I have a new horse that immediately starts ripping at the chest of his sheet. How do you prevent this? (Yes, he needs to wear a sheet–he’s clipped.)
A bib is probably a good place to start:
But I’d also consider if he really needs to be clothed. Is he actually getting cold if he’s naked? He may just run warmer than you’re used to, and is getting uncomfortable.
There are some no chew sprays you can try. When I worked at a race barn we used vaseline and cayenne pepper to make a paste.
Some horses do better in a closed front blanket.
Last resort you can try a bib or a cribbing or grazing muzzle.
Neck cradle for a while?
Or try a sleazy horse undergarment, at least until you find why that is, a certain kind of sheet or why he is tearing at it:
We had a horse that could not stand our mohair breast collars, they really drove him crazy and he acted crazy wearing one.
I know the feeling, some tags in clothes do same to me.
Sim used to rip off rugs by tearing at the chest of the rug.
I put a shadecloth rug on him. When he ripped it off I sewed it back together using quadrupled dental floss. Again and again and again.
I won. He still has shadecloth rugs, however he can also wear winter rugs in winter. He doesn’t rip at the rug anymore.
He was about 7yo at the time, now nearly 20 yo.
The Hug style blankets worked for our guy who did that. I think the way they are designed, he couldn’t tug hard enough to rip it. Also loved that they didn’t rub the shoulders as much. Just wish the cut was deeper. Would love the Hug front, now Abrazo I think, combined with a Rambo body.
I had to go to a closed front for my horse. He would rip the attachments off the front of the other ones. He seems to leave the closed front alone.
Mine used to rip blanket fronts if they felt binding to him - either pressure on the withers or tight around his shoulders. A Bossys Bib helped things slide better and he stopped ripping. Ones that got very damaged got turned into closed front blankets - less to grab.
Rap Last every few days on the chest works really well for me. It’s easy to get lazy about applying it because as careful as I am, I always end up inhaling some. But it really works if I keep it up.
Ask the previous owner?
Perhaps he is irritated by the little sizing tag on the inside front, usually left side?
If you’ve already removed them, I’d try a Bossys Bib.
I had one that was controlled somewhat by rubbing Irish Spring soap over the outside of the sheet/blanket. I’d also use Raplast sparingly but I didn’t like thinking it might run off in rain and get on his legs, then his eyes (rubbing) or I’d get on my hands and then in my eyes. Having done so I know it hurts!
The soap worked to save the outside of his sheets, but I had several that he reached up and pulled the lining out of. They were still waterproof since the outside was intact, but nice shreds of lining hanging everywhere like fringe was his special look for a year or two. He finally grew out of it.
I’ve struggled with this for years with my playful gelding. Ended up investing in the SmartPak blankets with the 10 year warranty and saved a ton on buying new blankets and repair charges every time he’d rip them. Thankfully he has (mostly) outgrown it by age 19, but there were a few years we went through many blankets.
I gave up and just got all my blankets sewn together at the front and removed all the buckles. Blanket bib or neck cradle also helps tremendously. I tried a grazing muzzle at first, but he could get it off too easily. We also realized that he will do it when there’s nothing to eat outside, so having a round bale outside helped tremendously instead of throwing a flake or two out
I’d ask the previous owners and try different styles/cuts if you haven’t already. He might just be super picky about fit. I leased a horse who would immediately kill every blanket by biting at the chest, except for a Rhino Wug that the owner sent with him. He couldn’t even wear a cooler properly—you had to drape one of those square coolers over him without buckling anything, then carefully fold the front back just so. The current owner uses Schneiders blankets and he’s happy in one of those too. They have a bunch of different cuts and closed-front options.
Or, did he just move to your barn and does he seem well-adjusted in general? I’d wonder if he’s ulcery or if it’s an expression of anxiety.