The Best Horse Blankets for Staying Warm in Winter

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: February 18, 2023
© Anastasija Popova/Shutterstock.com

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If you’re a horse owner or thinking of becoming one, there are several things you need to make sure your pet stays happy and healthy. These things can change from one season to another. When the temperatures drop and winter’s frigid weather rolls in, it’s essential to have a horse blanket to keep them comfortable. 

Horses are like humans in a few ways, one of which being they aren’t the biggest fan of cold weather. Thankfully, there are a plethora of horse blankets on the market that will keep them toasty without over-heating them. 

If you’ve never purchased a horse blanket before, how do you know what to look for? What factors should you consider? How much do you need to spend? Don’t worry about any of that – we’ve got your back! 

Through plenty of research, we’ve found the top four horse blankets available today. We provide in-depth reviews, along with a buyer’s guide that tells you exactly what you should look for when buying a new blanket for your equine friend. 

You’ll also find real-life reviews from people who’ve already tried out the blankets. Additionally, there’s a list of frequently asked questions to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to spend your hard-earned money on the best blanket for your horse. 

  1. Derby Originals Classic 600D 250g Medium Weight Turnout Blanket
    • Comes in a large variety of sizes
    • Has a waterproofing feature on the outside
    • Outer layer is made from rip-resistant, long-lasting nylon
    • Inner layer consists of 250-gram poly-fil insulation
    Check Amazon
  2. Weatherbeeta Comfitec Essential Combo Turnout Rug
    • Comes in a large range of sizes
    • Lightweight but warm
    • Features an integrated neck cover
    • Fully adjustable
    Check Amazon
  3. Rhinegold Quilted Stable Rug with Neck Cover
    • Features an integrated neck cover.
    • Has a 350gsm polyfill lining
    • Available in sizes from 5'6" to 7'0"
    • Has a 600 denier breathable outer layer.
    • Features double chest straps and two cross-over surcingles.
    Check Chewy
  4. Weatherbeeta 1200D Foal Standard Neck Rug
    • Made from waterproof ripstop material with a 210 denier outer layer.
    • Features a 220g polyester lining.
    • Has a single chest strap and two cross surcingles.
    • Available in several sizes.
    Check Chewy

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Horse Blankets

#1 Best Overall: Derby Originals Classic 600D 250g Medium Weight Turnout Blanket

After a deep dive into everything there is to know about horse blankets, we think that the Derby Originals Classic 600D 250g Medium Weight Turnout Blanket earns the top spot.

This blanket has a 600D ripstop outer lining which is waterproof yet breathable. It’s also rip-resistant, providing you with a long-lasting and durable option. The interior consists of 250-gram poly-fil insulation that keeps your horse nice and warm. 

There are two convenient double front buckles that can easily be adjusted if needed. It also features two cross surcingles to fasten the rug under the belly. Plus, the built-in elastic leg straps help the blanket to stay in place without restricting the horse’s ability to move. 

Another reason we love this blanket is that it’s available in a large variety of sizes. No matter what size horse you have, they can comfortably wear a Derby Originals blanket. Plus, there are three colors available! It also comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty against defects.

The only drawback to this product is that the sizes run large, so ordering a little smaller is advised.

Pros and Cons of the Derby Originals Classic 600D 250g Medium Weight Turnout Blanket

ProsCons
This blanket has a 600D ripstop outer lining which is rip-resistant and waterproof yet breathable.The sizes run large.
It has a 250g polyfil lining.
It features two adjustable front buckles, two cross surcingles, and two elastic leg straps to keep it in place.
There are three colors and a variety of sizes available.
Overall Best
Derby Originals Classic 600D 250g Medium Weight Turnout Blanket
  • Comes in a large variety of sizes
  • Has a waterproofing feature on the outside
  • Outer layer is made from rip-resistant, long-lasting nylon
  • Inner layer consists of 250-gram poly-fil insulation
Check Amazon

2. Best Combo Turnout: Weatherbeeta Comfitec Essential Combo Turnout Rug

If your horse needs a turnout rug with a neck cover as well then we recommend the Weatherbeeta Comfitec Essential Combo Turnout Rug.

This rug is very similar to the best overall option, but has the addition of an integrated neck cover. This is particularly useful for clipped horses or horses in particularly cold or wet regions. The exterior is made with durable 1200D ripstop fabric. This fabric is waterproof and can even repel mud and dirt. 

The interior lining is designed with 220g polyester fill, which allows the blanket to keep your horse lovely and warm. You’ll find soft, 100% boat fleece padding around the outside that prevents chaffing and rubbing against your horse’s coat. 

Like other blankets on our list, the Weatherbeeta Comfitec Blanket has gussets at the shoulders, along with two buckles across the chest and two cross surcingles. The tail flap and removable leg straps are also great features of this blanket. It’s also available in a variety of sizes from 4ft to 7ft 3in so it will fit most horses and ponies. However, some once again, some customers reported that the sizes run a little big.

Pros and Cons of the Weatherbeeta Comfitec Essential Combo Turnout Rug

ProsCons
This rug is waterproof and has a durable 1200D ripstop exterior.The sizes run a little big.
It has a 220g polyester fill.
It features an integrated neck cover.
It has two front buckles, twin cross surcingles, elastic leg straps, and a tail flap.
It is available in sizes from 4ft to 7ft 3in.
Best Combo Turnout
Weatherbeeta Comfitec Essential Combo Turnout Rug
  • Comes in a large range of sizes
  • Lightweight but warm
  • Features an integrated neck cover
  • Fully adjustable
Check Amazon

3. Best Stable Rug: Rhinegold Quilted Stable Rug with Neck Cover

While waterproof turnout rugs are great for outdoors, a stable rug is perfect for in the stable. That’s why we recommend the Rhinegold Quilted Stable Rug with Neck Cover which boasts a 350gsm fill.

Perfect for fully clipped horses or those living in particularly cold regions, this stable rug has a whopping 350gsm polyester lining. It also has a 600 denier outer layer which is durable yet breathable. Plus, it features an integrated neck cover which fastens using two Velcro closures.

This heavyweight rug also has double chest straps, twin cross surcingles, leg straps, and a tail flap so it is fully adjustable and you ca be certain to get that perfect fit. It is also available in a variety of sizes from 5ft 6in to 7ft.

The only drawback to this blanket is that it is not waterproof so it is not suitable for outdoor use — although any one of the turnout rugs we have recommended will fit the bill in that regard.

Pros and Cons of the Rhinegold Quilted Stable Rug with Neck Cover

ProsCons
This rug boasts a 350gsm polyester fill.It is not waterproof so it is not suitable for outdoor use.
It has a 600 denier breathable outer layer.
It features an integrated neck cover with two Velcro closures.
There are two chest straps, two cross surcingles, leg straps, and a tail flap to ensure a perfect fit.
It is available in sizes from 5ft 6in to 7ft.
Best Stable Rug
Rhinegold Quilted Stable Rug with Neck Cover
  • Features an integrated neck cover.
  • Has a 350gsm polyfill lining
  • Available in sizes from 5'6" to 7'0"
  • Has a 600 denier breathable outer layer.
  • Features double chest straps and two cross-over surcingles.
Check Chewy

4. Best for Foals: Weatherbeeta 1200D Foal Standard Neck Rug

If you have a foal then it’s important to keep them warm too, which is why we recommend the Weatherbeeta 1200D Foal Standard Neck Rug.

Available in sizes from 36 to 51 inches, this rug is perfect for foals and small ponies. It is made from 1200D waterproof ripstop fabric which is durable and rip-resistant. It also boasts a 220 gram polyester fill which is sure to keep your young horse warm during the cold winter.

This rug also features a single chest buckle and twin cross surcingles to ensure a snug fit. Plus, it even has a reflective badge to help you see your horse in the dark.

The only drawback to this product is that the single chest strap does not provide a complete closure as well as double chest straps do.

Pros and Cons of the Weatherbeeta 1200D Foal Standard Neck Rug

ProsCons
This rug is made from 1200D waterproof ripstop fabric which is durable and rip-resistant.The single chest strap does not provide a complete closure as well as double chest straps do.
It has a 220g polyester fill.
It features a single chest strap and twin cross surcingles.
There is a reflective badge to help with nighttime visibility.
It is available in sizes from 36 to 51 inches.
Best for Foals
Weatherbeeta 1200D Foal Standard Neck Rug
  • Made from waterproof ripstop material with a 210 denier outer layer.
  • Features a 220g polyester lining.
  • Has a single chest strap and two cross surcingles.
  • Available in several sizes.
Check Chewy

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

When it comes to their demands and general tolerance to the cold, each horse is unique. Some horses are also more destructive than others when it comes to their blankets. When it comes to purchasing adequate blankets for your horses, keep all of these particular variables in mind. Other factors to consider throughout the purchasing process are listed below.

Sheets vs. Blankets

Sheets are horse apparel items that are devoid of stuffing or insulation. A few are waterproof for light coverage in the wintertime, while others are constructed of cotton blends for ventilation in the summer. Horse sheets are an excellent alternative for horses in temperate climes that want weather protection but not extra warmth. 

Horse blankets with fill between the outer and inner layers give extra warmth for the horse in the winter. Blankets are available in various weights to serve horses in various climates.

Living Conditions

Winter coats may be sufficient for horses with stalls or shelter. Although, if they do not have complete shelter from the cold, a blanket may be the best option. Consider how much time they spend outdoors vs. in a covered shelter. Also, if your horse is clipped then theit y will typically need a thicker blanket than an unclipped horse that still has its own winter coat for warmth.

Location

The climate where your horse lives, as well as the environment they’re used to, might influence how they react to cooler temps. An equine used to living in Hawaii will react differently to a 30-degree night than the one used to living in Minnesota.

Coat

Unclipped horses may not require blankets since they can develop the required hair coat to keep warm, but clipped horses, whether partly or fully clipped, will require a blanket when the temperature lowers. However, if you want to prevent an unclipped horse from developing a thick winter coat then blanketing them is a good idea.

Age

Horses who are older may have a tougher difficulty staying warm and putting on weight during the cold months. As a result, some older horses may need extra protection against the weather, regardless of whether they are clipped or not.

Travel 

It may be okay to blanket throughout travel according to where you are going. If the horse is not acclimated to a cooler area, it may be prone to cold in the trailer, comparable to the location factor. Additionally, if the horse is totally clipped or has a thin coat, a sheet or blanket may be required to keep them warm during the cooler months of travel. 

When choosing a blanket, keep in consideration how much airflow your trailer has. Due to chilly winds, trailers that let in extra air, including stock trailers, may mean that the horse needs blanketing. However, in trailers with much less ventilation or with numerous horses riding together it may be necessary to use a lighter blanket for your horse. A general rule of thumb is to have a variety of blanket weights so you can switch them out depending on the season.

The Different Types of Horse Blankets: Pros and Cons Compared

Turnout blankets, also known as turnout rugs, are meant to keep your horse warm and comfortable while out in the field. They generally have a weatherproof outer layer that varies in denier and fill level. The fabric thickness is determined by the denier (typically 600D or 1200D), with higher deniers being more robust and less prone to tearing. Turnouts are ideal for horses who perhaps reside or spend time outdoors.

Turnout blankets are similar to stable blankets, except stable blankets are not waterproof. As a result, they are great for horses who reside indoors. You may choose from a variety of deniers and fillings depending on how harsh your horse is on blankets and how much insulation they require.

About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

The Best Horse Blankets for Staying Warm in Winter FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

When should you blanket a horse in winter?

When a horse is blanketed, the impacts of cold and inclement weather are reduced. While some horses may be perfectly fine with their own thick coat of hair, others may need to be blanketed — especially in colder regions or if they are turned out without sufficient shelter from adverse weather conditions. Clipped horses need to be rugged during the winter as they have not got their own hair to protect them, also some older horses and very young ones may need to be rugged too.

How cold can horses tolerate with a blanket?

Horses in good physical condition can survive temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit with ease. Strong winds, on the other hand, can cause issues by ruffling the horse’s hair and disrupting the protective layer of warm air buried beneath it.

What size blanket does my horse need?

It’s critical to measure your horse in order to purchase the best-fitting blanket. Begin in the middle of their chest and work your way down the side of their body, taking care to include the largest area of their shoulders and hindquarters.

Should you blanket an old horse?

Cold weather often affects older horses more than younger horses. Turning out older horses in inclement weather can be difficult due to wet and windy conditions.

It’s usually safer to blanket your senior horse if he’s skinny or has health issues that cause him to eat more or less.

Even though your horse appears to be in good health, if you detect him shivering, he needs a blanket. You may need to add blankets if the horse continues to be chilly.

Just make sure not to overcook them. Remove or check beneath the covers on a frequent basis for friction or discomfort, skin illness, or weight loss. If you keep blankets on for a period of time, these issues can soon develop.

Should you blanket a wet horse?

No, a horse must be dry before being covered. If a blanket gets wet, remove it from the horse before it gets too cold. Use a wool chiller with a ventilated lining instead, which allows moisture to drain while keeping the horse warm. Fleece will help drain away moisture fast, but if you don’t remove it once the horse has dried, the cloth will remain wet and chilly.

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