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Types of Stable Wear

A variety of functional horse clothing is designed for use in and around the stable and under supervision, rather than for the rigors of turnout.

Stable Blankets

Stable blankets are usually quilted and come in a wide range of weights from 100 to 400 grams of fill. They’re usually not waterproof, but many are water-repellent or moisture-resistant to guard against saturation from urine or wet bedding. The use of a stable blanket allows you to replace a horse’s heavier turnout with a loftier item that will keep him warm while he’s stabled and has restricted movement. A lightweight turnout could also be layered over a stable blanket for turnout. The cut of a stable blanket is more fitted than the cut of a turnout blanket, as shown in this photo.

Stable Blanket

Stable Sheets

Stable Sheets are fitted garments intended only to help keep a horse clean and dust-free. They can be made from an array of lightweight fabrics, from cotton to nylon to polypropelene, which is somewhat moisture-resistant. They offer no warmth and can cause the horse’s hair to lie flat, reducing a horse’s natural ability to circulate body heat through the hair to stay cozy.

Dress sheets

Dress sheets are traditional, attractive horse clothing staples. They are typically made of wool or fleece and come in a variety of colors or plaids. They’re the perfect item for keeping a horse comfortable during cool-weather trucking. Dress sheets usually have minimal fastenings, such as a single chest buckle, a single belly surcingle and a tail cord. Many people have dress sheets monogrammed.

Dress Sheet


Coolers help wick moisture away from the horse and provide more protection from drafts than anti-sweat sheets can. They’re made of either traditional wool or synthetic fleece. Coolers are placed on sweaty or freshly bathed horses to keep chill away as the horse dries.

They are available in a variety of styles and colors. The original American Cooler style is a large rectangular piece of wool with contrast bindings and coordinating brow and tail straps. The cooler drapes over the horse entirely from jawline to tail. The loose fit makes it easy to use and quite warm, but this type is not meant to be left on a horse unattended.

American Coolers can still be hunted up today and enjoyed, but many horse owners prefer fitted coolers that cut like a stable sheet. A fitted cooler can typically be left on a horse unattended as it has fastenings to keep it secure if the horse rolls. You’ll know when to remove the cooler when you see a dew-like coating has formed along the top surface of the cooler. Sometimes, a very wet or sweaty horse may require two changes of coolers during the drying process.

American Cooler

Irish Knit and Anti-Sweat Sheets

Irish Knits or Anti-Sweat Sheets are made of cotton or cotton-blend mesh. They are placed on a sweaty or freshly bathed horse to keep chill away while the horse’s coat dries. The holes in the mesh allow hot air from the horse’s body to escape, while the mesh itself protects the horse from drafts.

Anti-sweat sheets should be monitored during use as the fibers can become saturated if a horse is extremely wet. Once this happens, the sheet should be replaced with another anti-sweat sheet or a cooler if the horse isn’t dry. In very cold temperatures, you may want to layer a cooler on top of an anti-sweat sheet. This type of sheet usually has minimal fastenings, such as a single chest buckle, a single belly surcingle and a tail cord.

Anti-Sweat Sheet

Rain Sheets

Rain sheets are designed to keep both your horse and tack dry if you need to walk him or her from one location to another during inclement weather. They can be handy at competitions while waiting ringside and helpful at home if a covered riding arena is located a distance from a barn. Rain sheets are not intended for turnout as they have minimal fastenings that simply close out wind and wet weather, but do not keep the layer in place.

Rain Sheet

About Accessories: Neck Covers, Under Layers, Liners, and Storage Bags

Additional articles of horse clothing are intended to supplement blanketing when needed.

Neck Covers

Neck covers are available in turnout and stable styles. A neck cover connects to the neck opening of some blankets (as well as some sheets and fly sheets) either permanently or with detachable systems featuring metal loops and tabs or hook and loop closures. Often, a neck cover is an add-on feature for a blanket and is not generally required for every horse. The decision to use a neck cover should be made on a case-by-case basis and with individual care as over-heating can occur. Neck covers are often used on horses in frigid climates that are full body clipped, or for horses that are compromised in some way.

Under Layers

Under layers are designed to prevent blanket rubs and resulting hair loss that occurs from rubs. Because they are body-fitting and stretchable, under layers can be worn beneath turnout or stable blankets. Models are available in Lycra, nylon/spandex, or fleece material in a variety of patterns and colors. Some cover just a horse's shoulders, others the entire neck, and some the entire body. They are not a source of warmth.

Blanket Liners

Blanket liners can be an affordable way to turn a blanket into a heavier weight. Fashioned similarly to a stable blanket, they can be made of fleece or a combination of fabrics with poly fill and a quilted, nylon outer layer that glides easily under the outer blanket. Liners usually have short hems, falling barely below a horse’s barrel, so that they do not interfere with proper fastening of the outer blanket.

Budget Friendly Tip: Layering

Key layering pieces that can perform double duty and stretch your horse clothing dollar include:

For more assistance or to request a catalog call 1-800-989-1500. Or, stop by any of our retail stores to speak with a Dover Saddlery product adviser. Visit for a complete store listing and the full product offering.

Related Articles:
Tips for Fitting Blankets or Sheets
How to Measure for a Horse Blanket
How and Why to Use a Quarter Sheet or Exercise Rug
How to Body Clip a Horse
About Horse Body Clipping