Blanket Safety

Blanket Safety

Blanket Safety

By Ruthann Smith
© 2007, Ruthann Smith, All rights reserved.
Originally published in Equine Journal

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Pass leg straps through each other to suspend between this position and for inches above the hocks.

People regularly adjust horse blankets without understanding the impact on the horse. You want the horse to feel confident, safe and relaxed, and that begins with daily comfort. So, here are rules to live by when blanketing your horse.

Dressing for Life


Surcingles should hang loose. I measure the distance with a big closed fist, about five to six inches.

Fitting for Suppleness


Leave plenty of room at the chest.

Leading through Doors

Avoid Bucking Straps

Bucking straps are tightened around a bronco's flank. They tickle so bad [read: hurt] that the horse goes mad to escape. Clothing handled carelessly can create bucking straps. There is no warning. The surcingle slides slightly and tightens around the barrel. Horses trying to escape the sensation have been known to run through barn walls, through tied down flaps and even drown in a pool. Never undo the chest without undoing the surcingles first. That goes for braiders too.

Bio Pic

Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.

As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.

The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.

Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.

It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.

*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.