With a Canadian spring often comes a plethora of weather variations. It’s possible for us to face rain one day and a freak blizzard the next. You just never know what you’re going to get! Here are several creature comfort terms to keep in mind, if you’re shopping for anything from a turnout rug to a heavy duty winter guard.
Breathability – Breathability is the ability of a fabric to allow sweat and excess moisture to pass through it to the outside air. Blankets featuring this technology are commonly designed with a \”hydrophilic\” (water loving) coating on the inside of the fabric that draws excess sweat and moisture to it. Temperature differences between the air inside and outside of the rug/blanket then force moisture outwards. This allows your horse to stay dry and comfortable.
Denier – A fabric's denier rating relates to the weight of the yarn in the fabric: the higher then denier, the heavier and tougher the fabric.
Insulation / Fill / Polyfill – A blanket’s warmth is measured in grams of its synthetic insulation per square metre. The higher the grams, the more fill per metre and the warmer the horse. Blankets are available in a variety of fills to suit the season, location (geographic, paddock, stable, indoor, outdoor) and your horse's needs.
Tail Guard – A tail guard is an extra flap of material on the hind end of a horse’s blanket. It will keep wind gusts from blowing underneath the blanket when your horse turns his back to the wind.
Taped Seams – A physical barrier at the seams of the blanket (done with a kind of “tape” that completely and fully blocks the stitch holes), to keep moisture out.
Neck Covers – Some blankets come with fastened or removable neck covers. Not only do these provide extra protection from the wind and warmth to a large area of your horse’s body, they can also double duty as a mane protector if your horse has a habit of sticking his head through fences.
Shoulder Gussets – One of the best innovations to ever come available to horse blankets, especially if you own a “stocker-type” breed. Shoulder gussets allow for complete freedom of the horse’s movement as they are correctly positioned in front of the horse’s shoulders.
Water Proof – In Canada, it’s often best to purchase blankets that offer water proof protection. An outer fabric or material that offers 100% waterproof characteristics and ensures durability over a longer period of time, will mean you won’t have to spray on water proof protection on your own.
Wither Relief – Custom shaped padding in the wither area to provide added comfort and protection.