Blankets help create a protective layer between your horse and the elements. However, this protection is compromised when the blanket doesn't fit properly. A horse's coat provides a natural layer of insulation. As the fall approaches and the temperature drops, the coat begins to grow. In the cold weather the hairs of the horse will stand up and a stagnant layer of air is created, which is one of nature's best methods of insulating any animal. If these hairs have been clipped or are flattened by rain, snow or sleet, the natural protection is removed and the horse will feel the effects of the cold. If left in this situation for a period of time, the horse will get sick. That's when it's important for the horse to have a fitted blanket to protect it [source: Horse Information].
Here's how to measure your horse with a flexible (cloth) tape measure.
- Make sure your horse is standing on a flat surface in a natural position.
- Begin at the left side of the horse. Place the end of the tape measure on the horse at the point where the neck meets the center of the chest. Have a friend hold tape measure in place.
- Stretch the tape measure along the left side of the horse, over the widest part of the shoulder. Continue as far as you can reach toward the buttocks. Mark the spot and record the measurement.
- Have your friend hold the end of the tape measure at the spot you marked.
- Continue to draw the tape measure along the side of the horse and across to the point of the buttocks, which is even with the center of the horse's tail. Add about 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 centimeters) to this measurement so that the blanket will hang down a bit. Record this measurement.
- Add the measurements together. This is the length you want the blanket to be. The width is standard [source: drsfostersmith].