At some point, it’s time to finally pack up the winter blankets and store them for the summer! By following a few simple steps, you can save a bunch of time in the fall and some space in the summer.
First things first! Plan on murphy’s law - just when you think you are done with blankets…. One more storm… ugh! So - Here’s what I like to do:
-Check all stitching and linings. Inside and out, all strap attachments and hardware attachments. It helps to lay them out in a wash rack or barn aisle for total inspection.
This blanket will need some minor repair. Now to teach the horses to sew! Or not tear their clothes in the first place...
-Check all buckles. If you have some rusty parts, you may be able to use a steel brush to rub off the rust. Or, look into replacement pieces at your local tack shop. Easy-peasy to change out.
-Time to repair! Some minor repairs are easy to do, like a small tear on the nylon lining. When it comes to bigger stuff, a pro seamstress can help you out. Or, a blanket service that launders will often also repair these tougher things, too.
-Hit the laundry. Time to do a totally thorough wash. I like to brush with a stiff brush and then pre-rinse in the washrack. (Helps save the washer!) Then, a go-round in the washer (front load if you have it) with an extra rinse to be sure all of the detergent is out.
I prefer to line dry in the shade.
-Or, hit the laundromat. Their large commercial washers are great for blankets. However, many laundromats don’t allow horse stuff, so check before you go.
-Or, use the blanket cleaning and repair service to deep clean your blankets for storage.
-Now is the time to re-waterproof. Hard core campers know the secret - spray on waterproofing! Be sure to follow the instructions exactly for best results.
-Now is also the time to check the label - make sure you can see the size and your horse’s name! (just in case!)
-Now is also the time to deal with super stretched out elastic leg straps. If you are handy with sewing, you can cut out a section and stitch it back together so it's shortened. You can also buy replacement straps, and in some cases you can just move the buckle up the strap to shorten it and snip off the extra.
-For storage, make sure your blanket is totally dry so you lesson the chance of mold or mildew. I like to store my horse blankets and sheets in vacuum bags, this makes them airtight and flat, flat, flat. Easy to store when they are squished down! In second place, the bag your horse blanket came in works, too! I really try and avoid leaving stored blankets “naked” - they can become dusty, dirty, wet, and homes for rodents.
-What tips do you guys have?