Outfitting a Horse Trailer

A woman with blond hair in a pony tail is leading a brown horse wearing navy blue shipping boots and a sheepskin shipping halter up a ramp and into the back of a black horse trailer.

Congratulations—you just got a horse trailer of your own! You and your horse are looking forward to new adventures together. If your trailer isn’t outfitted already with everything you might need for your horse’s safety and comfort, here’s a list to help you get started.  

It’s a Tie: Breakaway Trailer Ties

A black trailer tie made of nylon and Velcro with gold colored fasteners at either end

If you plan to use trailer ties, consider a breakaway Tie Safe™ Trailer Tie or attach a regular tie to your trailer’s wall using a loop of twine. A tie should have the ability to release if your horse slips and falls.

Comfort Food: Hay Bags & Hay Nets

A black hay bag holding hay with black nylon at the top and black mesh at the bottom is hanging on a wooden fence.

Horses feel comforted when eating hay. Plus, hay consumption keeps a horse occupied during travel and helps keep the digestive tract moving. Choose a hay bag or hay net that can hold an ample supply of hay for your trips. Fasten it securely at a height at which your horse cannot get a leg entangled in it.

A blue and black pitch fork is being used to dump shavings into a large green plastic bucket with yellow handles.

Clean as a Whistle: Manure Fork, Muck Tub & Broom

To keep your trailer clean, odor-free and less inviting to flies, you’ll need a manure fork, muck bucket and possibly a broom and shovel. Places you visit will love it if you clean up after your horse, too!

Keep Hydrated: Water Jugs & Water Buckets

A blue water jug with black cap

When you get where you’re going, or if your vehicle breaks down, you’ll want to offer your horse water she or he is familiar with drinking. A water jug is a must-have item! Our favorite Water Can has an extra handle and spout for easy pouring. Take along a water bucket and a second pail if you plan to sponge your horse after riding.

A collection of medical supplies make up a first aid kit including scissors, gauze syringes, first aid ointment, saline solution, a thermometer, and bandages.

Just In Case: Medical Supplies

Pack a medical kit that includes supplies for horse and human use. You can buy a preassembled kit or select a case of your choice and fill it with your preferred supplies. Be sure to add cohesive wraps, gauze pads, cold packs, scissors, a digital thermometer, Betadine®, rubbing alcohol and a set of leg quilts and stable bandages. Also pack an extra halter and lead line in case your primary ones break.

Trouble in Paradise: Roadside Breakdown Supplies

A pair of light up safety traffic triangles at night

Pack a fire extinguisher designed for dousing electrical fires and a Trailer Aid® or suitable jack for changing trailer tires. Better than flares and orange cones, BriteAngle Road Safety Triangles light up and provide strong reflective properties to help make you and your rig easily spotted by oncoming traffic.

A white trailer is covered with a light blue trailer cover. The side door to the trailer is open and the trailer cover is rolled up to allow access.

Protecting Your Investment: Trailer & Tire Covers
You’ll need a tire chock for your parked trailer, and you might want to cover your trailer’s spare tire to protect it from sun and harsh weather. Between trips, a hitch cover can prevent water from seeping into the electrical system, and a trailer cover for long-term storage helps protect your investment.

Is your trailer fully stocked and ready for travel? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

LeMieux Merino+ Half-Lined Saddle Pads: The Unsung Hero of Pads

White quilted dressage saddle pad (left) and close contact saddle pad (right) with natural color wool and a black LeMieux logo.

While most horses can wear any saddle pad their rider places on their backs, some horses aren’t so lucky. They experience the agonies of extra-sensitive skin, seasonal hives, allergies to manmade textiles, seasonal or year-round hair rubs, abrasions from friction, thin hair, excessive sweating under a saddle or a host of other challenges, including collagen bumps and fungal issues in follicles.

If you ride one of these horses, a Merino+ Half-Lined Dressage Square or Close Contact Square could be the solution to your horse’s troubles. Merino+ pads have proven so beneficial to horses that we’ve come to think of them as the Unsung Hero of pads.

A Thoughtful Approach to Wool Fleece
Across disciplines, natural wool is known to be the best option for a horse’s back. It offers softness and cushioning, superior breathability, helps maintain temperature and regulates moisture. It also naturally controls the breeding of bacteria and viruses and helps prevent bruising, scarring, chaffing and pressure sores.

The problem with traditional wool fleece pads is the hide hidden inside them. Even with the best care, the hide eventually becomes warped, misshapen or brittle. LeMieux took a thoughtful approach to solving longevity issues experienced with traditional sheepskin fleece pads; with the Merino+ line, no hides are involved. The pads use top-quality WoolMark accredited Australian merino wool and beautifully engineered fabrics. The resulting saddle pads remain soft and withstand daily wear and machine washing.

With Merino+ pads, lambswool is removed from skin and integrated with a unique backing fabric that expands and contracts while retaining its inherent stretch. This fabric aids wicking and moisture control, with each fiber holding up to 30% its weight. The effect of this fabric alone helps keep a horse’s back cooler and drier, and temperature variations are minimized. Add to this all the natural benefits of merino wool, and you’ve got an amazing saddle pad.

Cushioning & Shock Absorption

The consistent density of springy Merino+ wool fleece provides a perfect fit against a horse’s back in every ride. Its soft surface and resilient nature let the fleece mold to a horse’s contours without adding bulk. The fibers help absorb impact, distribute pressure and provide cushioning.

Hypoallergenic & Gentle on Skin
The lambswool, dyes and fabrics used in Merino+ pads are tested to human medical standards by a Swiss laboratory, so they work in harmony with even sensitive skin and are far more stable. The fluffy fibers free the horse from saddle-pad friction, naturally resist static and naturally resist odors.

Thermoregulating & Moisture-Wicking
Some folks look at the wool panels and think, “That’s going to be hot against my horse.” Nothing is further from the truth. Merino wool naturally wicks moisture and promotes airflow. Whether the weather is hot or cold, the wool helps maintain a comfortable climate under the saddle. (Try wearing merino wool socks in summer to prove this point. Your feet won’t sweat, and they won’t stink at the end of a long day.)

Close Contact Feel
Merino+ fleece is placed in panels only under the saddle. The flaps of the pad aren’t lined with fleece, so they feel to a rider just like a “standard” quilted saddle pad. With the fleece panels at the top, most riders with an appropriately fitting saddle have no need to use a half pad.

Quick Drying
The fleece panels dry quickly between rides and after washing. Dirt, hair and dried sweat brushes away. Usually, a freshly laundered pad is ready to use next day.

Other Points to Note

Now that we’ve covered all the irresistible problem-solving benefits of Merino+ Half-Lined Saddle Pads, we must point out a few more must-have features.

  • Finer and shorter wool lines the pathway of the spine, providing comfort for spinal processes and allowing airflow. A swept-up wither cut relieves pressure over the shoulders and base of the neck.
  • LeMieux’s signature layered girth-loop system ensures a perfect fit adjustment with every girth on every horse. The top layer acts as a normal girth loop. The inter-locking layer underneath can be used to secure either or both saddle billets in an ideal position.
  • Timeless style, a classic quilted top, conservative colors and fleece-trimmed withers mean this pad is always appropriate in any ring.
  • The pads generally require less laundering when used on a groomed horse. Simply brush hair away from the fleece fibers!

LeMieux’s Merino+ Half-Lined Dressage Square fits most dressage saddles perfectly and creates an elegant look worthy of competition. The Half-Lined Close Contact Square suits most jump saddles and includes the iconic, swept-up back to avoid interference with the rider’s legs over fences.

Shop the LeMieux Merino+ Half-Lined Close Contact Square

Shop the LeMieux Merino+ Half-Lined Dressage Square

Already have a LeMieux Merino+ Pad? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Our Dream Fly Sheet: Why & How We Made It

A dark brown horse is running in a grassy field. The horse is wearing a brown leather halter and a white fly sheet with black front and belly buckles.

When beaming hot sun and insects team up, time outside can become uncomfortable for horses. Flies buzz at them almost nonstop, and ultraviolet rays burn skin and bleach hair. That’s why our product developers, also horse owners, got together to create a fly sheet ensemble of their horses’ dreams. The result? Our new, multitasking Dover Saddlery® Fly Combo Sheet complete with removable neck cover and matching fly mask! And it’s arrived just in time for fly season!

A brown horse is standing in a grassy field wearing a white fly sheet, neck cover and fly mask with black trim and black buckles.

With this lightweight and breathable mesh sheet, two-tier construction protects against both insects landing on your horse and ultraviolet rays. A top mesh panel has an ultraviolet fabric treatment to block UV rays. The silver color also helps deflect the sun to keep your horse cooler. The bottom mesh portion, including the belly band, is treated with 12% permethrin to repel insects before they can even think about landing on your horse.

A dark brown horse is wearing a white fly mask with black trim. The fly mask covers the horses ears and nose.

For versatile coverage, the UV-blocking neck cover is easily removed on milder days. Similarly, the UV-blocking fly mask can be used alone or attached to the neck cover for complete protection all day.

We added deep shoulder gussets to ensure a horse’s natural abilities to move. We lined key areas with smooth fabric to protect hair and padded the withers with fleece. We extended the tail flap to help protect tail hair from sun damage and create a deep barrier to keep flies out.

Our horses are currently enjoying the benefits of our dream Fly Combo Sheet—and we expect yours will, too!

Shop the Dover Saddlery® Fly Combo Sheet here.

Is your horse already sporting our latest design? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

All Wrapped Up: An Overview of Exercise Wraps for Horses

In March we provided an overview of two common types of wraps: standing wraps and shipping wraps. This month let’s discuss the use and benefits of exercise wraps.

An exercise wrap is made of a polo bandage or polo wrap, most correctly applied over an exercise liner. Exercise wraps help protect a horse’s lower front and hind legs from interference during work—when a horse’s own hoof strikes an opposing leg, causing a cut, bruise or splint.

The material of a polo bandage (generally 9 to 11 feet long and 4 to 4½ inches wide for horses) is synthetic fleece that is inherently cushiony, slightly stretchy and easily conforms to the horse’s lower limbs. Polo bandages secure with hook-and-loop fasteners.   

While a polo bandage can be applied directly against a horse’s leg, a proper exercise wrap has an exercise liner applied to the leg first. This low-profile layer offers added protection from knocks without adding bulk. It also provides just enough padding to help protect against pressure points from the polo bandage. As an added benefit, most exercise liners are made of materials that wick moisture and promote airflow, which in turn helps keep tendons, skin and hair cool. Exercise wraps are used only while a horse is being ridden or lunged—never in turnout or in place of standing or shipping wraps.

Polo bandages are primarily sold in sets of four wraps. They are a traditional, inexpensive and long-lasting alternative to horse boots, easily machine washable and extremely quick to dry. White is the most traditional color, followed by black, but polo wraps can be found in every color of the rainbow and in the trendiest seasonal hues. Exercise liners also commonly come in sets of four.


  • If you have a new set of polo wraps, consider washing them once before you use them. Washing makes the wraps slightly easier to handle.
  • Also, be sure your wraps are rolled tightly before you begin to wrap your horse’s legs. The tighter you roll your wrap, the easier it will be to apply to your horse.

Cautionary Notes:

  • New to wrapping? Hands-on training from a knowledgeable instructor is a must for your horse’s safety. Wrapping of any kind must be done correctly to avoid common bandaging mistakes that can cause both temporary and irreparable damage.
  • Exercise wraps should always be applied over dry, clean skin and hair, and they should be removed promptly after work.
  • Stable bandages are not safe substitutions for fleece polo bandages and vice versa.
  • Consult your horse’s veterinarian in the presence of any lower leg injury or unprecedented or chronic swelling/edema.

Shop our wide selection of horse leg wraps here.

Are you a leg wrapping pro? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

All Wrapped Up: An Overview of Wraps & Bandages for Horses

A picture of a white roll of fleece against a white background.

One of our Product Advisors mentioned recently that a customer was confused about wrapping terminologies. New to horses, this customer wanted to know what constitutes a wrap and what constitutes a bandage. What should she have on hand, and why?

We realized that the equestrian industry, Dover Saddlery included, tends to use the terms “bandage” and “wrap” interchangeably when referring to both the “ingredients” of wraps and the types of wraps. No wonder this customer was confused! So this month we will cover two of the three types of wraps we commonly find in active performance horse barns regardless of discipline: standing wraps and shipping wraps. Next month, we’ll cover exercise wraps.

Two human hands are shown wrapping a horse's leg with a white pillow wrap and green standing wrap. The horses legs are white with black hooves.

Standing Wraps
Undoubtedly the most important type of wrap any horse owner can have the materials to create, standing wraps are a significant tool in treating leg issues and concerns. Standing wraps are worn by a horse when it is stabled (standing). They can be used to help protect an injury or add support, hold wound dressings in place, reduce or prevent “stocking up” (edema) after a strenuous workout or a long haul, and they can be used to cover a poultice while it draws heat and inflammation.

A picture of a white roll of quilted cotton and fabric against a white background.

A standing wrap consists of padding topped by a stable bandage. The padding may be called a leg quilt, leg wrap, combo wrap, pillow wrap or No Bow wrap, or it can be comprised of layers of cotton sheeting. The padding is intended to cover a horse’s leg from just below the knee or hock to the bottom of the fetlock joint. As such, leg quilts and leg wraps are offered in widths from 10 to 18 inches. They are usually sold in pairs because most ponies and horses require shorter wraps on their front legs and longer wraps on their hind legs.

A plastic bag is shown filled with white cotton sheets. The packaging says BB Satin Star 12's in large red font. There is also a black silhouette of a person petting a horse above the letters.

The type of padding used depends on personal preference for the materials and thickness. The person applying the wrap must feel confident and skilled in its feel, because seams, bindings, wrinkles and bunching can cause serious damage to a horse’s legs. If cotton sheeting is chosen for padding, it requires multiple sheets (6 to 10) stacked neatly for sufficient thickness. It will need to be folded lengthwise or widthwise to achieve an appropriate height. When applied correctly, any kind of padding helps distribute pressure and conforms to the horse’s legs.

Four royal blue standing wraps are shown against a white background. The standing wraps have blue Velcro on the ends.

Stable bandages are applied over the padding. Most commonly, stable bandages (sold in sets of four) are made of tightly knit synthetic fabric that offers little stretch and is designed to support. These bandages are generally about 12 feet long by 5½ inches wide for horses and about 6 feet long by 5 inches wide for ponies. Hook-and-loop closures keep them in place. The fun part about stable bandages is they come in all sorts of colors, and you can make yours unique easily with embroidered monogramming.

Two rolls of white standing wraps are shown against a white background. The wraps are made of fleece and have white Velro at the ends.

Traditionally, stable bandages are made of cotton flannel. This type is still favored by some people. Flannel bandages can be a good choice for use when a young horse or one unfamiliar with wearing wraps needs to become accustomed to their feel. Cotton flannel is more apt to tear and release the wrap rather than bind and tighten if a horse chews or pulls on it.

To prepare for a wound or injury, every horse owner should have the materials for standing wraps on hand. Even if the owner is not skilled at wrapping, a veterinarian may request the materials in an emergency. Standing wraps are usually applied in pairs (both front or both hind legs, if not all around) so the horse will not favor one leg and thereby stress the opposite leg.

Shipping Wraps

Shipping wraps are the tried-and-true method of protecting a horse’s legs during travel. Like standing wraps, shipping wraps are comprised of padding and stable bandages. They simply cover more of the horse’s lower legs, right down to the hooves so that the pasterns and coronary bands are protected. Commonly, shipping wraps are used with bell boots to further protect the horse’s hooves. Typically, shipping wraps require wider leg quilts than a horse needs for standing wraps. 

Shipping boots are the easiest, quickest way to cover a horse’s legs during transport. However, for long trips, many professionals prefer the security, support and stability provided by shipping wraps.

The four legs of a light brown horse are shown wearing navy blue plaid shipping boots. The boots extend from the horse's knees and hock joints and cover their hooves.

Cautionary Notes:

  • New to wrapping? Hands-on training from a knowledgeable instructor is a must for your horse’s safety. Wrapping of any kind must be done correctly to avoid common bandaging mistakes that can cause both temporary and irreparable damage.
  • Consult your horse’s veterinarian in the presence of any lower leg injury or unprecedented or chronic swelling/edema.
  • Fleece polo bandages are not safe substitutions for stable bandages and vice versa.
  • Standing wraps should be checked periodically for shifting and for swelling in surrounding areas of the leg. They should be removed after twelve hours maximum unless otherwise directed by a veterinarian.
  • Wraps should always be applied over clean, dry skin and hair.

Shop our wide selection of horse leg wraps here.

Are you a leg wrapping pro? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Show Your Horse Some Valentine’s Day Love

Picture of the nose of a grey horse's nose. The horse has a light pink spot in the middle of its nose and its tongue sticking out is shaped like a heart.

All of us riders and horse owners share something in common: love for our horses. Showing them love is especially fun on Valentine’s Day, when we share ways to make our horses feel special. Here are some of our favorite suggestions to delight your horse or pony this month.

Make your horse feel good with Groomi®

A pink shedding comb with a black label and a black shedding comb with a pink label are pictured and say Groomi. There is also matching pink packaging for the shedding tool next to them.

Groomi gently combs through your horse’s coat to remove loose hair, dandruff and dirt gently and humanely. What could feel better than shedding itchy, loose hair and having your coat breathe? The wide, shallow teeth of Groomi’s replaceable comb won’t penetrate skin or damage, cut or tug at hair. As it works, it brings natural oils to the surface for a shiny, protective coat.

Tip: Groomi is perfect for use on cats and dogs, so you can show your little friends some love, too!

Entertain your horse with Kong® Equine Deluxe Set Toy-Feeder

A person wearing jeans is shown from the hips down carrying a large green horse toy filled with lettuce and carrots.

Enrich your horse’s stall time with the Equine Deluxe Set Toy by Kong. Made in the USA from a proprietary blend of all-natural, durable rubber, it has a ring you can fill with horse treats, apples, carrots—even hay! This toy swings freely away from pressure, challenging and occupying your horse until the feed is gone. It arrives fully assembled and easy to hang.

Tip: Kong Equine Deluxe Set Toy-Feeder is a helpful pastime for horses on stall rest.

A gold and black bag of round, brown horse treats. The packaging says "The German Horse Muffin All Natural Horse Treats"

Indulge your horse’s taste buds with German Horse Muffins

Made by Equus Magnificus, German Horse Muffins are decadent, sweet and chewy—our equine friends simply love them. Fresh, all-natural grains and molasses, vitamins and more, are mixed to perfection and formed into bite-size treats. Your horse just might become addicted! They’re available in 1 pound and 6 pound resealable bags.

Tip: German Muffins are perfect for disguising pills before administration.

We want to see how you treat your horse! Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Exercise Rugs & Quarter Sheets: Keeping Your Horse’s Vulnerable Muscles Warm & Dry

A chestnut colored horse is shown standing to the side, facing the left. The horse is wearing a bridle, dressage saddle, white saddle pad, girth, and a dark blue waterproof quarter sheet that covers its hindquarters. The horse is standing in front of a red fence and trees.

Whether we riders call it a quarter sheet, an exercise rug, a riding blanket or a competition sheet, we’re referring to a piece of horse clothing cut to cover a horse’s hindquarters. It’s an easy way to keep a horse comfortable and the large, crucial muscle mass of the quarters warm and dry when you’re riding in cold or inclement weather. Use of an exercise rug is especially helpful for horses that are clipped and always blanketed.

Most quarter sheets are made of insulating, moisture-wicking and breathable synthetic fleece fabric or traditional wool. Waterproof exercise rugs can be made of a lightweight material, such as nylon, suited to warm and wet riding days. They can also be made with a waterproof top and a fleece-lined bottom layer to offer warmth perfect for chilly, damp weather. Easy to remove from the saddle, these sheets fasten at the front with hook-and-loop and stay put in back with the help of a tail cord.

Depending on the horse’s physical condition, whether he or she is clipped, how strenuous the ride will be and the ambient temperature, an exercise rug can be worn by a horse during a warmup phase of a workout and replaced at the end to prevent hot muscles from getting chilled. Or, it can be worn throughout a ride, especially if the horse is working outside or walking on a trail.

A cutout design typically provides space for the rider’s seat and saddle and allows the sheet to be worn over or under the rider’s thighs. Contouring along the hemline is designed to permit direct contact between the rider’s lower legs and the horse’s barrel. For fun, exercise rugs come in a variety of colors and can be custom made.

Sizing Quarter Sheets
Manufacturers vary in sizing for quarter sheets, but generally, all are offered in small, medium, large or extra-large, with standard blanket size ranges falling into these categories. You’ll need to refer to size chart recommendations to determine appropriate sizing for your desired quarter sheet.

A brown horse facing left is standing in front of green and white doors with glass windows to a barn. The horse is wearing a bridle, close contact saddle, saddle pad, girth and navy blue fleece quarter sheet covering its hindquarters. There is a chain lead rope attached to the bridle that is being held out of shot.

When the rug is on your horse, you simply need to make sure it is roomy enough to allow your horse to move naturally without restriction. Conversely, it should not be so large and loose as to allow shifting or have excess dangling fabric that could become caught on an object.

Shop our entire selection of quarter sheets and exercise rugs here.

Do you and your horse have a favorite quarter sheet to ride in? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Cold-Weather Layering Favorites for Equestrians

Three riders, one in front of the other are riding horses outside in the snow. Their backs are turned and are headed into snowy woods.

Wherever in the United States you’re riding this winter, chances are you’ll run into some chilly weather, even if it’s just in early mornings or late evenings. You’ll want options for staying cozy, and we’re willing to bet you’d like to look nice when you pull on or peel off your layers!

Here at Dover Saddlery®, our team of riders develop casual and formal ladies’ riding apparel throughout the year, season after season, from shirts, vests and jackets to breeches, socks and gloves. This month, we’ve voted in three key pieces as the new stars of our own winter riding wardrobes. Each item meets specific needs for cold days at the stable, for lessons or clinics, and for versatility in our equestrian lifestyle. We start with a base layer, add a mid-layer and finally, outerwear. We hope you enjoy them. And if you’re looking for a great gift idea for a favorite rider, each is guaranteed to please!

Dover Saddlery HeatBlast™ Long Sleeve Shirt

A red brown long sleeve shirt with a quarter zipper at the neck.

As a base layer, we made sure this one ticks off every wish on a rider’s list. Next to skin, HeatBlast fabric feels so soft you could sleep in it. It’s made with thermoregulating yarns, which means it helps you stay warm in cold weather and comfortable when temperatures rise.

Adding to that, the HeatBlast Shirt provides the breathability to help prevent overheating and the extreme stretch to let you move freely. Especially important as a base layer, it wicks perspiration from your skin to prevent dampness that causes chills.

The cut of this riding top is timeless, flattering and sporty, including princess seaming, a slightly dropped back hem, the always-popular zip placket and classic mock collar. It’s offered in three gorgeous colors and in ladies’ sizes XS through XL.

Dover Saddlery Athens Sweater

A dark grey sweatshirt with a hood.

Next up for adding core warmth? Our hybrid pullover offers a twist on two classics: a cable-knit sweater and a hooded jacket. We made the body to insulate your core with a lightweight layer of fill. The water- and wind-repellent outer means those water-bucket splashes and gusty breezes won’t ruin your day. And if a shower or cold blast pops up, the integrated hood repels water and wind, too.

Beautiful cable-knit sleeves and side panels feel cozy while adding breathability and stretch. With thumbhole cuffs, even your wrists stay warm! The Athens Sweater comes in two attractive colors and in ladies’ sizes XXS through XL.

Dover Saddlery Franconia Parka

This fully waterproofed jacket tops our winter-favorites list because we put every feature we want as riders into its design. For starters, we want to stay dry and warm—but still look feminine wherever we go. Franconia’s tapered, drawcord waist and discreet, side-entry pockets maintain a flattering shape.

A long blue parka with a grey fur trim hood.

The hood, which is lined and trimmed with removable faux fur, has adjustments to let you make it smaller or larger and ensure your full visibility. The durable outer with taped seams keeps all elements out.

Faux fur also lines the top of this riding parka to boost warmth. The longer hemline gives you coverage while you’re standing around the ring or barn, yet it converts for ease of riding with side-seam zippers and a magnetic riding slit. Because the magnets separate and click back together quickly, using the rear riding slit couldn’t be easier.

Other features to love about the Franconia Parka? The full adjustability of a two-way front zipper, a quilted lower lining that glides over your saddle, and a storm flap and inner cuffs that seal out drafts. It’s offered in two irresistible colors and in ladies’ sizes XS through XL.

As our fellow riders, we hope you’ll find that every feature we love about our products also benefits your riding. Relish in their comfort, quality and practicality in the saddle—and everywhere our equestrian lifestyles take us.

Check out the full collection of schooling attire and outerwear for women, children and men here!

Already have your own favorites? Share them on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery.

Thinking About Clipping Your Horse This Winter?

A right hand with a gold ring on the ring finger is holding a pair of wired black clippers. The clippers are clipping the side of a brown horse.

We can help you decide whether body clipping is a good choice for your horse, and if so, how much hair you want to remove. The decision comes down to how much your horse works in cold weather and your willingness to manage blanketing to compensate for loss of natural protection.

Thick coats and the additional grease produced in horses’ skin in winter combine to protect them against wet, cold weather. These assets become detriments, however, when a horse is worked regularly to the point of sweating. Perspiration mixes with grease in the coat, creating a film that mats the hair and clogs the skin. As the hair dries painfully slowly, the horse is vulnerable to chills, muscle soreness and illness. Skin issues such as fungal infections can also result. Some amount of body clipping becomes wise if you and your horse are in a steady program of regular work.

Here’s a list of our favorite, traditional body clips. The one you choose depends on the type of work you’ll do, how much your horse perspires, and what is acceptable for your riding discipline. Some people find it helpful to mark an outline of their desired body clip using chalk or using a small set of clippers.

Strip Clip

A drawing of a brown horse against a yellow background. The horse has a strip clip: Hair is removed on the front of the horse’s neck along the jugular, through the front of the chest and under the belly.

This minimal clip is perfect for a horse in light work only and for a horse owner wishing to avoid blanketing except in the coldest temperatures. The clip pattern removes a strip of hair on the front of the horse’s neck along the jugular, through the front of the chest and under the belly.

Trace Clip

A drawing of a brown horse against a yellow background. The horse has a trace clip: Hair is removed from the underside and sides of the neck, shoulders and belly and is left intact on the legs and body.

Named after its original use on harness horses, the trace clip removes a swath of hair from areas horses perspire most—classically along the areas where the harness traces would touch the horse. This clip may be your choice if your horse typically runs cold or doesn’t grow a thick coat. Hair is removed from the underside and sides of the neck, shoulders and belly and is left intact on the legs and body. Some people clip a narrow swath of hair, while others prefer to clip hair about halfway up the horse. Managing comfort and warmth will necessitate the use of blankets.

Blanket Clip

A drawing of a brown horse against a yellow background. The horse has a blanket clip: Hair is removed from the head, neck and flanks, but is left intact on the back, hind end and legs.

You may want to use this clip if your horse gets regular, heavy work in winter. A horse will most likely need to wear a blanket with this clip, and possibly a neck cover. This clip removes hair in a pattern that leaves the horse looking as though it is wearing an exercise rug made of hair. Hair is removed from the head, neck and flanks, but is left intact on the back, hind end and legs.

Hunter Clip

A drawing of a brown horse against a yellow background. The horse has a hunter clip: Hair is removed from most of the body, leaving only a patch of hair on the horse’s back in the shape of a saddle

Named for its traditional use on field hunters, a hunter clip is helpful for horses in hard work. The clip removes most of the hair on the body, leaving only a patch of hair on the horse’s back in the shape of a saddle (to provide some protection from friction of the saddle). Hair is left on the legs for both warmth and protection. Depending on the temperatures in your horse’s climate, a hunter clip will require the use of a blanket and a neck cover.

Full Body Clip

For those horses that perspire a great deal or are in hard work, the full body clip may be best. The entire horse is clipped, including legs and face, but whiskers are left intact for sensory perception and ear hair is excluded as it is protection from frostbite. Riders who wear spurs will often leave a patch of hair in the spur area to protect against spur rubs.  Depending on the temperatures in your horse’s climate, a full body clip may necessitate a heavier, warmer blanket and neck cover.

Have tips to share about body clipping? Share your thoughts and photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Shop horse clippers, blades and accessories here.

How to Get the Best Performance from Turnout Sheets & Blankets

It’s October, a perfect time to consider the state of your horse’s turnout sheets and blankets to be sure your horse gets maximum protection against rain, mud, sleet, snow and wind—especially if body clipped. Turnout blankets and sheets represent an investment in your horse’s health and comfort—and a financial investment. Here’s how to get the most from your horse’s turnouts.

Fitting Is Foremost

More than any other factor you might consider in a waterproof turnout, proper fitting is top priority. An ill-fitting or incorrectly fastened blanket promises problems, from hair rubs to leaks to entanglement. Even when you’re reusing a turnout your horse has worn, check the fit this season. Horses’ bodies change with conditioning, workload, illness and retirement, and the size or cut of a turnout may need to change accordingly.  

A turnout should overlap on your horse’s chest. Adjustable chest closures should fasten near the middle. With the front closed, the back seam should sit in a logical spot on your horse’s hind end, not halfway down the dock or pulled onto the rump.

You should be able to slide one hand snugly but comfortably under the blanket, around the neckline and over the withers with your horse’s head in grazing position and raised. If the opening is too large, your horse could get a foot caught, and it may rub your horse’s shoulders. If the opening is too small, the blanket will pull on or rub the withers, mane or points of the shoulders or tug at the base of the neck.

Adjust belly surcingles or belly band so you can slide a flat hand between the strap and the horse’s belly. Looser straps can allow a leg to get tangled while your horse lies down or rolls; overtightened straps can make the blanket rub and restrict.

A tail strap should be adjusted to create about a hand’s width between the strap and the rump. Leg straps, one passing through the other in a crisscross and each clipped to their opposite side, should also be adjusted to about a hand’s width between each strap and the inside of the leg. If the straps are too long and hang to the hocks, a leg can entangle. If the straps are too short, they may inhibit movement and chafe the tender insides of the gaskin or groin area.

When all fastenings are secure, consider the overall look of the blanket. It should not sag, and it should not appear stretched over the withers or hips. The hem should hang above your horse’s knees, not at or below them.

A brown horse facing left is standing in a grass field with colorful fall foliage behind them. The horse is wearing a brown leather halter with a brass nameplate and an indigo turnout blanket with black straps and trim.

The designs and cut of blankets vary within and between manufacturers. If you find you have an ill-fitting blanket, consider not only trying a different size from the same range, but a different model and a different manufacturer as well. For tips on measuring your horse for a blanket, see our article.

Preserve Waterproofing

Fabrics become waterproof in various ways, but all waterproofing has one thing in common: a life expectancy. Currently, the highest quality blankets are expected to remain waterproof under normal conditions and use for three years. You can prolong waterproofing of turnouts with these easy tips:

  • Sweep or brush away dirt, mud and caked manure promptly from the outer surface to allow waterproofing to do its job. These stuck-on compounds absorb and hold water and hasten degrading of the waterproofing. Spread the turnout flat on the ground and sweep it with a broom or brush it while your horse is not wearing it.  
  • Spot clean dirty areas with cool water and a brush. Save laundering turnout blankets and sheets for end-of-season unless the turnout is foul inside and out. Over-washing will degrade waterproof performance.
A white bottle of Nikwax Rug Wash with a green top and label.
  • To prevent mildewing and saturation of fabrics, hang wet turnout to drip and dry naturally before folding.
  • For the recommended once-yearly washing, follow manufacturer’s care instructions carefully if you plan to do the cleaning yourself. Use only recommended cleaning methods and approved cleaners. Never use fabric softeners, as these ruin breathability and waterproofing. Professional horse clothing laundering services make end-of-season blanket care easy, and most are equipped to make blanket repairs.
A white bottle of Nikwax Rug Proof with a purple top and label.
  • When the waterproof layer finally fails, you can replace it yourself or have a professional service do so. The most important aspect for waterproofing a turnout is to use a product that will maintain the turnout shell’s breathability.  

Off-season storage methods are your last step in preserving your investment. Clean blankets should be kept in a pest-free environment and out of direct sunlight.  

Have tips to share for top turnout care? Share your thoughts and photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!