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Blanketing Suggestions For Very Narrow TB

This topic contains 37 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  G & S 2 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 38 total)
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  • dylbillpickle Original Poster dylbillpickle
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 5

    I have a 15.3hh, eight year old OTTB mare. She’s very narrow and bony (though not underweight) with high withers. I haven’t had her for long (retired sound early January, she came to me mid February) but I am yet to find a blanket that fits her build. Everything is too long or too wide, and nothing sits on her well.
    I can’t turn her out with a blanket because it slips and moves around causing it to come undone/get her tangled and I don’t want her getting injured.
    I know winter is basically over, but I want to find something for the few cold days left, and to have something ready for next year. I want to get her a sheet, a medium fill, and a fleece cooler. If anyone has similar fitted horses and has any brand/blanket model recommendations I would really appreciate it!
    I know it’s a stretch, but the pastures at my barn don’t have shelter (though I do have a stall) but it gets really hot and humid in the summer, so putting a sheet on would make her miserable… Anyone have any recommendations? Thanks!!!!

    "And those that were seen dancing were thought to be insane, by those who could not hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I have a paint gelding who has more of a build like a tb. He is somewhat narrow and has high withers. I’ll attach a picture. I bought him the smartpak brand thinsulate blanket set and they fit him very well. I love them!!! They have the normal front closures, belly straps, and leg straps which also help keep it in place. The blanket slips back slightly, but not bad enough to impair his movement. When I put it on him, he’ll put his head right in so he doesn’t mind it at all. I hope this helps!

    dylbillpickle Original Poster dylbillpickle
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 5


    "And those that were seen dancing were thought to be insane, by those who could not hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 7

    i have a 16-2 ottb as well. he has 2 “smart-blue” blankets and now that he is rounding out a bit he does not need the leg straps anymore. they are light and comfy and keep with him whe he gets up and down. oddly enough sometimes going a bit loose on the fit instead of undersizing helps. it seems that when the blanket is a half size too big is better then going for a tight fit. we have big warmbloods to narrow medium ponies and smart blankets seem to be the best for our barn.

    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 28

    I am a Weatherbeeta fiend and bought a Genero sheet and a WB Original with detachable neck for my skinny shouldered 4 year old. Those were both good fits but do gap a little bit at the neck, which with all the rain and snow we’ve seen in Minnesota this winter looks like an open invitation to have a soaked horse. My older broad shouldered horse has a pair of WB freestyle blankets (with necks) and I am planning on transitioning to them for the young horse as well.

    The freestyles have a cupped shoulder and a wither pad which helps relieve the pressure a little bit. I like that they sit flush with the coat rather than gaping at the neck and that they have a smaller neck hole so the blanket doesn’t slide back and catch on the wither. I haven’t tried too many other brands as I borrowed a few blankets from fellow boarders to try on my horse and the Weatherbeeta was perfect, and they’ve lasted so well I’m 4 years in and only now looking at possibly purchasing a successor to the blanket that sees the most wear.

    Visit my horse care and product review blog at:

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    Blankets can be custom fitted if you have a good blanket repair place in your area. Frequently, the problem is that the neckline is wrong, and can be corrected by putting a single dart at the center back seam on stall blankets or where the center back seam would be on a T/O, or by adding a dart on either side of the neckline, or doing all 3.

    Sarah Sue
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 7 has a variety of blankets for different horse builds. I highly recommend looking at their website. Relatively affordable and great quality too!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I find with the high withered horses it is best to go with the High Neck models of blankets. Most of the brands offer a version of their blankets with a high neck. Sheets are a little harder, you can add some sort of slippery fabric to the under side of the sheet so it doesn’t rub the shoulders or withers. Again, look for the sheets that sit closer to the neck though and don’t sit on the withers or you will get rubs :(

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I also have a ottb with high withers. The best blankets/turnouts I have found are the ones with the high neck style.

    Here are the ones I have used and love:
    1. My all time favorite is the Rambo Wug with leg arches, uninsulated waterproof turnout, expensive, but well designed, high quality, and they do not slip or rub. It has a 3 year waterproof guarantee.
    2. Rhino SmartPak Collection Wug uninsulated waterproof turnout (same great design and features as the Rambo, only a different fabric and lower price.
    3. The SmartPak Ultimate turnout, uninsulated. It has a low neck, but fits great, and has a 10 year tear/rip guarantee. I use this when it’s not super rainy (because of the low neckline)
    4. For an insulated winter blanket for another horse, I also have a SmartPak deluxe high neck blanket. Well made & doesn’t slip, is cozy & warm.
    5. For a liner to use under the uninsulated waterproof turnouts, I use the Amigo insulator stable blankets. They come in medium & heavy weight & are priced starting at $84 through SmartPak. These work great & wash up well.

    After much experimenting, I’ve found the system of using a lightweight turnout and adding or removing the Amigo liners works best for me. That way I don’t have to have so many blankets.

    Which quality/price of blanket you choose depends on how hard your mare or her herd mates are on blankets. The Rambos are really durable, but not bombproof. Non of them are, but the blankets with the ballistic nylon are the toughest.If she is separated from other horses, I would go with the Rhino SmartPak line.
    Hope this helps!

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    If all else fails, there is a pattern company (Suitability?) which sells patterns to make things for riders and horses. If you are a reasonably competent sewer or are lucky enough to know one, this might be a good idea. Start with a really cheap fabric, make a test garment, and mark where alterations might be needed. Take the pieces apart, and use them for your pattern pieces. Remember, you can measure as often as you want, but you can only cut once, so be sure you are happy before using your good fabric. I like to use parachute clips rather than those which are standard on most blankets for some closures, as they will remain closed, but will break in a dire situation.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Joe-Joe Joe-Joe. Reason: forgot something

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    The Suitability patterns run fairly true to size for the 2″ increment measurement system, but they frequently only give 4″ increments, which can be adapted to 2″ increments with a little practice. Most of the blanket patterns have a center back seam, but again, this can be converted to a single center piece over the back with an extension on either side, but you have to have some experience to do this and have the end result be what you want. Also, the waterproof nylon material is not always readily available at most stores, but can be ordered on-line. If you decide to make your own blankets, I suggest you start with a summer sheet, or even a polar fleece sheet-cooler/blanket liner, which you can make from the sheet/stall-blanket pattern. The Suitability patterns also use the system of having all the sizes on one sheet, with the edges marked off with different systems of dots, dashes and solid lines. The easiest way to use this type of pattern is to purchase some light weight, non-woven material designed specifically for making patterns, and then transferring the pattern size you need to that material. That way the master pattern remains intact, so you can use another size without having to buy a new pattern.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I, too, have a 15’3″, high withered, OTTB mare who is in good condition. I love Smartpak, Weatherbeeta, Rhino, etc., but for the price, durability and fit of my mare I love Schneiders blankets, sheets, and fly sheets. They have a high wither option that adds a lovely V neck over the withers for less rub and irritation. I won’t buy her anything else and believe me, I’ve tried! These fit best!

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    High necks and Schneider’s fan here, too!

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    dylbillpickle, I don’t know what your climate is, but if it is quite rainy during winter like where I live, be sure any blanket you purchase doesn’t gape at the neck. I have tried the Schneider’s blankets, and they are sturdy and the price is right, but I had trouble with the fit of the neck and shoulder area. They gaped open and when we had a lot of rain, my horse’s shoulders and the chest area below his neck would get soaking wet. The best design for the front closures I have discovered are the Rambo brand and the Rhino brand with the high neck. They are superb for keeping out wind and rain and the design fits the neck & shoulders nicely. The closure system on these brands are simple, & quick to use and strong.

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Most tack shops have a blanket cleaning connection and the cleaners often will do blanket repairs. Perhaps, OP could have a blanket altered at the neck for better fit by relocating the front closures for a closer fit?

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

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