Decoding Blanket Terminology

You are shopping for a nice new blanket for your favorite four legged friend when you come across several different types. What is the difference between these blankets that all look the same? Equine terminology can be tough to understand, especially when it is 32 degrees outside and your horse is a little chilly.

Even after being a horse owner for 13 years, I find that there is always something new to learn. Blankets can be a tough thing to shop for. You want to make sure you find the perfect fit and the right style for what your horse needs. We will start with the blanket terms.

Denier – This refers to the fabric in the blanket, and it’s thickness. A higher denier blanket will typically mean it is made of a much heavier fabric. So this means that the higher the denier, the blanket will be stronger in protecting from snow, wind and water. The fabric will also be more water resistant than a lower denier count. A higher denier blanket will be the best blanket for horses who are turned out frequently during snow, sleet, wind and rain. This will provide the best protection from the winter weather outside.

Waterproof & Water Resistant – Waterproofed blankets are made to protect from rain and snow. The material is made to protect and keep your horse dry during wet weather. A water resistant blanket means that the material will repel water, but not for long periods of time, meaning eventually the water will soak through the blanket to your horse.

Ripstop – This refers to the nylon that the blanket is made of. If you look closely, the blanket will have a criss cross pattern that is made to prevent a small rip from turning into a major hole.

Now, lets move on to the types of blankets that are available…

Turnout Blankets – This type of blanket is used for horses that are turned out daily. They are made to withstand the winter weather, and are also made to help against playful horses in the pasture. This blanket is the tougher of all the blankets. It will be waterproof and strong, protecting it from wear and tear. Most blankets will have 3 different types of weights.

Light – estimated to keep warm in 45-60 degrees.

Medium – estimated to keep warm in 30 degrees and above.

Heavy – estimated to keep warm in 30 degrees and below.

These blankets are wonderful for those horses who are turned out on a daily basis. The only issue that an owner will run into is that during the spring time and late winter the temperatures change drastically. This means that you as a owner have to pay attention to the changes in temperature to remove the blanket when it gets warmer and place the blanket back on during those chilly nights.

Stable Blanket – These blankets are often filled with a fiber type of filling. This blankets are not waterproof or tear resistant. They are to be used inside a stable and are not recommended to those horses who get turned out.

Sheets – Sheets are often made of a simple cotton material and are fairly light. They are not typically waterproof. They have many uses, some of which include protection from the sun or flies, keeping a horse clean, and keeping a horse warm in slightly chilly weather.

At we have a wide variety of horse sheets and turnout blankets for any type of weather and we carry the top brands in the industry like Tough 1 and Showman.  We’d be honored to help you select the perfect protection against weather for your horse at

Happy Riding!

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2 Responses to Decoding Blanket Terminology

  1. Monica says:

    I would like to know more about sizes of blankets…I have a percheron cross breed that has a very long back and no withers. What to buy? Dressage blanket or Western…and if there is a standard length and width. Thank you

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