Choosing a Horse Exercise Sheet
You will need a variety of rugs and sheets for your horse if you are to provide it with adequate protection. It can start to seem like your horse has more clothes than you do! You definitely need a stable rug and a turnout rug and if you ride out in all weathers, then a horse exercise sheet is also a good idea.
What is a Horse Exercise Sheet?
An exercise rug or sheet is also known as a quarter sheet because it is designed to cover your horse’s hindquarters. It is worn when you are riding out. Some styles sit under the saddle but above the saddle pad. Others sit behind the saddle and can easily be removed and replaced when required. You can choose an exercise sheet which is fashioned from waterproof synthetic fabrics and this variety of sheet will keep your horse dry in wet weather. Alternatively you may prefer a wool or synthetic fleece exercise sheet which keeps your horse warm when exercising in the winter.
How you use the exercise sheet will depend on exactly how cold it is, your horse’s condition, how hard it is working and whether or not it has been clipped. You may only need to use the sheet on the coldest days or at the beginning of a workout. The sheet can also be used at the end of a session to prevent clipped horses from developing a chill as they cool down.
Your exercise sheet can also double as a safety aid if you choose one of the many styles fashioned from high visibility fabric. A florescent yellow, orange or even pink sheet helps to make you more visible when riding on public roads and that is always a good thing. The hi vis sheets also include reflective strips of material that bounce light and increase visibility in poorer conditions such as misty mornings or dusk.
As with any horse rug, it is important that your chosen exercise sheet is the right size for your horse. Some exercise sheets are only available in one size and may be too large for smaller animals. If the sheet you are looking at is available in more than one size then take the appropriate measurements to ensure that you achieve the best fit. The sheet should afford sufficient freedom of movement but should not be so large that there is excessive fabric dangling down as this can get caught on bushes and fixed objects.
A horse exercise sheet is certainly a practical addition to your equine wardrobe. You may not use the exercise sheet every day, even in the winter, but it is good to know that it is there. You can never predict what the weather is going to do next and it is possible to experience all four seasons in one day! With an exercise sheet to hand you will always be able to ride out knowing that your horse has the protection it needs. A good quality sheet will be well constructed and durable and so can be used over an extended period of time.