What is a Stable Sheet? When Does Your Horse Need it?

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What is a stable sheet?

As an equestrian for over five years, I understand and have experienced the confusion surrounding all of the different types of horse blankets on the market.

This article will be dedicated to understanding what a horse stable sheet is, what it is used for and when to use it, and how to decide if your horse needs a stable sheet.

CHECK: Best Quality Horse Blankets Reviews

What is a Horse Stable Sheet?

horse wearing a stable sheet but What is a stable sheet for horses used for?

A stable sheet is a lightweight piece of apparel that keeps your horse clean and provides additional warmth while they are in their stall or other indoor areas. [1]

I also like to put one on my horse to keep them comfortable while trailering short distances.

Stable sheets for horses are similar to the sheets we have on our own beds. Unlike stable blankets, they do not have any fill, or insulation, to help horses maintain their body heat.

Because of this, they are not suitable for horses to wear in cold weather, however, they provide a light layer of warmth.

They are typically made of cotton fabric, nylon, canvas, or a polycotton blend to keep your horse comfortable

What is a Horse Stable Sheet Used For?

horse wearing a stable blanket

Horse stable sheets are designed to keep a horse comfortable and slightly warm while in indoor areas such as their stall or when walking from the barn to the trailer.

They also serve to keep a horse clean in the stall. (In other words, a lifesaver for equestrians with grey horses!).

I love to put mine on my horse after they have been groomed to keep their coat clean.

Stable sheets are not waterproof, but the fabrics they are made of resist water to protect the horse and resist stains from their waste if they lie down in their stall. As a result, it is not recommended to lat a horse outside in a stable sheet.

Stable sheets are more fitted to the body because they are worn in situations where horses have less freedom of movement. They can also be layered with other blankets if needed. 

READ MORE: Stable Sheet vs Blanket: What’s The Difference?

Does My Horse Need a Stable Sheet?

The answer to this question depends on the following factors:

  • Horse age 
  • Body condition
  • Living conditions 
  • Coat
  • Their lower critical temperature (lowest temperature at which they can maintain body temperature without using energy)

Your horse will not need a stable sheet if they can regulate their own body temperature inside, are in a warm, dry space, do not have their coat clipped, their body condition helps them stay warm, and or their age does not affect their ability to stay warm.

I only use a stable sheet when I need my horse to stay clean or when I am worried about a draft giving them a slight chill while traveling.

Otherwise, I let their coat breathe and get airflow. After all, equestrians know their horses have beautiful coats, so why not show them off!

Learn more about horse blanketing guidelines in this video:

When Should You Put a Stable Sheet on a Horse?

You should put a stable sheet on your horse when you want to keep your horse cozy on a short trail ride or keep their coat looking spotless after a long grooming session.

The water-resistant materials will make sure that their coat stays dry.

 I also recommend putting one on your horse if your barn gets drafty while they are inside at night. This way, they will have a little bit of extra warmth if needed, but won’t be at risk of overheating. [2]


What is the difference between a stable sheet and a turnout sheet?

Turnout sheets are waterproof because they are meant for the outdoors, stable sheets are not waterproof.

Does a sheet keep a horse warm?

horses in the field wearing blankets

Stable sheets have a light layer of warmth for moderate weather. However, they do not have fill or insulation inside them, so a blanket is better for keeping your horse warm.


Horse stable sheets keep your horse dry and clean while indoors. They are lightweight, provide a light layer of warmth, and are not waterproof.

Whether or not your horse needs one depends on its age, body condition, coat, and other factors.


  • 1. SmartPak Equine. SmartPak Equine: Horse Supplements, Tack and Supplies. Smartpakequine.com. Published 2020. Accessed November 30, 2021. https://www.smartpakequine.com/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=BR_Search_Core_Equine_New_Exact&utm_campaign=A1&gclid=cf970f6c27fb1e855ee46eca7e0f8a17&gclsrc=3p.ds&msclkid=cf970f6c27fb1e855ee46eca7e0f8a17
  • 2. Penn State Extension. When to Blanket a Horse. Penn State Extension. Published December 28, 2015. Accessed November 30, 2021. https://extension.psu.edu/when-to-blanket-a-horse
  • 3. Dover Saddlery. Stable Sheets & Blankets Versus Turnout Sheets & Blankets – Discussions at Dover. Discussions at Dover. Published September 17, 2015. Accessed November 30, 2021. https://blog.doversaddlery.com/stable-sheets-blankets-versus-turnout-sheets-blankets/
horse wearing a stable sheet wile eating grasses

Do you use a stable sheet for your horse? Let us know in the comments below!

Ben R.
Ben R.

My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! I have three dogs and one old cat, plus experience with horses. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed. FIND HIM ON: TWITTER.
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