For horses with fine skins, which require to be kept scrupulously clean and glossy, as well as for those performing fast work in cold weather, clothing is necessary. For the former it is required all the year round, but in warm weather it may be limited to a light sheet to keep off the dust; in cold weather, however, the clothing must be warm, to maintain the temperature of the surface of the body, and keep the horse in good condition. Keeping the body warm is a saving in food, strength, and vigour.
Horses doing slow work, and which have thick greasy coats, do not require to be clothed. The quantity of clothing to be worn will depend upon circumstances, the chief of which is the temperature of the stable; but it should never be so much as to induce perspiration. It must be remembered that it is far better to keep a horse warm by clothing than by keeping him in a hot stable. If a roller is worn, it should be well padded on the back, with a channel for the spine, as injury of this part is very common when this is not attended to. If the horse has high withers, the blanket should be well hollowed out in that part, with a view of preventing bruise or chafing; a strap and buckle should secure the two ends of the blanket over the chest. In some stables two suits of clothing are allowed - one for the day, another for the night; this permits of the clothing being well brushed and aired when not worn. If only one suit is used, it should be aired and cleaned when the horse is out at exercise or work.