Boarding barn blanketing help

Looking for suggestions for a blanketing and layering system that won’t make barn staff hate me :joy:.

I need a new set of blankets as we head into fall/winter (one current blanket is too big, some need repairs and rubbed like crazy).

The catch? Barn only does one blanket change a day - one blanket off/on. No switching from a heavy for outside to a stable sheet/light blanket for inside. Last year he lived in a stable sheet as a liner (24:7) but it rubbed as well as was too long and got nasty quick. Switched to his turnout sheet as a liner (barn threw his heavy blanket on top for turnout) but much of the same issues.

He does need something on inside as the barn hovers in the low/mid 40s which is great but still chilly for my guy. He gets tight and tucked up when he’s cold, as well as had been found shivering a few times when the temps really dropped and the doors had been opened.

How easy to use are those layering systems like the Rambo? My concern is he doesn’t necessarily need a heavy liner on inside, and I think those systems clip together to be used as a single blanket (aka not easy to take the shell on and off). I’ve never actually seen them though.

Is there a better liner system out there? A particular stable sheet that works well? Maybe something closed front? (I think the multiple straps on his chest contributed to the rubs and the nipping around blanket time). I’m in a great place to overhaul the system since I’m starting basically from scratch. Horse has low withers and big shoulders, more of a QH build than a TB.

Any suggestions would be great!

I haven’t tried them, but would something like the Bucas Power turnouts work? They are supposed to work for a wide range of temperatures.

The Rambo liners don’t have syrcingles so unless you get them added they can’t really be used alone. They aren’t terrible to separate but there’s a lot of velcro so I wouldn’t want to do it twice daily.

It sounds like you may just need better fitting blankets in general. We layer the turnout blankets and turnout sheets pretty routinely and i haven’t had any issues so you may just need a QH cut or something. However SStack.com (among others) make closed front nylon stable sheets so you could try something like that and just get two so you can wash frequently.

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Is he clipped? If not, I find 100g fill to be really versatile if you don’t need something truly heavy.

I have the basic Horseware liners and use them with unlined Amigo Bravo and Rambo sheets. They attach to the outer blanket at the neck and at the rings for the tail cord, so you can put it in and pull it off like one blanket, except the liner has a separate front closure. I like them fine for my own personal use but I think barn staff would hate you if they were needing to switch them out regularly.

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It’s going to depend on the temperature and climate. But I don’t see why you can’t have a stable blanket plus rain sheet or 100 gram turnout.

Have extras so when you visit, you can swap out either component if it is wet or rubbing on him.

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I’d avoid stable sheets/blankets

You didn’t list the typical outside conditions - how cold is it usually, is it often sunny or cloudy, and often windy or still.

A medium weight (200gm ish) can work well for low 40s and stationary (in the barn), as well as a wide range of outside conditions. Colder situations can have a sheet or 80/100gm fill heavy sheet added on top, removed when back inside.(or left on for any really cold nights)

You can do the reverse - heavy sheet on, add the medium if it’s cold enough. The heavier blanket will reduce the air space between the 2, but that might not be an issue.

Schneider’s has (or had) an 80gm sheet, I’m not sure who else does.

The biggest problem is I doubt there is any blanket that won’t rub when left on full time. You’d have to put on a shoulder slinky to help, and even that has its own set of issues. Skin just needs to breathe.

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Horse isn’t clipped but might as well be. He’s been found outside shivering in the single digits with a liner + heavy + hood.

I’ll take the advice that the Rambo system might not work. I try to make the staff happy since they handle my pony daily! I have a Schneider’s fly sheet that fits okay, but I think I got the wrong cut. I may order one of their QH cut sheets to try, and I’ll check out the closed fronts.

Oh yeah I’m in Wisconsin, so winters stay in the teens - 30s, windy, snowy, icy, and cold. We get weeks of single digits/below 0 early in the year too. Inside hovers around 30s-40s but he’s on the center aisle so blocked from the wind at least.

Another option, is there an option to pay someone who is there more often than you are to do added blanket changes?

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This is a rather large boarding barn and the owner straight up said she doesn’t do extra changes because of the time suck on her staff. Which I understand completely.

I’m thinking I’m going to try to find stuff that fits better in general, and maybe get doubles so he can have a clean blanket whenever he needs.

@JB These are exactly the ideas I was looking for. Thank you! I’ve tried a few layering orders but since I’m not the one there all day it’s hard to experiment.

I have the Rambo duo system and I really like it but I do self care and I’m primarily the one blanketing. It’s not difficult to use, and for when it’s obnoxiously cold I just keep the liner attached and then treat it as a heavy weight.

So around here, my horses pretty much live in heavy weights with hoods. To me it’s the most versatile option. They are comfy in that from about 25-50 degrees, and since the weather here is usually in that range I don’t have to worry about running out midday because the blankets I have on them are wrong. Of all my horses, only one needed a 100g fill instead of the heavy+hood.
The great thing about the heavyweights is that without a liner, they act a lot like the comforter on a bed. When it’s cold they keep you warm, but when it’s not so cold it breathes enough that you don’t feel like you are suffocating.

If it’s less than 25, I add a liner underneath. If it’s less than 5, i will put on a liner, a wool cooler, and the blanket.

I use rambos. They are the only ones I have found that don’t rub my larger chested horses.

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Dang, at 50* here, a heavyweight would have horses sweating, even if it wasn’t sunny, but especially if there was sun. Wow. Heck, if mine start running with a medium weight and a sunny 50*, they’ll sweat a bit.

The difference between a 100g fill (which is a heavy sheet/light blanket) and a heavy weight (usually 400g+) + hood is huge.

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I should mention my horses are full clipped. And a little wimpy. I’ve never had one sweat at 50, at 60 yes definitely.
My OTTB isn’t wimpy and loves most of the winter in a 100g.

I don’t change blankets for turnout and then when in a stall. My horse is clipped in the winter. My main consideration is will he sweat while in his stall at night.

The barn is located on top of a hill where we get a lot of wind. All of his turnout blankets will break the wind for him. He does seem happier with a neck cover with temperature below 30 degrees. He wears either a medium or heavy weight. Occasionally I add a 100g liner under in the really cold weather.

If the barn stays cold does he really need a blanket change? Just a thought, if he plays a lot outside, hangs out in the sun, and/or there’s a lot of hay he might be okay w/ 1 turnout on 24/7.

I find many boarding barns over blanket their indoor horses, a stable sheet and an outdoor could easily be 400-500g total which is way too hot if the horses moves in any way lol But as winter temps reach low at night and reach highs during the day, the difference in temp is sometimes negligible. I’ve brought in many a horse drenched in sweat on cold (-15/-20 C) but sunny days :slight_smile:

Another note on him shivering in his liner and heavyweight, it may have been too many blankets. Both the horse’s own hair and blankets themselves actually use air as insulation. If the blankets are squished by their own weight they might not be insulating/working correctly.

Personally I leave the same blanket on for +/-10 degrees C of temp fluctuation. And actually my horse lives outside w/ DIY blanketing (ie no blanket changes from barn staff) and can withstand quite the range on temps in one weight of blanket. On dry crisp nights w/ no wind I can get away with 100g in -10 C wind chill lows. He uses his neck to regulate his temp, I use that as my indicator for when to blanket up or down.

The liners for the rambo/horseware combo blankets unfortunately don’t have belly or leg straps, so not useable for indoors. For outdoor horses I love them, for temp increases I can go out and slide the liner off without doing a full blanket change. The liner attaches to the blanket with velcro at the front and clips at the back, the liners do have their own front buckle.

Horseware does have stable sheets that would be its own blanket: https://shop.horseware.com/product/amigo-insulator-100g-lite/ Maybe paired with a slinky/shoulder guard to help things slide? The stable blankets come in all different weights (100g, 200g, 300g, 400g) so you could get a variety & pair it with a 0g or 100g rain sheet. For me 400g suffices for cold snaps but you could get a medium weight/200g for extreme cold emergencies.

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Policies like the one your barn has are one of my pet peeves - and one of the many reasons I’m glad I no longer board. If the barn is going to half a$$ it - and that’s exactly what changing blankets only once per day is - then they should just not offer blanketing services at all. Twice a day (morning/evening) is reasonable and really not at all onerous; once is useless. MAYBE that would work somewhere where it’s either very cold all the time or never gets cold at all, but here in the south? It’s not unusual for us to be in the high teens overnight and upper 40s or even 50s the next day. No single blanket/sheet in the world is appropriate for both of those temperature points.

OP, as far as layering systems go, Schneiders has by far the best. They also have by far the best fit options for horses who aren’t 16+ hand TB/warmblood types. Closed fronts work best for layering, to minimize bulk and gaping around the neck and chest area. In your position, I think I’d probably go with one of the Tekno-fleece linings for most days. It’s a pretty versatile weight and breathes really well if it’s left on him on days when it’s really too warm for a blanket but the barn won’t remove one. Then, could you could just go out yourself and add or remove a heavier blanket when needed?

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My barn implied that I’d be kicked out if I used liners in my layering system. Nicely. But I got the point. I liked the idea of the Rambo system, and one of the other horses had it, but evidently it was troublesome to live with.

I have two goals with my rugging system. The first is that in the average winter conditions in my area, most rug changes are “take top layer off to go in stall, put top layer back on to go back outside.” The second is that between December and March, I want to be able to take home and wash any one of the rugs I own, and have the horse appropriately dressed for the conditions. In the mid-Atlantic, damp/quite windy/icy, RealFeel between 0 and 30 between those three months, I accomplish this with a turnout sheet and a 100g, 250g, and 470g. All the blankets have hoods (and I had rings put on the sheet to put a hood on that if needed, too.)

As you have learned, the real key is fit. But once you get your horse in rugs that fit him well, you can layer with turnouts just as easily as (and I think, better than) you can with liners. I do think that the Rambo V-front closure can create a pressure point when consistently layered at the bottom.

I use Horseware everything because it suits my horse and have a mix of all three lines. The Amigo line makes a “Stock Horse” cut you might like. (In Rambo and Rhino, people often recommend sizing down from the horse’s measured size; I find Amigo runs true to size.)

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re: blanket rubs- I have found the bib type shoulder guards much better than the slinky lycra ones.

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