Measuring for Blankets

Measuring for Blankets

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It is very important to make sure that any sheet, rug/blanket you put on your horse fits properly to ensure your horse’s comfort and safety. An improperly fitted rug/blanket can cause shoulder and wither rubs, and can actually endanger your horse especially if the rug/blanket is too big.

Here’s how to measure your horse for a rug/blanket – and then fit your new rug/blanket. Why not print this guide out and pin it up on your stable wall as a reminder for all your riders and hands?

Step One

With a soft measuring tape, measure from the center of the chest along the side of the barrel and belly to the point just before the tail to determine your horse’s length. Do not measure all the way to the edge of the tail or the centre of the tail, as this will lead to a size that is too big for your horse. If you horse measures in-between sizes, round down to the nearest size*. Using this method and the table below will give you the correct Weatherbeeta rug size for your horse.

Please note:

If your horse is exceptionally broad you may require a chest extender/expander accessory rather than ‘up sizing’ to a larger fit as this may cause rubbing.

*When fitting a rug without Freestyle or without a tail flap, your horse may require a larger size. When measuring, round up to the nearest size, but still ensure the binding at the back of the rug sits at the top of the tail.

Step Two

Place the rug/blanket well forward on the horse’s back and slide it down until the front seam rests naturally forward of his withers (for a regular neck) or 1/3 the way up (high neck). Ensure that you follow the line of his shoulder- this will create enough room to allow the rug/blanket to create a ‘cupping’ so the material is not pulling on the shoulder.

The top of tail flap (the binding or join between rug and tail flap) is designed to sit at the top of your horse’s tail. If the tail flap sits too low down on the horse’s tail, the rug may be too big. This will lead to excess weight and pressure at the shoulder, restricting freedom of movement, and can restrict the horse’s ability to lift the tail.

Step Three

Now, fasten leg and chest straps. Pass the left leg strap between the hind legs and fasten back to the D-ring on the left-hand side. Now, thread the right leg strap between the legs, making sure it also passes through the left leg strap, then fasten it back to the D-ring on the right-hand side. It’s important that you follow this procedure exactly to ensure the rug/blanket stays in place. Ensure the leg straps are correctly adjusted, so that there is a hand’s width between the leg strap and the horse’s thigh. This allows freedom of movement.

Step Four

Fasten the cross surcingles, allowing a hand’s width between the straps and belly.

That’s it!

Your horse is now ready to enjoy the unique comfort, protection and reliable fit of your WeatherBeeta horse rug/blanket

Common problems/ Incorrect fitting rugs.

A rug/ blanket that is too big is actually more likely to cause rubs that one that is too small, and this can be dangerous.
The surcingles on an incorrectly fitted rug may be too long and the horse’s leg can get caught, which could cause serious injury to your horse and damage the rug/ blanket
If the neck of the rug is too big, the rug/ blanket will hang off the back of the horse, which will place pressure on the shoulders and increase the possibility of rubbing and slippage. The horse may also be in danger of stepping on the back of the rug when they try to stand after rolling.
A good point to note: If the seam between the tail flap and the rug/ blanket falls below the top of the tail, the blanket is too big.

Remember, if your horse is comfortable in his properly fitted rug/ blanket he will be much happier to stay dressed. A poorly fitted blanket will be uncomfortable for your horse and he may try to get it off. Taking the above correct fitting steps will ensure that your New Freestyle rug/ blanket will not rub and will provide maximum freedom of movement.

The above instructions are taken from the Weatherbeeta website.  They have been designing and manufacuring horse clothing around the world for over 25 years.