Have you ever wondered when to use any of the above? Coolers, dress sheets, exercise rugs, scrim, terry, anti-sweat…oh my the options! In the horse world, you have plenty of options depending on your personal tastes and dislikes with some of the options doing very similar things. Here are some short descriptions of when you can use any of these options listed for all of your horse-covering needs.
Sheets are basically body covers that don’t have insulation and are made from nylon, canvas, and a variety & combinations of other breathable materials to protect the horse’s coat or body from light chills/rain or getting chunks of hair skin removed from pasture pals, etc. They come in varied material strengths referred to as Denier for both indoor and outdoor use. Some are waterproof (or water resistant), and some do not have any water wicking/proofing properties. The higher the number Denier the stronger the material and more expensive. Example of numbers 1800D, 1200D, and so on. Sheets are usually lined with nylon/cotton, etc. either fully or in various areas to prevent rubs.
Blankets can be a general term for sheets/turnouts/coolers etc. but usually the term refers to a form of insulated or warm covering which will vary from light to heavy to x-heavy weight. Like the sheets, they also vary in indoor and outdoor usage and material strengths (water proofing linings, etc.).
Scrim is basically an indoor (stall) fly sheet as it is loose fitting, made of cotton or nylon, and act as an anti-sweat sheet to help minimize the attraction of flies, obviously to be used when it’s hot and buggy. For outdoor use, you would want a true fly sheet that has all the straps and UV protection.
Cooler is generally used when it’s chilly/cold and when the horse is sweaty/wet. The sweat and moisture are wicked away from the horses body to the surface of the cooler where the moisture evaporate,s and thus the horse dries faster. A cooler keeps the horse warm and helps it cool down slowly to help prevent the chills that can make for stiff/sore muscles. Usually made of some type of fleece or fleece/wool combo.
Dress sheet is similar to cooler but they are more form fitting, have more straps, can be used for layering as well as be worn outside depending on turnout. They are also made of different types of fleece or fleece/wool combo, and/or cotton. Many people use them at horse shows.
Anti-sweat sheet is used if your horse is turned out in summer/hot humid weather and/or if you exercise your horse in those conditions. They aid in improving air circulation and cooling the horse. Usually made of breathable cotton mesh or a cotton mesh combo.
Terry robe is pretty much the same as a cooler but used more for after bathing as the terry absorbs more and has the same moisture-wicking/drying factors. They are often made of a terry cloth and valor combination/fleece for better wicking properties than the terry alone.
Exercise quarter rug is used during warms up and/or exercise and cool downs on cold days. It is attached to the saddle and goes around your horse’s hind quarters as well as can be worn over your lap/legs to keep you warm as well.
Liner is just that – used for layering under a sheet or other blanket for added warmth and/or to protect the coat from blanket rubs. They come in a variety of materials and fits. Some are really form fitting like Stretchies or Sleazy Wear.
Hope you found this info helpful! (All images came from Dover).