Horses can be rough on their blankets, so sometimes a bit of mid-season horse blanket care and cleaning is required to help your blankets be as functional as they can. After being worn for a couple months, there are a few challenges that arise with blankets in the middle of the season, and we have the solutions for all your horse blanket care needs!
Challenge: My beautiful horse blanket is caked in mud and dirt!
Solution: You should only wash your blankets once a year at the end of the season, as over-washing can damage the integrity of the blanket. While mud and dirt on the exterior of a blanket does not affect the blanket’s functionality, it does look unsightly. Spruce up your blanket’s visual appeal by first letting any wet mud dry completely; then use a hard brush, Brillo pad or grill scrubber to remove the caked dirt from the fabric.
Challenge: The hook-and-loop closures on my blanket aren’t sticking well anymore!
Solution: Refresh hook-and-loop closures with a hook-and-loop brush to remove shavings and dirt that have gotten stuck in the material. This kind of brush has wire bristles which work wonderfully to make hook-and-loop closures work like new again.
Challenge: My horse was out in the rain/snow all day and my blanket is soaking wet!
Solution: Hang your blanket on a swinging arm blanket rack like the 3 Arm Rug Rack or the European Horse Clothing Rack. These types of blanket racks allow air to circulate around the blanket, which helps the exterior of the blanket dry completely faster. Make sure to flip the blanket inside out and hang it that way as well if it has gotten wet on the underside at all.
Challenge: My tail cords and leg strap snaps are covered in manure- the snaps won’t open and close!
Solution: Soak leg straps or tail cords once a week in warm water to remove manure buildup. It’s also a good idea to have extra leg straps on hand in case one gets broken too much to repair. If your tail cords are routinely becoming too dirty from manure, you can replace them with the Rambo® Bungee Tail Cords, which are plastic-coated for very easy cleaning.
Challenge: My horse ripped his blanket!Solution: While most blankets are very durable, rips and tears do sometimes happen. Some rips are bad enough that the blanket needs to be replaced, but temporary repairs can be done with heavy-duty waxed thread or a blanket repair kit like this one from Horseware®, which includes nylon patches, Stormsure glue and easy instructions.
With our arsenal of blanket accessories and replacement parts, horse blanket care and maintenance throughout the winter is easy. It’s always a good idea to have spare replacement parts, such as surcingle stoppers, elastic surcingles, clip replacements and the leg straps we mentioned before, around the barn for when they are needed, so your blanket is always in functional condition.
Let us know in the comments how you maintain your blankets through the season!
I’d like to add that Gorilla Tape works wonderfully for blanket repairs. My horse put a 12″ x 12″ tear in his sheet when he caught it on a door latch. The gorilla tape lasted the rest of the season through mud, freezing temps, and lots of snow. It even stayed waterproof.
yes the Gorilla tape does work for me as long as you can get it on in non freezing temps, once it’s stuck good it will last pretty well
Jan. 14,2015 Huntingdon, Quebec.
I store my winter blankets in th spring on hooks (don’t throw them in a pile in
a corn or or in a wheelbarrow, etc because they will smell too much). When the warm weather comes, lay them out on a patio, the grass, your driveway, and wash them with a recreation vehicle or extendable wash brush of any kind using a mild soap like Turtle wax soap or dish wash soap. Soak with a hose and wash both sides by scrubbing and holding down edges or straps with your foot
then hang on any line you can make or find and rinse both sides and let dry.
Also, buy vinyl cloth in a yard goods store or iron on patches at a dollar store (try to match colour or use black), place your piece “inside” the ripped area and glue patch in place with a caulking gun (cheap to buy at same store) and use Lepage commercial glue in tubes that you can buy at the hardware store. Patches will last years and you don’t have to resort to a shoemaker or spend hours sewing.