As an equestrian or horse owner, providing your horse with the right equipment for their protection and comfort is essential. But when it comes to a blanket, which one should you use? Stable blankets are designed to keep your horse warm inside their stall and in colder weather conditions. In contrast, Turnout blankets offer exceptional waterproofing that helps protect them from rain, snow, and wind while outside in the pasture. In this blog post, we'll look at both styles of blankets and explain why each one is effective so you can ensure you have the best option for your horses!

What’s the Difference Between a Turnout Blanket and a Stable Blanket?

Stable Blanket

Whether you are a new horse owner or an experienced equestrian, understanding turnout blankets and stable blankets is essential to protect and provide warmth for your horses year-round. While the terms may sound similar, the primary difference lies in where each type of blanket is designed to be used. Turnout blankets are meant to be worn when horses are outside in the elements and usually have a thicker outer shell with a waterproof finish that provides an extra layer of protection from the wind, rain, and snow. Conversely, stable blankets are typically lighter in weight than turnout blankets, as most of their use is indoors when horses are spending time in their stalls or barns. Stable blankets are also frequently used while trailering a horse.

To summarize: stable blankets are designed indoors and are best used when the horse is resting; turnout blankets are best suited for the outdoors and protect against the elements.

Location of Use

The primary difference between a turnout blanket and a stable blanket is where they are used. A turnout blanket is designed to be worn outside in the elements, while stable blankets are primarily used while horses are inside their stalls or barns. Generally, turnout blankets will be thicker and more waterproof than stable blankets because they need to stand up to outdoor conditions like wind, rain, snow, etc.


Turnout blankets are almost always waterproofed (or at least water-resistant) to keep horses dry even in inclement weather. Most stable blankets won’t have waterproofing because they aren’t generally exposed to wet weather indoors. However, if you want protection against spills or dampness in your horse’s stall, some stable blankets may also offer waterproofing features.


When it comes to choosing the right blanket for your horse, materials and fillings are important. Turnout blankets are often made from heavier materials than stable blankets, as they must be able to stand up to more extreme weather conditions. Stable blankets may use lighter-weight fabric such as cotton or mesh for breathability and ventilation.

As for fillings, a polyfill is a popular heavy-duty synthetic fiber often used in turnout blankets due to its durability. Natural fibers such as wool can also be found in some heavier turnout blankets. For stable blankets, light synthetic fibers like fleece provide warmth without the added weight that turnout blankets require.

Layering / Warmth Levels

Turnout blankets usually come in different layering levels, so you can choose how much coverage your horse needs based on the weather outside – typically ranging from light summer sheets to heavy winter turnout blankets. Stable blankets generally come with less insulation than turnout blankets since they are not typically exposed to extreme weather conditions when worn indoors; however, more insulation is still available if needed. Additionally, stable blankets can be used underneath turnout blankets for added warmth.

There are many choices and varieties when looking for the perfect turnout or stable blanket for your horse. But with a few key differences in mind, you can easily narrow your options and choose the right one for your horse. You should make sure to think about where the blanket will be used, how waterproof it is, what materials are in it, and how thick/warm it is.

FAQ About Stable Blankets vs. Turnout Blankets

turnout Blanket

Can a horse wear a stable blanket outside?

Keeping your horse warm and protected during inclement weather is important, but using a stable blanket while outside is not recommended. Stable blankets are typically thinner and offer less protection than turnout blankets, which could leave your horse vulnerable to cold weather and elements like wind and rain. Investing in a quality turnout blanket ensures that your horse will have ample protection when spending time outside and will keep them feeling more comfortable while they explore their pastures.

What are the benefits of using a stable blanket?

Stable blankets are a great way to provide added comfort and warmth for horses when they are in an indoor environment. Stable blankets not only keep horses cozy and warm, but they also help to protect the horse’s coat from dust, dirt, and shavings.

What are the benefits of using a turnout blanket?

Using a turnout blanket has many benefits for any horse owner. The waterproof and durable materials offer your horse protection and comfort in all types of weather, whether it's raining, snowing, or windy outside. Insulated materials also provide added warmth when the temperatures drop.

How do I know when to blanket my horse?

Understanding when and why to blanket your horse can be tricky! When the weather turns cold, it is important to determine which type of blanket to use and how often. Horse owners must consider various factors, including their horse's size, breed, and lifestyle. Factors such as coat condition, age, health, and body weight also play important roles in determining when a horse should be provided with extra insulation from cold temperatures. To get more information on how best to care for your horse amidst colder climates, check out our blog "How to Know When to Blanket Your Horse" for more guidance.

How do I fit my horse's blankets properly?

It's important to keep your horse warm and comfortable throughout the winter, especially if weather conditions are less pleasant. To help provide the best care for your horse, ensure that their blanket fits properly and is in good condition. Various sizes and styles of blankets are available, so it can be hard to know which is right for your horse. Our blog “Which Blanket Fit Is Right for My Horse” can help guide you through this process. We provide detailed instructions on measuring the length, width, and other factors to ensure a proper fit!

With all this information, you can confidently select the correct turnout or stable blanket for your horse this season. To learn more about horse blankets, check out our blog, “Blanketing 101.”

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