As summer is winding down, it is apparent that winter will eventually be on its way. It is beneficial to take advantage of the moderate temperatures and take out last year’s winter blankets and inspect them well before you actually need to use them! Ensure they are clean, in good repair and have no evidence of mold or bugs.
For those who realise they may need an addition to their equine’s winter wardrobe, consider making your own winter blankets. These projects require some sewing knowledge and a trip to your local fabric store, but there are some fabulous websites and books you can refer to for the technical aspect of creating it.
You can refer to Jean Perry’s Make Your Own Horse Clothing, originally published in 1983. She is the author of several other books on how to make your own horse equipment and riding apparel. The book has charts, patterns and step-by-step instructions on how to complete your project.
There is also a website where you can purchase horse patterns and instructions online. Suitability Equestrian Patterns has a variety of rider and horse apparel patterns; including costumes, hoods and tack accesories. The website also has a useful links page that includes various fabric stores that stock appropriate materials for their many projects.
Please do not forget to thoroughly research and inspect fabrics before purchasing. While buying a waterproof fabric off the sale table might seem like a good idea, ensure it not flammable or that “waterproof” also means “does not breathe” which may cause your horse to overheat. Look at the construction of any particular blankets you have/would like to have, and make note of the material used. Do your homework and call around to a few stores that may carry a similar product.
(In case you don’t need a new winter blanket, consider looking at some of the patterns for a horsey friend or family member for the upcoming Christmas season. Any horseperson would be able to appreciate a homemade gift for their equine!)