Blankets are designed to cover majority of the horses body to protect the horse from the winter elements; winter weight blankets are generally used. A winter weight turnout horse blanket is also used when trailering a horse to prevent the fluctuating temperature from giving the horse a chill.
Blankets are design to fit around a horses body from chest to rump, attaching with straps under the horse in order to prevent shifting of the horse blanket. This allows the horse to still move about freely. Horse blankets normally have buckles at the front as well to prevent movement. Some blankets require you to slip them over the horses head which can be challenging with a winter turnout blanket due to the overall weight. Horse blankets can also come with removable straps that are designed to loop lightly around the horse's hind legs in order to prevent the blanket from shifting sideways while the horse is in the stall.
Turnout blankets are commonly used when a horse is on pasture, in a stall or being trailered. Turnout blankets are manufactured for all weather conditions. Heavy weight turnout blankets are normally made with a thick canvas type material and lined with a flannel material, normally they will be water resistant but not necessarily water proof. Light weight winter turnout horse blankets are made with a rayon canvas material with no liner and are also water resistant but not necessarily water proof. Spring or fall turnout horse blankets are normally water proof made with a water proof type material.
Turnout horse blankets are also used to keep a horse from growing a winter coat, by blanketing in the autumn, while the seasonal change occurs a light turnout horse blanket is required. Turnout horse blankets will need to be applied at all times if the horse has been blanketed in the autumn.
For the summer months a flysheet turnout horse blanket can be applied to ward off mosquitoes, horse, deer, bot and house flies. This type of turnout horse blanket is commonly referred to as a flysheet. This turnout horse blanket is normally made of a nylon based material, it is very light weight and breathable. Fly sheets are becoming more popular due to the high number of insects.
Blankets can also come with neck covers or a full hood. Neck covers are normally attached directly to the turnout horse blanket, hoods are a separate piece all together and can be purchased individually. A full horse blanket is used before a show to keep the horse clean and or to protect the horse from insects.
A well know brand to look for when purchasing a turnout blanket is Rambo blankets. They also carry a wide range of saddle blankets for individuals looking to keep the horse dry or warm while under extreme exercising conditions.
In colder parts of the country winter turnout blankets can come in handy; especially the winter fleece horse blanket. This all purpose blanket can be used for ponies, companion horses and show horses.
Various types of horse blankets available for different temperature zones are Rug turnout sheets, fly sheets, light weight waterproof, fleece blanket, light weight winter and heavy weight winter.