Can You Blanket a Wet Horse?

As responsible horse owners, it’s essential to ensure the well-being of our equine companions in all weather conditions. One common question that arises is whether it is safe to blanket a wet horse. In this guide, we will explore the pros and cons of blanketing a wet horse and provide helpful tips on responsible horse care.

Understanding Blanketing and Its Purpose

Blanketing is the practice of using horse blankets to protect our horses from harsh weather conditions. It serves various purposes, such as providing warmth, keeping the coat clean, and protecting against rain or snow.

Can You Blanket a Wet Horse?

1. The Risks of Blanketing a Wet Horse

Blanketing a wet horse can lead to trapping moisture and increasing the risk of skin issues like rain rot or fungal infections. Additionally, it may hinder the horse’s natural ability to regulate body temperature.

2. When is it Appropriate to Blanket a Wet Horse?

In certain situations, blanketing a wet horse may be necessary. If the horse has been thoroughly dried and is exposed to cold weather, a blanket can provide warmth. However, ensure the horse’s coat is fully dry before blanketing.

3. Alternatives to Blanketing a Wet Horse

Instead of using a blanket, consider using a waterproof sheet or shelter to protect the horse from rain or snow. Allow the horse access to a dry area or a shelter during inclement weather.

How to Properly Blanket a Wet Horse

1. Steps to Dry and Prepare the Horse for Blanketing

Before blanketing, dry the horse’s coat with towels or a sweat scraper. Ensure the horse is comfortably dry to prevent moisture from being trapped under the blanket.

2. Choosing the Right Blanket for Wet Weather

Opt for breathable and waterproof blankets specifically designed for wet conditions. Choose a blanket that fits properly and does not cause discomfort.

3. Proper Care and Maintenance of Blankets

Regularly clean and inspect blankets to ensure they remain in good condition. Repair any tears or damages promptly.

Importance of Monitoring the Horse’s Health

1. Checking the Horse’s Body Condition and Comfort

Regularly assess the horse’s body condition to ensure the blanket fits correctly and doesn’t cause rubs or sores. Observe the horse’s behavior and remove the blanket if it appears uncomfortable.

2. Potential Health Issues Related to Wet Conditions

Be vigilant for signs of rain rot, fungus, or other skin issues that may arise due to wet conditions. Promptly address any health concerns with the guidance of a veterinarian.

How Bad Is It to Put a Blanket on a Wet Horse?

Putting a blanket on a wet horse can have negative consequences for the horse’s health. When a horse’s coat is wet, the blanket may trap moisture, leading to skin issues like rain rot or fungal infections. Additionally, it can interfere with the horse’s natural ability to regulate its body temperature. It is generally not recommended to blanket a wet horse unless it is thoroughly dried and exposed to cold weather.

Should You Blanket a Wet Horse in the Winter?

In the winter, blanketing a wet horse should be done with caution. If the horse has been properly dried and is exposed to cold weather, using a blanket to provide warmth is acceptable. However, the horse’s coat should be completely dry before blanketing to avoid trapping moisture and causing skin problems.

How Do You Dry a Wet Horse Fast?

Drying a wet horse quickly is essential to prevent health issues. Here are steps to dry a wet horse efficiently:

  1. Use towels or a sweat scraper to remove excess moisture from the coat.
  2. Keep the horse in a dry and sheltered area with good air circulation.
  3. Use a horse-specific hairdryer or a heat lamp, if available, on a low setting to gently dry the coat.
  4. Monitor the horse’s comfort and body temperature during the drying process.

When Should You Not Blanket a Horse?

There are specific situations when it is not appropriate to blanket a horse:

  1. In mild weather: If the temperatures are not too low, and the horse has a thick winter coat, blanketing may not be necessary.
  2. After exercise: Horses that have worked up a sweat should not be blanketed immediately as it can lead to overheating. Allow the horse to cool down naturally before blanketing.
  3. During warm seasons: Blankets are typically not needed during hot summer months as horses can regulate their body temperature effectively.

In conclusion, blanketing a wet horse should be done with caution, ensuring the horse is properly dried before using a blanket in cold weather. Understanding the appropriate times to blanket and not blanket a horse is crucial for its well-being and comfort. Always prioritize the horse’s health and comfort when making blanketing decisions.


While blanketing a wet horse may be necessary in certain situations, it is crucial to practice responsible horse care. Ensure the horse is fully dry before blanketing and consider alternatives to blankets during wet weather. By prioritizing the horse’s comfort and health, we can provide the best care for our equine companions in all conditions.