You’ve just purchased a new blanket for your horse, but when you get home and try it on him, you realize it’s not the right size, and back to the tack store you go. Here’s how to get it right the first time. All you need is a cloth measuring tape and a level spot on which to stand your horse.

If you blanket your horse for winter, careful measurements will ensure a perfect fit. | Photo by Darrell Dodds

1. Stand your horse up squarely. Tie him, or ask someone to hold him.

2. Standing on his left, take the end of the tape in your left hand and place it at the point where his neck meets the center of his chest.

3. With your right hand, draw the tape along his left side as far as you can. Make sure the tape crosses the widest part of his shoulder; if you measure too low on the chest, your blanket will be too small. The tape must be level and taut, or you’ll add inches to your final measurement, and end up with a blanket that’s too big.

4. When you’ve reached as far as you can, mark the spot with your right thumb, noting the measurement. Then measure backward from that spot, holding the start of the tape there with your left hand, and again reaching back with your right.

5. Still keeping the tape level and straight, bring it across the point of his buttock (the hindmost point of the quarters, about 10 to 12 inches below the place where the tail joins the body). Stop at the edge of his tail, noting the measurement.

6. Add your two measurements to get your horse’s blanket size. Stock blankets come in even sizes, from 30 (for foals) to 88 (for large horses). If you come out with an odd number, round up to the next even number.

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