It may be hard to believe in some parts of the country, but blanketing season is just about over! Quality horse blankets can be expensive, so it’s important to make them last as long as possible. Before you put them away for the year, here are some great tips to help prolong the life of your horse blankets.
Clean Blankets Every Year
Make sure that all of your blankets get cleaned at least once per year. Storing away a muddy, dirty blanket during the summer can cause the blanket’s material to deteriorate, and buckles and snaps which are left dirty can be difficult to open come the fall.
Before you have your blankets cleaned, allow them to dry and knock off any excess dirt. You may wish to send your blankets away for cleaning, or you can wash some of them yourself. If you’re washing waterproof blankets, then make sure that you’re using an appropriate blanket wash – laundry detergent will strip the waterproofing – and only use a washing machine without an agitator. Always allow blankets to thoroughly line dry before you store them.
Store Blankets in Plastic Totes
Once your blankets are cleaned, store them in heavy-duty plastic totes to protect them from mice or other rodents. You may wish to seal your blankets in vacuum packed bags to cut down on space. Tossing a few dryer sheets can help to further deter mice while leaving your blankets smelling fresh.
Re-Waterproof Blankets When Needed
If the waterproofing material on your blanket seems to no longer be working, don’t just toss the blanket. Instead, pick up waterproofing solution from any tack store and re-waterproof your blanket. Re-waterproofing treatments can last for a year or more, extending the life of your waterproof blanket.
Keep Hardware from Old Blankets
When it is finally time to toss out old blankets, cut the metal hardware off before you throw out the blanket. Save the metal hardware and use it to make repairs on your newer blankets, when needed!
Invest in Blanket Drying Bars or Racks
Getting blankets truly dry can help to prevent mold and can keep them smelling better. Being able to quickly dry out your blankets also means that you will have a dry blanket to put on your horse during periods of wet weather. Consider investing in blanket drying bars or racks for your barn or tack storage room to promote fast, thorough blanket drying.
By taking good care of your horse blankets, you can help to prolong their life. Remember to buy the best quality blankets that you can afford and always keep them properly cleaned and stored!
Photo credit: SmartPak