Category Archives: Horse Riding

Blankets, How and What

Please read my post Horse Blankets For Newbies .

That post is a beginners introduction to my personal experience with horse blankets.

Let me spend a little bit of time sharing How.

First let me help you take a blanket off.

Warning, don’t do this alone your first time.

Have your trainer show you, then watch you, until you are confident.

Once you have your horse standing securely on cross ties undo his surcingles.

Tuffrider Fly Sheet

Tuffrider Fly Sheet

A blanket usually has two. Let them hang. Check his back side to make sure nothing is wrapped around the tail.

Now go to his front and look at his chest. There should be one or two buckles that need to be removed.

Once these are loose you can now remove the blanket.

Stand on the side, spread out your arms, grab the front and as far back as you can and lift the blanket off.

As you slowly pull the blanket off, slide it towards the rear of the horse. When doing this make sure nothing is pulling or caught on the horse.

You can then fold it, hang it up or place it where it belongs. Sometimes the horse blankets will get placed on the aisle floor when removed.

If this is the practice at the barn you are riding at, make sure it is placed safely against wall. You don’t want to leave anything hanging in the way for horses or people to step on or trip over.

After a while you will soon learn about all the different blankets that are available. Some of them are listed below.

There is a winter blanket, a sheet, a cooler, anti-sweat. That is to just name a few.

Some horses have a turnout blanket. You can get sheets for horse shows.

Rambo Cooler

Rambo Cooler

They come with monograms and custom colors.

The choices you have are endless.

I will have further updates with more information on blankets in further posts.

Horse Blankets For Newbies

horse blankets

Brandy sure is glad he wore his turnout blanket on this snowy day at my farm!

I want you to consider this a beginners introduction to horse blankets.

Horse Blankets are generally used during the winter, spring and fall.

It was winter back when I first started riding horses. When I would go to the barn for my lesson the horses had blankets on.

I thought that was odd because a blanket could certainly not keep the horses warm?  In fact some horses had two or three blankets on.

Well, I’ve learned quite a bit about horse blankets since then. One question that I get asked often  is “with all that hair what do they need horse blankets for?”

That’s a fair question, and I’ll attempt to answer it the simplest way I can.

Horses are more than capable of going all season long, and in all kinds of weather, without blankets. As long as they have some shelter to get in out of the nasty weather they are fine.

If you think of a horse in the wild, you will realize that they are able to regulate their body  temperature comfortably. We have taken them out of their natural environment.

horse blankets

                     Shires Turnout Blanket

Since our horses don’t always have a choice of where to go for shelter we should make sure to provide them with a nice turnout blanket. This Shires Stormbreaker 2100D Medium Weight turnout blanket is waterproof and breathable as well as VERY durable.

We ask our horses to perform for us in many ways, including riding. When they go through their paces they can work up a sweat.

You never want to put a horse away when they are warm, sweaty or hot. If this happens they can become very ill.

Another reason we use horse blankets is to try to “trick” our horses into not growing their hair long.

If your horse is body clipped, or has a short, fine coat you will want to purchase a heavier weight blanket to keep them warm.

The Rambo Original Turnout Blanket is an extremely well made classic. It can do double duty as both a turnout and a stable blanket.

It is also very warm, with 370 gms. of fiberfill. The company is so confident that these horse  blankets will hold up that they are willing to  guarantee them for three years!

They grow hair not only because of temperature change, but also because of daylight changes.  When the days start getting longer the temperatures start to rise.

In 1980 a study was held at Texas A&M by Householder and Hodge on the theory of Extended Day Regimen (ED). They proved that changes in hair growth occurred, on younger horses, by changing the length of time they were subjected to light.

They had a number of horses placed under ED lights while others were left with natural light. After the study, the horses on natural light had roughly 3X longer hair than the horses under artificial ED light.

If your horse’s hair is long he will get sweaty when worked and take a long time to cool down. You must make sure they are not hot, or even slightly warm, before you put them away.

It’s very important that you remain aware of this.  Just like any athlete, to cool your horse down you need to walk him.

It is a very good idea to own a horse cooler. Coolers help wick away moisture (sweat) and keep your horse from being chilled while cooling down.

The Horseware Amigo Mio Fleece Cooler is a reasonably priced and nice looking cooler for everyday use.

You can spend well over 30 minutes walking your horse to cool them off properly. Don’t cut any corners here.  Walk and walk and walk. You may even need to towel dry damp hair.

Don’t worry about over walking, it is far better to walk too much than too little.

I hope I have been able to shed a little light on why we use horse blankets!

Horse Riding Boots For Everyday And Show

horse riding boots

Wearing well fitting, comfortable boots will help improve your riding

Horse riding boots, riding boots, tall boots, dress boots, field boots, leather boots, rubber boots,paddock boots. Stop the merry go round I need to get off!

There are so many choices and styles. Some with different purposes.

I hope this reference guide can help you decide what choices you should make.

Tall horse riding boots made with leather are available in many different styles.

Quality tall leather riding boots are considered the most prestigious type of boot because of their classic look and hefty price tag.

There are many advantages to leather boots beyond the appearance and you can get a good quality tall boot at a reasonable price.

My recommendation for an excellent quality, every  day tall riding boot is the Ariat Womens V Sport Tall Zip Tall Riding Boot.

Ariat boots are well made. comfortable, easy care and last a LONG time. What’s not to like?

tall horse riding boots

Ariat everyday tall boots

When you first try on horse riding boots they can seem hard, stiff and uncomfortable. There is usually a “break in” period.

Quality leather riding boots are naturally soft and in time, with extended use, will develop and mold into the shape of your foot and leg by softening behind the knee and in the ankle area.

These aren’t boots that you can just throw into a corner when finished riding. You need to maintain them properly or they will soon degenerate and look dirty, scuffed and start to fall apart.

Tall horse riding boots are preferred in horse shows, clinics and other competition.

horse riding boots

These Ariat Heritage Field Boots are both affordable and good looking!

Field boots are tall leather riding boots that have lacing at the ankle. I have a big wide foot that makes me a good swimmer, but makes it hard for me to get riding boots on.

I chose field boots because the lacing allowed me a little more room to get them on. People that compete in hunt seat, jumpers and cross country will wear these riding boots.  They have more flex in their ankle when they shorten their stirrups.

Ariat Womens Heritage Field Boots are reasonably priced and have the classic good looks of a much pricier boot.

Dress boots are similar to field boots except that the doesn’t have laces and tend to have a more elongated, sleeker look.  (I could never get my foot in them and I was afraid that once I did I could only get them off with scissors!)

Around my barn many of the riders have leather dress boots. They like this style especially for horse shows. Most dress boots, and even some field boots, now come with zippers for an “easy on – easy off” experience.

horse riiding boots

Lovely zipper dress boots

The Heritage Womens Tall Zip Dress Boot is another well made, reasonably priced boot from the Ariat line of footwear.

If dressage is your discipline then dress boots are a must for showing!

You can buy inserts or rollup newspapers Inside them to help them maintain their shape.

If you oil and wax them with quality products such as Hestra Leather Balm you will get many years out of your horse riding boots!