As Spring gets closer, it can be a very exciting time in the equestrian world. If you feel the weather turning and your horse’s coat is beginning to shed, then it’s a sure sign it is time to clean and store your winter horse blankets.
Let’s go over inspecting the blankets for damage, cleaning the blankets, and an easy way to fold them so they store nicely. Since the blankets will not be in use for a while, they will be out of sight and out of mind, which means we want them ready to be used with little to no worry when winter comes around again.
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Inspect the Blankets for Damage
Before I wash the blankets, I like to check the material for any rips or tears. Then, check all the straps, making sure there is no damage or fraying. Lastly, check all the closures to ensure they are still working properly. If you find some rips or tears, you can repair them with tape or a patch. If any of the hardware of straps are damaged, you can purchase replaceable straps. I haven’t tried this, but they are available. Blankets are not inexpensive and horses do damage them, so it’s wise to make them last rather than replacing them each year.
Time to Wash the Blanket
Before you put your horse blanket in your washing machine, wipe any visible dirt off with a towel. Horse blankets are large, so only try to wash one blanket at a time. I like to use a mild laundry soap such as All Detergent and wash on a cold temperature. But be sure you follow any directions on the label. When your washer is done, make sure your blanket comes out somewhat clean. If not, you may wash it one more time. In my experience all the dirt doesn’t come off and I end up spot cleaning it with a warm wash cloth and a small amount of mild soap. Then it’s time to hang it out to dry. Hopefully on a sunny day so it dries quickly. I just hang ours on our hitching post, but a wooden fence would work as well. You may even have to switch sides in a few hours to make sure the blanket becomes fully dry before storing it.
Time to Store your Blanket
I like to store our horse blankets in a tote that keeps mice and bugs out of them. There’s nothing worse than finding a mouse has chewed enormous holes in your horse blanket. That is something that happened to me years ago and I was so mad for not storing it properly. You can spend $10 or so and save yourself from this horrible disaster. Now, on to folding your blanket so it fits nicely in your tote. Start by laying the blanket flat on the floor and in half, place the straps inside and tucked away. Next, fold inwards from the back. Then, fold inwards from the front. Lastly, fold upward from the bottom and then you have a nice square blanket.
Time to Shop
If you find you need a new winter blanket or just want to purchase a backup, then consider buying one now rather than waiting. A lot of retailers will have a blow out sale or mark them on clearance in the Spring. I find it is worth it to buy at least a mid-grade blanket. They hold up better and are worth the extra cost. Also, be sure to read the reviews before you buy.
Tip: I always struggle with buckles when my hands are cold. Therefore, I like when blankets have snaps in the front. Below are links to a few standard blankets you might consider.
That is it. I hope you are ready for Spring and ready clean and store those horse blankets. Be sure to watch the short video demonstration below.
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Let Your Dreams Run Wild Hoodie
This is a really soft and warm hoodie. Perfect to keep you comfortable in the saddle or out working with your horse.
• 100% cotton face
• 65% ring-spun cotton, 35% polyester
• Front pouch pocket
• Self-fabric patch on the back
• Matching flat drawstrings
• 3-panel hood