your four-legged friend comfortable and warm as the temperature changes, but over- or under-blanketing can lead to trouble.

Upper level event riders Daniel and Kaitlin Clasing share their tips to help you pick the right blanket for the weather and make sure it is properly fitted.

Daniel and Kaitlin Clasing's Top 10 Tips for Blanketing

  1. Touch your horse! Whenever your horse is blanketed, stick a hand under their blanket and feel the tips of their ears. It’s good to have a guideline for blanketing based on temperature but at the end of the day you need to know your horse and what makes them the most comfortable.
  2. With unclipped horses, less is more. Horses are very good at providing protection against the elements if given the chance. Over-rugging clipped horses can lead to skin issues as they can easily overheat and sweat under their blankets.
  3. You can do a lot with a good quality rain sheet. Remember, sheets keep the horses dry while fill keep the horses warm. If you have a blanket with fill that isn’t waterproof you can always throw a sheet on top if you want your horse to stay both warm and dry.
  4. If you’re working out of a busy barn, blanket for the high temperature at the start of the day. As long as horses have access to forage and can move around they can keep themselves warm. Think of those spring or fall days where the temperature can vary up to 20 degrees. It’s easy to think you’ll have time to switch blankets as the day goes on, but if the day gets away from you it’s better to have the horse under-blanketed at the start of the day the over-blanketed as the day goes on.
  5. Layer wisely! If your horse is fully clipped and you find it necessary to layer blankets, do so with efficiency in mind. Check the weather for the next day. If tomorrow you will want your horse in a medium but tonight it’s cold enough to have him in a medium and heavy, put the heavy on top. Layering with weather for the next day in mind makes outfit changes much simpler.
  6. Don’t skimp on coolers. In our barn, if you’re wearing a second layer the horse gets a cooler after work. It’s important to keep the horse’s muscles warm and give them a chance to cool down properly. And don’t be afraid to layer coolers. A scrim under a fleece or wool cooler provides a breathable layer in between a damp horse and the moisture-wicking layer.
  7. Blanket care is worth the additional cost. Clean blankets help keep skin healthy. Plus, a small tear can easily become a huge hole that renders the blanket unusable. Keeping up with blanket repairs will protect your investment.
  8. Pay attention to fit. Poorly fitting blankets are frequently the cause of tears or rubs and are also unsafe for your horse. A shoulder guard can help with rubs, but at the end of the day, a properly fitted blanket with properly adjusted straps is your best defense.
  9. Store blankets for longevity. Once they are cleaned I like to set the blankets up on a pallet and cover them with a tarp. This keeps the blankets off the ground in case there is any moisture and covered so minimal dust builds up.
  10. Keep yourself and your horse safe when blanketing. This may be the most important! Always halter your horse before blanketing so you have control. Secure your blanket in this order: chest straps, tail or leg straps, belly straps last. This way if your horse does become startled and move off suddenly the blanket won’t shift as badly and make the problem worse!
Jan 30, 2023

USEF New Phone and Fax Number

The USEF's main phone number and fax number have changed. We wanted to notify you so you continue to get the support you need.

Jan 30, 2023 Instructors

USEA Podcast #327: All About the Eventing Coaches Program

With the recent wrap-up of the 2023 Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Symposium in Ocala, Florida, USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown chats with ECP Faculty Members Jennifer Howlett Rousseau and Robin Walker about all things related to the ECP. From the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels to the benefits of pursuing certification, selecting the best coach for you, recapping this year's Symposium, and more - this week's USEA podcast is the perfect educational tool for coaches and riders alike!

Jan 29, 2023 Education

3 Steps to More Successful Saddle Time in 2023

Time is precious. Time with your horse even more so. If one of your resolutions for the New Year is to spend more time in the saddle or more time enjoying the barn, you’ll want to implement these best practices to minimize stress and make the most of 2023.

Jan 28, 2023 Membership

Now On Course: Woodrow Goes Wild to Mild

Did you know that there are over 53,000 wild mustangs in holding facilities across the United States? My mustang journey began in February 2018 after losing my heart horse whom I had just shy of 20 years. I wanted another horse of color, and my friend sent me the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) internet adoption link. I was amazed at all of the horses available on the internet auction, but I quickly fell in love with Woodrow. I learned that he was a popular band stallion in Wyoming and had been followed by photographers for close to three years.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA