Winter is almost here, and it’s time to take care of our furry friends in the stable. One essential item to provide warmth and protection for your horse during this season is a turnout blanket. But owning a turnout blanket is not enough; proper care is necessary to ensure its longevity and effectiveness. In this blog post, we will discuss some essential tips for caring for horse turnout blankets.
1. Cleanliness is Key
Horse turnout blankets often get dirty, especially with mud and sweat during turnout. Regular cleaning is important to maintain their functionality and extend their lifespan. Here are some tips for keeping your turnout blanket clean:
- Remove Loose Dirt: Before washing, use a stiff brush or your hands to remove any loose dirt or debris from the blanket.
- Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning before proceeding. Different blankets may have different care instructions.
- Machine Wash with Gentle Detergent: Most turnout blankets are machine washable. Use a mild detergent designed for horse blankets and select a gentle cycle with cold water.
- Air Dry: Never put your turnout blanket in the dryer as heat can damage the waterproof coating. Hang the blanket to dry thoroughly.
2. Repair and Maintain
Horse turnout blankets go through wear and tear, especially during turnout sessions. It’s essential to regularly inspect and repair any damage to maintain their effectiveness. Here’s what you can do:
- Inspect Before Use: Before putting the blanket on your horse, examine it for any signs of damage, such as torn straps or loose stitches. Repair them promptly to avoid further damage.
- Patch Small Holes: If you notice any small holes or tears, patch them using a repair kit specifically designed for horse blankets. This will prevent the damage from worsening and keep your horse dry.
- Professional Repair: For severe damage or if you are unsure about repairing it yourself, consult a professional blanket repair service.
3. Proper Storage
Storage plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality and longevity of your horse turnout blanket. Follow these tips for storing your blanket when not in use:
- Clean Before Storage: Make sure the blanket is thoroughly clean and dry before storing it. This will prevent the growth of mold or mildew.
- Fold and Store in a Dry Area: Fold the blanket neatly and place it in a dry area away from direct sunlight. Hanging the blanket may lead to stretching and distortion of its shape.
- Protect from Vermin: Use a plastic storage bin or airtight bag to protect the blanket from mice or insects that may chew or nest in it.
Taking care of your horse’s turnout blanket not only keeps your horse comfortable but also ensures you are making the most of your investment. By following these tips, you can help extend the life of your turnout blankets and keep your equine friend warm and dry throughout the winter season. Happy riding!
Disclaimer: Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for care and maintenance specific to your horse turnout blanket.