Choosing the Best Turnout Blanket: Does Material Matter? by Schneiders Saddlery

When choosing blankets for your horse, not only is it important to be sure the blanket fits your horse properly, but that you are choosing the right type of blanket for the environment your horse is in, along with the weather they may encounter. Turnout blankets are designed to protect your horses from the elements, but how do you know which material or features are best?

Schneiders offers a large selection of blankets, sheets, liners, neck covers, and more, for both in the stall and during turnout. Choosing a blanket can seem overwhelming with so many options, so we’ve tried to make it easy in understanding the different features that make our blankets an easy solution to keeping your horses warm, dry, and protected from the weather, year-round.

For horses that are turned out, you can use a lightweight turnout blanket or sheet during cooler temperatures and wet or windy weather. Keeping your horse dry while allowing their coat to breathe and regulate their temperature is important, so that they do not overheat. Ample protection from rain and snow keeps them dry, preventing them from becoming chilled. A mid-weight or heavyweight turnout blanket will offer your horse extra insulation in the frigid cold or those cold winter snow storms, while protecting them against snow, sleet, rain, and wind, while also remaining breathable to keep your horse comfortable.

Protection from Wind, Water, and the Weather

All of our turnout blankets and sheets are designed to keep your horse warm, dry, and comfortable, even in fluctuating temperatures, rain, or snow, with our waterproof, windproof, and breathable turnout blankets. Schneider’s Dura-Tech®, Armorflex®, and StormShield® blanket lines are made from materials that offer three to five times the weatherproofing of other brands and designs that won’t rub or put pressure on your horse’s withers. These blankets are truly some of the best you’ll find on the market, and made to last.

StormShield® Blankets are 5X more waterproof than competitive brands. The elements are no match for these blankets - water just beads up and rolls off, keeping your horses dry. You no longer have to fret over those particular horses that refuse to go in the barn or run-in-shed during poor weather, and choose to stay out in the rain and snow. A variety of styles and fit options are available, with durable outer material to stand up to normal play during turnout, including a one-year warranty on most blankets in this line.

Tough as Armorflex®

Our ARMORflex® Challenger Turnout Blankets are coated with a special compound, making them 5X more waterproof than competitive brands. Challenger's tough outer fabric is extremely durable and is designed to withstand wear and tear from playful horses. These blankets will outperform and out last other leading brands. These blankets are so strong, we've backed them with a 5 year warranty!

If you have a horse that rough on their clothing, spends a lot of time turned out, or plays hard, our ARMORflex® Warrior Turnout Blankets are an excellent choice. The super-tough outer fabric guards against tears and withstands the rigors of the most destructive horses who are prone to ripping blankets. With Warrior you can rest easy, these blankets are backed by a lifetime warranty!

Aridity Bamboo Charcoal Lining

Some of our blankets, such as the Armorflex® Warrior Turnout Blankets, offer our Aridity™ Bamboo Charcoal Lining. Aridity™ absorbs odors, wicks moisture, has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and can help older or sore backs horses due to the far infrared ray (FIR) benefits.

Kiss those smelly, damp blankets goodbye. Our exclusive Aridity™ inner lining contains a layer of bamboo charcoal, an anti-bacterial, anti-microbial fabric which absorbs odors and wicks moisture away from your horse's sensitive skin. This fabric has been proven to wick moisture 4X faster than any other fabric, leaving your horse healthy, warm and dry under their blanket.

Bamboo charcoal comes from pieces of bamboo plants that have been harvested after at least five years, and burned in ovens ranging from 800-1200 degrees Celsius. This method increases the deodorizing and antibacterial properties, which continue to work naturally within the fabric of the blanket lining. Instead of masking odors, you can eliminate them, being an especially great feature during the winter months when your blankets are used daily and would normally pick up the smells of urine and manure, especially for horses spending more time in their stalls during inclement weather. By having natural antibacterial and antifungal traits from the bamboo, the fabric causes fewer allergic skin reactions and irritations when compared to other materials on the market that have been treated with antimicrobial agents.

Bamboo-charcoal fabric has the ability to absorb excessive moisture more effectively than traditional fabrics, as well as better ventilation and insulating abilities. Due to the nano-particles that are conductive in bamboo-charcoal, the fabric resists charge buildup resulting in reduced static shock, even in dry conditions. No more pulling your blankets off only to have your horse become skittish anticipating static electricity across their body.

If you have an older horse, or one that tends to be cold backed or become a bit muscle sore, the bamboo-charcoal fabric will be a pleasant feel for them due to the activated carbon that emits far infrared rays (FIR), which have many health benefits such as increasing circulation which allows the body to fuel muscles and repair damage more efficiently, that may ease muscle soreness and pain in older or arthritic horses.

Tekno-Fleece for Changing Temperatures

Our Tekno-Fleece® insulating lining is the perfect solution for fluctuating climates. The Tekno-Fleece® Insulation layer offers moisture-wicking technology between the inner nylon lining that is smooth against your horses coat, and the blankets outer layer. If your horse begins to sweat, whether it be from play during turnout or a change in temperature, moisture is pulled away from their skin. Moisture from your horse transfers through the outer later and evaporates, leaving your horse comfortable and dry.

Tekno-Fleece® blankets are a great option to have for those in-between days when it’s a bit colder than just needing a turnout sheet, but not quite cold enough for a heavier blanket. This feature is also helpful for horses stabled at boarding barns or if you are not able to constantly monitor or change blankets throughout the day with changing temperatures.

Schneiders carries hard-to-find sizes for foals, miniature horses, all breeds of horses, draft horses and ponies, in a large variety of styles, sizes, and features. Our customer service team is always ready to answer any questions you may have and help you determine the best blanket for your horse or pony!

How to Care for Your Blankets

Properly caring for your blankets will help extend the life of the blanket, keep your horse clean, warm, and allow your waterproof blankets to continue protecting your horse from the weather. Schneiders® Blanket Wash formula is designed specifically to combat the main concerns with caring for your horse blankets. The extra strength formula is effective on even the heaviest soil, without leaving any residue that could irritate your horse’s sensitive skin. This detergent easily and effectively, removes dirt, urine, and manure while being environmentally friendly, phosphate-free, and bio-degradable, all without compromising the protective waterproof layer on your turnout blankets. Washing stable blankets, coolers, sheets, and turnout blankets in a specially designed detergent such as this one, will prolong the life of your blankets by keeping the fabrics clean, breathable, and waterproof, with the added benefit of keeping your blanket colors bright and looking new!