Make those pricey blankets and sheets hold up longer by following 6 easy care tips
The cost of turnout blankets and sheets can add up super fast, especially if you have a horse that is tough on them. There are a ton of factors to think about when picking out the right horse blankets to meet your horse’s needs which can make the buying process tedious so why not make sure you have to do it less often by taking a few extra steps to make them last longer.
1. Wash it with blanket wash: Choosing a good quality blanket wash will ensure that the waterproofing is not broken down during washing like it could be from heavy duty detergents. I recommend picking out an option like Nikwax Rug Wash* as it will not irritate your horse’s skin, does a great job of cleaning, and is cruelty-free (happy bunnies everywhere thank you).
2. Correctly adjust buckles and straps: This one might seem obvious but its worth keeping tabs on. Having straps adjusted so they are loose enough to slide your hand under but not so loose that they are able to flap around will ensure that your horse’s blanket stays put while he is romping around which is safer for him and makes it less likely to end up with any straps getting ripped off.
3. Prevent it from getting chewed up: If your horse lives in a very playful herd you know first hand how quickly they can shred up those crazy expensive blankets so why not make them less desirable to chew on. Simply by spraying the blanket with bitter all natural chew prevention such as NaturVet Bitter Yuck, it will be less tasty to play with and hopefully stay in one piece longer.
4. Do not put waterproof blankets in the dryer on hot settings: using a hot setting to dry blankets will cause the waterproofing to break down faster-leaving areas of your blanket with less protection.
5. Buckle and snap straps before washing: when you are putting your horse’s blanket in the washing machine buckling and snapping all straps will keep it from coming out as a mangled tangled mess which is not only better for the blanket but better for the balance of the washer as well. If a set of straps happens to get eaten by the washer or trashed by your horse, don’t sweat it, you can grab a new pair here.
6. Blanket restoration and repair can save a ton of money and keep you from having to go through the process of picking new ones out all over again. Many companies make re-waterproofing spray that can be sprayed on the outer shell of the blanket to help seal up areas that have become less than 100% waterproof. As for torn straps or small tears in the outer shell or lining, there is plenty of hope even if you are not into DIY sewing projects and don’t have access to a blanket repair shop nearby. If you ask around to quilting/sewing shops or shoe repair services they can usually point you to someone with a heavy duty machine that can stitch on heavy nylon patches and thick buckles/straps because they usually have professional machines made for sewing leather and quilted materials.
I hope these tips help your horse stay warm & dry and help you have more time for riding.