How to Measure for and Choose a Horse Blanket

At Mary’s Tack & Feed we sell horse blankets & sheets dozens of times a week so we’ve got lots of experience & are ready to assist you.  Getting the right fit shouldn’t be tough; let’s get started!

So you’ve got a horse that needs a blanket or sheet.  But how do you measure your fellow for the best fit?  Blankets are measured & sized to fit the length of his body from center of his chest to just before the tail.  So height doesn’t have much to do with what size to purchase but length has everything to do with correct size!  Height does matter with the style.  We will address height after correctly measuring your horse for that new blanket.

Because most soft measuring tapes are just 60” long please note you’ll only go that far with the tape; mark that spot & then continue to measure.  So be prepared to mark that midway point with finger or chalk & then lastly add the 2 measurements together.  Some customers prefer to use one long piece of twine & then measure the length of the twine.

The figure below shows best how to measure your horse.

  • Stand your horse square on a level spot in a comfortable & secure place
  • Place the measuring tape or twine at the center of his chest
  • Measure along the length of his body going across the widest part of his shoulder to where you’ll just meet the tail.  Here’s where some folks make a mistake – do not measure to the middle of the tail.  As you measure make sure the measuring tape stays level & taut.
  • Add your two measurements together.  Round up to the next full inch & now you’ve got your blanket size!  Example 77 ½ inches round up to 78 inches

So now you know your horse blanket measurements are for a 78” blanket.  You’re not quite home free yet!  Here is where we’ll address height & style or “cut” of blanket.

Euro Cut Sheets and Blankets

Euro cut blankets typically measure in 3” increments (i.e. 69”, 72”, 75”, 78”, 81″ etc.) and feature shoulder gussets, a smaller neck opening that’s more forward up the mane, a longer drop and a roomier, boxy fit – especially at the tail end where Euro cuts tend to be quite square and extend about 3” off the top of the tail (not including tail flap). This blanket, the Baker Turnout, shows a good view of the back of the blanket & extension of tail flap off the body.

The drop refers to how far down his leg the blanket goes.  Like the length of a dress, it can be just below his belly, midway to his knees, or to his knees.  In this image the black part of the blanket, below the printed body is the drop.  Shoulder gussets allow more room for motion & work well for those with big chests or shoulders (think Warmbloods).  This Terminator rain sheet very clearly shows a shoulder gusset & a forward neck opening.

Euro cut blankets also typically have two crisscross belly straps.  The Pessoa Alpine is a good example of a Euro cut blanket.   You can see how roomy this blanket is in the hip area; it extends off the tail a few inches & has a tail cover or tail flap.  Also available in sheets, this Terminator day sheet is a fine example of a Euro-cut cotton sheet.  Please note that even the Euro cut day sheets come with a tail flap.  For tall horses, consider the Euro cut to properly protect belly & upper legs, giving room to the shoulders & covering those larger hind ends!

Taper Cut Sheets and Blankets

Taper cut blankets are sized in 2” increments: 68”, 70”, 72″ and so forth. Taper cuts are contoured through the body especially at the hip. They have a curved cut with the area over the tail contoured back and do not have a tail flap.  A wider neck opening allows less contact with mane.  The drop is just below the belly.

This Big D Grand Prix stable blanket is a good example of Taper cut. This waterproof Terminator light-weight blanket is taper cut as well. Note the larger neck opening, close fit at the chest (no shoulder gussets) and single belly closure with no extending flaps to lengthen the drop. Also available in day sheets to keep your horse clean, this image  shows how a sheet can be off the mane (less likely to damage a flowing mane or one that must be banded for shows) & contoured through the body.

Consider Taper cut blankets for short to average height horses.  Then they’ll be less likely to be overwhelmed by lots of fabric or stepping on a long drop when they get up after a nice snooze!

Equestrian Tall Boot Trends

With the ever changing technology of show clothing and helmets over the past several years, it’s no wonder that tall boots have finally followed suit. Originally designed for protection and grip, these often pricey boots have evolved from a classic, streamlined piece of apparel to a sporty looking and often high tech addition to the rider’s attire.

The most noticeable change is that zippers, thankfully, have become an absolute must. They eliminate the painful process of pulling on skin tight boots and the pulsating pain that typically ensues while you wear them, not to mention the rare (but has happened) trip to the ER to remove them in the event of an accident!

Zipper placement has also become more varied with some styles like the Ariat Volant Front Zip Boot  which features black on black or a sporty red contrast zipper for the fashion forward rider. (red available by special order).

Stretch panels like the ones on the ever popular Ariat Monaco Tall Boot offer a customized fit with amazingly soft leather that feels broken in from the moment you put them on.

Futuristic designs don’t just look cool but really are cool, providing ventilation to the rider’s leg. The Ariat Volant Back Zip Vented boot offers breathability and stretch – all integrated into a super cool design!

The Veredus Guarnieri Tall Boot features a fully adjustable calf fit with the Boa System  which allows the rider to adjust the tightness at any time. Hot days when legs are extra swollen? No problem, dial the calf a little looser. Want an extra tight fit? Snug it up as much as you like. Lose or gain a little weight..this boot has you covered.

Another smart design is the SmartClix integrated spur system by Cavallo offered as an option on any Cavallo boot! The spur sticks come in three varieties and can be positioned up or down. Spurs with rollers can be rotated vertical or horizontal. Or in the event you don’t need a spur, the spur can be removed and replaced with a simple black cap. Genius!

With these innovations, even the most high-tech loving riders among us will be able to find a pair of tall boots that strikes their fancy- a pair that will take their riding to the next level in style.

If you’re in the market for tall boots, be sure to stop by Mary’s to get properly fitted. Our trained sales associates meet with the boot vendors and practice fitting under the watchful eyes of our managers so YOU get the best fit in the best boots for your best ride!

Matrix T3 Saddle Pad Giveaway!

Toklat is proud to announce that the members of the U.S. Equestrian Team used Matrix Saddle Pads at the 2012 Olympics!

Tina Konyot and Calecto V in their Matrix riding for the U.S.A. at the Olympic Games.

Here’s your chance to ride like an Olympian-

Toklat has generously teamed up with Mary’s Tack & Feed to give away a Matrix T3 Saddle Pad Package.   The winner will receive their choice of a Matrix T3 Ergonomic Half Pad , Matrix T3 Insert (see links to options below), and Matrix Liner , the total package being valued at up to $329.85!

Now comes the big question: How do I win?

First, learn more info about the Matrix T-3 inserts on the Mary’s Tack and Feed website.

Click here to read about the pro-impact insert

Click here to read about the lo-impact insert

Click here to read about the ortho-impact insert

Then just answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post…

Which T3 Insert would be best for your horse?

Yep – it’s that easy.

For additional entries you can:

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each of your entries so they can be counted individually.

Such a great prize and so many chances to win!  Good luck!

Entrants must be 18 years of age or older with a delivery address in the continental U.S. to be eligible to win.  No purchase necessary. Contest will end at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012.

Pennfield Feed Replacement Guide

As you may have heard, Pennfield Corporation recently announced that it will no longer supply dealers in California. While we are disappointed at their decision, we are confident you will find what you need in the wide selection of high quality feeds we offer at Mary’s Tack & Feed. If you’ve been a happy Pennfield Custimer, please read through our suggestions below or click here to see them directly on our site.  If you have further questions, give us a call at 1.800.511.6279. Our knowledgeable Feed Store staff will be happy to assist you with your feed transition.

If you were feeding Fibergized Omega [12% protein, 11.5% fat, 15.5% fiber], may we suggest:

Ultium, from Purina Mills. [11.7% Protein, 12.4% Fat, 18.5% Fiber] High fat, high fiber feed for Competition horses. Pellet form with Amplify nuggets for additional fatty acids.

Omolene 400, from Purina Mills. [12% Protein, 5.5% fat, 18% fiber]. This complete sweet feed for performance horses can be fed alone or with hay. Contains beet pulp and Amplify Nuggets for additional fatty acids.

Omolene 500, from Purina Mills. [12% Protein, 8% fat, 9% fiber]. Sweet feed for performance horses containing the same protein content as Fibergized and Omolene 400 but with higher fatty acid content and lower fiber content.

Triple Crown Complete [12% Protein, 12% Fat, 15% Fiber]. A texturized, Complete feedwith high levels of guaranteed nutrients and additives to keep your performance horse in top form.

Renew Gold [15% Protein, 15% Fat, 22% Fiber]. Concentrated feed supplement that works with any type of hay and any kind of horse.

If you were feeding Grand Prix Granola [10% Protein, 10% Fat, 7% Fiber], may we suggest:

Omolene 500, from Purina Mills. [12% Protein, 8% fat, 9% fiber]. Sweet feed for performance horses containing the same protein content as Fibergized and Omolene 400 but with higher fatty acid content and lower fiber content.

Triple Crown Complete [12% Protein, 12% Fat, 15% Fiber]. A texturized, Complete feed with high levels of guaranteed nutrients and additives to keep your performance horse in top form

If you were feeding Enduroevent EnerG [10.0% Protein, 10.0% Fat, 12.5% Fiber], we suggest:

Triple Crown Complete [12% Protein, 12% Fat, 15% Fiber]. A texturized, Complete feed with high levels of guaranteed nutrients and additives to keep your Endurance horse in top form

If you were feeding Cool ‘n’ Lite [12% Protein, 4% Fat, 11% Fiber], we suggest:

Strategy Healthy Edge, from Purina Mills. [12.5% protein, 8% fat and 18% fiber]. Pelleted feed designed for horses with restricted starch & sugars. Great for easy keepers.

Triple Crown Lite [12% Protein, 3% Fat, 20% Fiber]. Pelleted feed with high levels of guaranteed nutrients and additives that is great for horses with weight issues, ponies and miniature horses.

 

If you were feeding All-Phase Grain Balancer Pellet [26% Protein, 3% Fat, 8% Fiber], we suggest:

Nature’s Essentials Enrich 12, from Purina Mills. [32% Protein, 5% Fat, 5.5% Fiber] to supplement high quality forage and straight grain diets.

Triple Crown 30% [30% Protein, 3% Fat, 4% Fiber]. Pelleted feed with high levels of guaranteed nutrients and additives.

As always, if you have questions, give us a call at 1.800.551.6279 or visit us online at www.marystack.com