Winter blanketing practices: An online survey of North American horse owners

Michelle L. DeBoer, Aubrey L. Jaqueth, Ashley Tuszka, Krishona L. Martinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Blanketing is a highly debated practice utilized in the equine community as part of winter horse management. Despite this, little research is available on the prevalence, reasoning, and management decisions related to use of blankets for horses in North America. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop an understanding of blanketing management practices and beliefs of North American horse owners. A 33-question, branched online survey was developed and available between December 1, 2020 and January 5, 2021 and advertised using social media and e-newsletters. The FREQ procedure for Chi-squared analysis in SAS was used when comparisons were made between participant-reported frequencies. There were 1,450 respondents from North America who completed the survey. Demographic information indicated the majority of respondents were from the Midwest region of the United States (68%); however, geographical region did not impact the frequency of blanket usage (P =.17, X2 = 8.99). When respondents were asked to self-report discipline, recreational riding was the most prevalent (40%). Overall, 54% of respondents (n = 790) reported blanketing the majority of their horses during the winter. The most frequently selected reason respondents chose to blanket horses was exposure to precipitation (78%). Out of the respondents who did not blanket the majority of their horses (n = 660), the primary reason for not blanketing was access to shelter (50%). This survey provides valuable information on blanketing and winter management practices reported by horse caretakers in North America and will help direct future research and education efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103911
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Blanket
  • Blanketing
  • Horse
  • Social media
  • Survey

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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