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Horse Blanket Measuring Tricks For a Perfect Fit
 By Winniefield Park   •   21st Mar 2014   •   2,508 views   •   0 comments
Horse Blanket Measuring Tricks For a Perfect Fit

It may seem like a strange time of the year to be buying a turn-out rug, but spring is when many tack shops are clearing out their winter stock and warm winter rugs are on sale. Just like buying yourself a coat, it's important that your horse's winter blanket or rug fits well. This will help to keep it warm and dry and prevent rubbing and chaffing. A blanket that is too tight can injure your horse. Sometimes the pressure from the blanket can be so bad that it causes nerve damage and spots where the hair grows back white. A blanket that is too loose is a hazard because your horse can get caught up in it. Here's how to measure your horse for a blanket.

Besides your horse you'll need:

A long piece of string. To measure a pony you'll probably be able to use one piece of binder twine, or for a horse, knot two pieces together. Don't use stretchy string or yarn, as this will skew your measurement.

A long measuring tape. A construction tape or sewing tape measure works fine.

A marker or piece of tape that are easy to see against the twine or string.

A friend to help hold the string as you measure is handy, but not essential.

The first step is to tie your horse safely. If your horse is squirming around or moving away from you, it's impossible to take accurate measurements. This sounds basic, but I know someone that's tried to measure her horse, and she can tell you from experience that while her horse will stand untied to be groomed and fed cookies for days on end, the moment a bright-colored snakey looking thing or suspicious piece of string appears the horse tries to leave the country.

Next, place one end of your string in the center of your horse's chest. Wrap it around its shoulder, and right back to the edge of its tail along the back of its haunch. Make sure the string stays against the horse (that's why an assistant is helpful), and parallel to the ground.

Mark the twine where it meets the horse's tail. Then use the measuring tape to find the inches or centimetres from the end of the twine to the place you marked. You might want to do this away from your horse, because a rattling metal construction tape measure is another perfect excuse for your horse opting to leave the country. This measurement will give you the size of blanket you will need. If you find you have an odd number, round up to the nearest even number. So if you get a measurement of 73 inches, you'll buy a 74-inch blanket. Blanket sizes increase in increments of two inches (5 cm).

After you get your horse's new blanket, you'll want to do a trial fitting. First put an old sheet or blanket over your horse to prevent the new blanket from getting soiled while you fit it. Do the buckles and straps up and check the fit. Check that it doesn't come too high or low under the neck and doesn't cut in over the top of the wither. Some horses are broader chested than others, and this can cause problems with the fit. You may actually have to try a couple of blankets to find the best one.
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