Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SSTACK.COM and the bother with blankets

The bother with blankets, illustrated
I refuse to count how many horse blankets I have. What matters is, I need them (for my horses). The "bother with blankets" is  storage, organization, and cleaning. I have a good solution for the first two, courtesy of Schneider's -- if you don't know Schneiders, they are renowned for their great blankets -- their price and durability is oft-touted on COTH, and they have different styles for different shaped horses. They also carry tack and horse supplies. Recently Schneiders sent me a blanket bag to try, which was wonderful because...
  •  I really like my  Dura-Tech saddle bag from Schneiders (the zipper finally broke on my other brand-name bag, and I gave it to someone in Oregon who was going to replace the zipper)
  •  I want to solve the blanket storage issue at the barn
  • Bob wants me to solve the blanket storage issue at home
The Schneider blanket bag

 I borrowed these blankets (pictured above right) for purposes of demonstration. They're about a size 75" -- two heavyweights, a sheet, and a cooler.  I put them in the black nylon blanket bag rather carelessly and secured the velcro flap. Voila!

Velcro goes all the way around the flap, which helps to keep dust out of the interior. I like the way the bag is structured/tailored, although you may not really see it here. Had I stuffed the bag full I think you'd get a more pleasing effect. 

Two adjustable nylon straps hook to any blanket rack bar, and if your rack is designed right, there is a slot in the middle rear portion of the back to slip through the bar as well.  You can see it in the picture below. Tomorrow I'll show you some other organizational improvements I've made. I'm very proud...
Closeup of closure for rack
Note loop in middle (not used)
Use a label!


  1. Although Schneider's focus is western (I'm an aging H/J rider now doing dressage), it is a great source for generic horse care and stable products.

  2. I don't know -- My saddle bag is the only bag I could find to accommodate my dressage saddle, and they have xlong reins in brown and black. Their blankets are made to accommodate different shapes, including WBs. They do have western stuff but I think they are fairly eclectic, and they have many good, unique products that are more modestly priced. THey have a following for sure. Thanks!

  3. I have been a Schneiders fan for YEARS. My OTTB is 16hh+. He's built very QH-y with lots of substance (got his bone from his dam's sire, Bold Lad, or so I'm told). Anyway, he measures 81" but many sheets and blankets don't come in that size--the 80 isn't big enough, he swims in the 82--OR they are either not deep enough (his tummy "shows") or they rub his shoulders. So, I found the Euro cut--no back seam, deeper drop, shoulder gussets, usually a tail flap and rings for leg straps--AND they come in 81". They are also worth repairing if they tear. As for storage, I don't have the kind of barn where a blanket bag would work on the stall door. I have a rack in the tack shed (Sheds R Us ;o) with a dowel to hang the blankets or sheets (like some tack shops where their shelf space is at a premium) and off season, the "horse dresses" are wrapped and stored in plastic totes. Am getting new ones--translucent so I can see what is stored in each without having to open the lid. Biggest issue is mice chewing their way into the totes.

  4. Looks like a great idea and well made. It surely does seem to hold a lot of blankets.

  5. I love my blankets from SS Tack!

  6. What about cleaning them? I am looking for a blanket service.

    1. sstack.com has a blanket cleaning service

  7. I love the Schneider's blanket we have; best one the horse wears and the best price. THe blanket bag looks like a great idea for storing relatively clean blankets, but I am concerned about having the blanket in a closed, dark, space for any length of time. THoughts?

  8. It may depend on the barn -- at our older barn, dust accumulates really fast, and leaving things hanging on the rack subjects them to tons of dust and overzealous mucking (poops thrown out of the stall and onto our stuff). At a really clean barn this may be a concern with damp blankets. Personally if a blanket is so dirty that I don't want to store it in a velcro closure bag, it may be time to clean it -- esp. if your barn manager or workers are expected to adjust/change blankets. My .02.

  9. Val, I live in NE PA and use Playful Pasturemates blanket service. There is also a great laundry on Race Street, Sunnyside. But PP does repairs, sunnyside does not.

  10. One of the many reasons why I simply don't blanket. Blankets are a PTA for barn management, get really dirty, and don't insulate any better than a horse's natural haircoat, which can keep them plenty comfortable even in Michigan winters (where I live). Yes, the long coat is unsightly and my horse needs extra coolout time and grooming come spring. But he sheds out to a lovely gloss, even shinier than a clipped horse. While blanketing is a really common practice, that doesn't mean that it is right or necessary for every horse/owner. It shouldn't be an automatic choice, IMO, even if the rest of the barn does it (as is the case at my boarding stable). Sorry for getting on the soapbox--your organization plan looks good anyway, for those owners that want to bother.


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