I love protecting and ensuring my steed’s safety, and one of the first things I teach my kids is how to put on horse blanket leg straps.
Horse leg straps dangling can be dangerous for your and the stallion’s safety.
The straps could rub your horse’s skin, making it painful to ride, or it could get caught in dangling straps and get panicky.
This will help you with the precise steps to do this properly!
7 Easy Steps: How to Put on Horse Blanket Leg Straps
To put on horse blanket leg straps, make sure you cross the right and left strap with each other and reach them behind the hind legs.
The straps should be tight enough to keep the blanket from sliding off or rubbing your steed’s skin but loose enough for your horse’s comfort.
Step 1: Buy the Right Style and Size of Blanket
Always select the type of blanket according to the area you live in, your horse’s overall health, its lifestyle, and especially its size.
This is due to the fact that stablet blankets provide extra warmth, and to keep healthy stallions, it would be preferable to maintain a body temperature.
Turnot rugs are suitable medium-weight blankets ideal for cold temperatures and maintaining a level of warmth.
An ill-fitting blanket will not provide adequate protection for stallions. That’s why there are a wide range and a variety of types of stable blankets to meet needs in cold months.
Vets recommend blanketing clipped, old, and sick horses, and also horses that get wet in the rain or snow. 
Select the size per the blanket’s sizing guide and measure your horse carefully before buying the blanket. Most horses that are 16-17 hh tall could use a covering of the size of 76”.
Having the right size horse blanket is paramount.
Too short of a blanket can cause it to chafe and rub the horse’s skin, while too large can increase your horse’s risk of stepping on it or getting entangled in something sharp.
For the exact sizing of a horse blanket, watch this video.
Choose the blanket according to your horse’s lifestyle. For example, if your steed is outdoors most of the time, choose a blanket with a slick lining.
The slickness will prevent the blanket from shifting under the active horse and reduce the risk of the straps getting pulled out.
READ MORE: How to Take Off a Horse Blanket
Step 2: Follow the Manufacture’s Instructions
Always check whether your horse blanket manufacturer has given instructions about blanketing. If yes, it is best to follow them accurately.
For example, some manufacturers clearly state whether the straps must be crossed under the belly. Failure to follow these instructions could lay unnecessary stress on the blanket’s fabric, causing rips and tears.
If unsure, contact the manufacturer to get the exact steps of blanketing.
Step 3: Fold the Blanket Before Blanketing
This may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but it is how you must blanket your horse.
Fold the blanket in thirds by folding the rear half towards the middle and then the front half towards the middle. Place the folded blanket on your horse’s back and start unfolding.
Step 4: Secure the Blanket at the Chest
Once unfolded, attach the chest straps of the blanket and secure them. Most blankets have front chest closures, and having the blanket attached here first will make the rest of the task easier.
Ensure there is a gap of about one hand under the chest to allow freedom of movement and prevent chafing.
Step 5: Secure the Belly Straps
Next, attach the belly straps. Most horse blankets come with surcingles under the belly, which you can easily connect and buckle. 
Check out this video:
Step 6: Leg Straps
Not all blankets come with leg straps that you can cross under the belly. So, always check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the same. If the instruction is to cross them, do so.
Stand on the stallion’s left side and take the left leg strap in your hands. Run this strap between your steeds rear legs to the blanket’s D-ring on the left side.
Walk over to the horse’s other side and repeat the process with the right-side leg strap making sure to cross the left and good straps in the process.
Step 7: Make Adjustments.
Ensure that the mare’s hair is not getting pulled in the opposite direction and no chafing. If needed, pass your hand under the leg straps.
Ensure a hand’s space (4-5 inches) between the strap and the legs. If need be, you may have to adjust the lengths of the straps using the adjustable buckles provided.
For more information on attaching leg straps properly, watch this video.
CHECK: The Best Horse Dress Sheet
Tips to Consider When Putting on Horse Blanket Leg Straps
- Always start blanketing your horse from the chest and move back to its legs, but use the opposite direction, i.e., back to front, when removing the blanket.
- Never attach the leg straps across the diagonal and tuck them loosely under the blanket’s hem. Ensure the straps are snapped through the buckle and looped through the other belt.
- In the event, your horse lays down, and its hock gets caught in the hook, it could panic and scramble.
- Looping through the other straps will ensure that the straps remain suspended without slacking or pressing on the horse’s legs. Constantly adjust the strap’s length and suspend the cross over the hock.
- Professional horse groom  Emma Ford strongly urges equestrians never to let the leg straps dangle dangerously.
- After unclipping them to remove the blanket, bring them outside the horse’s legs and clip them on the same side. This will help you when you blanket your horse.
Do you cross leg straps on a horse blanket?
Yes, crossing leg straps on steeds blankets can prevent the blanket from sliding off the horse. It is also crucial for your nag’s safety to prevent it from getting its leg stuck in the strap.
How should a winter horse blanket fit?
You should be able to place a hand between the blanket and the horse’s withers.
An essential aspect of blanketing stallions is safely putting on the leg straps. Stallion blanket leg straps are linked to prevent rubbing and keep the blanket firmly in place.
Too loose, and the blanket will slip; too tight will lead to discomfort. Always ensure 4-5” or one-hand width space between the straps and horse’s thighs.
- 1. Blanketing Your Horse [Internet]. Janssen Veterinary Clinic – Equine Hospital. 2013 [cited 2022 Jan 18]. Available from: https://equine.janssenvetclinic.com/blanket/
- 2. Horses First Time with a Cinch/Surcingle [Internet]. www.youtube.com. [cited 2022 Jan 18]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdrHUzDCQFo
- 3. Threlkeld L. 10 Blanketing Tips from Top Groom Emma Ford [Internet]. Expert how-to for English Riders. [cited 2022 Jan 18]. Available from: https://practicalhorsemanmag.com/health-archive/10-blanketing-tips-from-top-groom-emma-ford#gid=ci021b1c185000247e&pid=p71-1b-d057-img_3807
Do you have more tips on how to put on horse blanket leg straps? Let us know below!
Bryanna is a 23-year-old Florida-based Grade 1 Para-dressage rider based in Florida and she has been riding for 5 years. Horses are her passion and her ultimate goal is to be selected for the US Para-Equestrian Team and represent the US at the Paralympics. She rides at Quantum Leap Farm and Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center and her equine partners are Shane, an American Paint Horse, and Cappy a Welsh x Thoroughbred. When she is not helping at the barn, riding, or training, she is learning about horses, writing articles about them, and using her social media platforms to raise awareness for therapeutic riding and para-equestrianism, shares her journey, and advocates for greater inclusion of para-equestrian in the media and equestrian sport at large.
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