It's the time of year that equestrians once again find themselves wondering, "should I go with fleece or wool coolers?". It's a complicated question with many variables to consider. What's your intended use? Do you have a budget? Many times it comes down to personal preference but it's vital to invest in a blanket that will fit your needs. We hope to help you make an informed decision by breaking down the pros and cons of each fabric!
The traditional chilly weather go-to for clothing our equine friends! Do you know the features that have made wool stand the test of time?
The Diverse Abilities of Wool
Wool is a staple in most barns in the winter because it functions unlike any synthetic material. It's naturally resistant to fire, stains, and odors. It can absorb and repel water, depending on the form. Wool loves water vapor (aka sweat) and pulls it away from your horse’s body. Conversely, it hates liquid water (rain or snow), making it perfect for keeping your horse dry during wet trail rides! Excellent breathablity enhances its powers to assist with thermoregulation. Mother nature has a solution for every problem, and wool is proof of that. For our environmentalists, wool is a sustainable option that's biodegradable that does not cause harm to the sheep it comes from.
If you're considering a wool blanket, price and maintenance are two factors to keep in mind. Wool garments are at a higher price point, but they're heirloom quality that will last a lifetime. The only reason to get a new one is for a new horse that needs a different size! Additionally, it's not a secret that wool is a high-maintenance fabric. These blankets can be washed in a machine on a cold, gentle cycle, but they're not to be put in a dryer. Be sure to clean your wool blankets with plenty of time to spare because it can take quite a long time to air-dry.
If you want the absolute best of the best, go with a wool blanket. You will not have buyer's remorse!
Our Wool Pick
Hawthorne Wool Dress Sheet: Not only is this dress sheet perfect for a classic look at horse shows, the functionality of the wool makes this a truly “one-of-a-kind” garment. Shown here in Navy Blue with Camel trim and Gold Standard Piping.
What’s the deal with fleece? Not only is fleece functional but can be more economical than wool while housing many of the same powers.
Saratoga Horseworks is the only horse clothing manufacturer to utilize certified Polartec® 200 Fleece! Polartec® is the original inventor of polar synthetic fleece and continues to be the industry standard for winter (human) clothing. This thermal fabric will keep your horses warm and dry during the coldest weather. The knitted yarn used is hydrophobic to repel moisture and speed dry times. It's ideal for cooling out a warm horse after an intense winter ride. Not to mention it is LIGHT! You get the warmth and performance of wool in a lighter, more versatile fabric. The icing on the cake is that Polartec® 200 Fleece is low-maintenance. Throw it in your washer and dryer, and it'll come out brand new.
Similarly to wool, Polartec® fleece comes at a higher price point due to its functionality and durability. It's a long-lasting blanket that will pay for itself over time.
.Our Polartec® Classic 200 Fleece Pick
Polartec® 200 Fleece Riding Blanket: The perfect everyday riding blanket, made of high-quality fleece and is built to last. Designed to keep both you and your equine friend warm this winter. Shown here in hunter green with grey trim, white standard piping and black twisted cord.
In a nutshell, wool and fleece do have similar properties. Wool is better for outdoor riders due water-resistance for the chance of precipitation, or for riders with a larger budget looking for that special blanket for their heart horse. It's a natural, sustainable fabric that's been perfected by mother nature. Fleece is great for heavy use indoors that can easily be washed. It's a synthetic material purposefully developed with the assets needed to perform in cold weather.
If wool or fleece do not meet your demands, perhaps you can consider our other winter fabric options. Our affordable yet functional Saratoga Fleece is an ideal choice for riders on a budget, the ultra-lightweight 100M Fleece is perfect for warmer climates, and the athletic Diamond Knit is the modern version of an Irish Knit. We're proud to have options for every budget, region, and need. We encourage customers to reach out with any questions to ensure their custom blanket fits their standards.
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