North of the Frozen Tundra, but I can see it from my house.
Another turnout blanket thread.
So in my researching the correct use of the hind leg straps on a turnout blanket I came across this in Practical Horseman's Book of Horsekeeping, 1983, page 75. The short version is this; if the blanket has two strap closures at the chest, only use the top one. This way, the blanket doesn't bind the shoulders. The writer then suggests you use the next to the last hole when fastening, so if one breaks, you have the next hole to use.
I have noticed the shoulder binding issue when two buckles are used, but I certainly would not like to go out to find a horse with the chest completely opened (and, horrors, the blanket wrapped around the hind legs...), because a strap broke, so I am using this alternative: I am fastening the top buckle several holes shorter than the bottom. The shoulder is less binding this way, and if the top strap or buckle were to break, the bottom one would still be there.
If I put a blanket on a horse and I noticed it was binding at the shoulders then I'd find another blanket (another brand). If it is too tight then it doesn't fit correctly. My horses can only wear certain brands (Weatherbeeta - freestyle design and Rambos) - I've tried some brands that are just too tight on the shoulders so I won't use them. Most blankets have shoulder gussets now. Some don't like the Rambo/Rhino/Amigo lines but I have never noticed those being tight in the shoulder area on my horses. And only using one buckle at the chest is not something i'd ever do when a horse is turned out - just not safe if that one buckle breaks.
(And a LOT has changed since 1983!)
"When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered."CANTER New England
Not just the invention of gussets, but only some blankets have them in a place that's actually useful - for the shoulders. Most sadly just have them so low and far back they only offer freedom of movement of the forearm, with the shoulder still rubbing like crazy
Schneiders seems to be one of the few that has long, *forward* gussets that actually allow SHOULDER freedom, not just leg.
That said, I do buckle the bottom front buckle 1 hole looser for an extra bit of non-restriction.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET