Cold-Weather Layering for Horses

A brown horse facing left is wearing a dark leather halter and two blankets. The under blanket is a grey stable blanket with horizontal quilting. The top blanket is a blue and grey plaid turnout sheet that is being pulled back to reveal the stable blanket underneath.

This winter, you may be looking for easy, affordable options for keeping your horse cozy and muscles warm. As riders know, dressing in layers makes regulating comfort a snap as temperatures fluctuate during the day—or during a ride. Layering is a great approach for horses, too!

Layering is practical, budget-friendly and space-saving; it requires only a few well-chosen pieces of hardworking horse clothing to keep your horse comfortable. While ready-made blanket bundles and blanket liner systems are available, you can build your own system using pieces that fulfill multiple functions and meet your horse’s specific needs best.

Horse Clothing Base Layers

Start with a breathable base layer your horse can wear when stabled. Its degree of warmth should be suited to the interior temperature of your barn. Here are some of our favorite base layers for horses:

A brown horse is facing left wearing a burgundy Back on Track Mesh Sheet.
  • Chill Chaser: A versatile, tightly woven waffle-like layer, the Chill Chaser serves as an anti-sweat sheet, cooler, show sheet and blanket liner all in one attractive design.
  • Fitted fleece sheet/cooler: As long as the piece secures at the front and has belly surcingles and a tail strap, this cozy, moisture-wicking layer is perfect as a base when it’s not being used to dry your horse.
  • Back on Track® Mesh Sheet: This therapeutic sheet creates a soothing infrared thermal effect to keep a horse’s muscles loose, aid recovery and become less inflamed. And it offers a secure fit.
  • Horseware® Ireland Amigo® Insulator: This barrier against cold has a ripstop outer, a layer of fill and a shine-enhancing lining.
  • Any lightweight or medium-weight quilted stable blanket: This type of blanket tends to fit snugly to a horse’s contours, secures appropriately and has a smooth outer that layers well under a turnout blanket or sheet.

Outer Layers

Time for turnout? Any turnout, from a waterproof sheet to a heavyweight blanket, can go right over your horse’s base layer as protection from the elements. The weight of the turnout is a perfect way to adjust the warmth level to match current weather conditions. Here are some of our favorite turnout layers for horses:

A brown horse with a white stripe on its face is running through a snowy area. The horse is wearing a black turnout blanket with a matching neck cover and a dark leather halter.
  • Turnout sheet: This uninsulated, weatherproof layer deflects wetness and mud without adding much warmth. Depending on your climate, you may use it most of the year, even when a base layer isn’t needed.
  • Medium-weight turnout blanket: This weatherproof blanket will have 200 to 250 grams of insulation to boost warmth provided by the base layer.
  • Neck cover: Suitable for attachment to your specific brand and type of turnout, a neck cover extends weatherproof coverage and holds in body heat around your horse’s neck. Even an uninsulated neck cover will hold in some body heat.

We’d love to hear about your solutions for layering your horse’s clothing any time of year and in any geographic location. Please share your ideas with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *