From Fleeces to Summer Sheets for Horses
You probably know that you need rugs and sheets for your horse but which ones? It is tempting to try to get away with as few rugs and sheets as possible but this approach may not be the most beneficial for your horse. You probably don’t want your horse to end up with a more extensive wardrobe than yours but you will need to invest in more than one rug or sheet. We will discuss stable rugs, fly sheets and turnout rugs elsewhere but here’s the low down on your other options - from fleeces to summer sheets for horses.
Fleeces and Coolers
On colder days, if your horse is sweating after a period of exercise, then it
can easily catch a chill if it cools down too rapidly. A fleece or cooler sheet provides insulation for your horse and wicks away moisture. It enables air to circulate so your horse can dry naturally but without getting too cold. A fleece or cooler prevents your horse’s temperature from dropping too quickly whilst they dry. You can also make use of a cooler sheet to keep your horse clean whilst travelling. It could also be used as an under rug on the coldest days to provide an extra layer of insulation when you need it.
If you ride out in all weathers than an exercise sheet would be a very good investment. An exercise sheet covers your horse’s hindquarters and sits under or behind the saddle. It protects your horse from the worst of the elements and you can choose from insulating and waterproof styles. These sheets are especially effective if your horse has been clipped and some exercise sheets are fashioned from high visibility fabrics for additional safety on the roads.
When you compete your horse can easily become cold, wet or dirty whilst you are waiting to enter the arena. A competition sheet will keep your horse feeling and looking fabulous so they are ready for action.
Stable sheets are lighter than stable rugs and offer a little extra insulation for horses on cool rather than cold evenings. Stable sheets keep horses clean whilst they are stabled and are good to have on stand-by because the weather in the UK is so variable and unpredictable.
Your horse won’t be in danger of getting cold on summer days but it does require protection from the sun’s UV rays. Summer sheets for horses help to prevent the sun from fading your horse’s coat and will keep your horse nice and clean. This type of sheet tends to be made from cotton or lightweight, moisture wicking synthetic fabrics which ensure that your horse does not overheat.
Summer sheets for horses with darker coloured coats can help to keep to keep them cool on hot sunny days as the sheet reflects the sunlight and the material will be breathable. This can also be useful for horses with sensitive skin. Often summer sheets also double as fly sheets to help protect against bugs and sweet itch and some even have a waterproof top to keep the summer rains off your horse and make sure they are dry and ready to go when you want to ride. Great for our British summers!
You should now have a quick overview of the types of sheets available and which sheets you need for your horse. If you invest in good quality horse sheets then they will serve both you and your horse well for several seasons. It really is a good idea to cover all eventualities as you never know what the weather is going to do. Protecting your horse will save you from further issues down the line.