Last winter we owned three horses and living in New England – that means winter horse blankets. But not every day is cold enough to need these heavy blankets and sometimes the blankets get wet and need a way to dry off. So last year I spent my hard earned cash on three blanket racks that literally lasted ONE day! They were hunks of junk. Keep in mind two of the horses are drafts and their blankets are very heavy!
This winter we own four horses – I was definitely not going to waste my money again. I sought not only a cheaper solution but a better solution. Last year I paid $25 for each blanket rack… Let’s see how this year stacks up!
For four horses I used the following:
(1) 10 foot length of PVC 1″ piping – cut into 4 equal lengths $10
(4) Carabiners from the dollar store $4
(4) 10 foot lengths of dog chain from the Walmart $16
Total cost for 4 blanket racks – $30 (or $7.50 each)! Now that is a huge savings.
I will tell you some of my logic. I could have used a different “design” but I want to be able to take the blanket racks down in the non blanket months. I don’t need it staying on the wall year round – so I didn’t want anything to be mounted. It needed to be able to easily hold 30 pounds – a very heavyweight winter blanket when wet! I wanted it to be easy to setup and take down – no more than a few minutes for each horse.
Problem solved – in the photo you can see excess chain. I could have had chain cut to the length I wanted at a hardware store but then it cost a great deal more per foot than a cheap 10 foot pre-packaged dog tie out chain. Also, I could cut the chain down but I am opting not to because who knows what else I will want to use the chain for in the off season. The goal is versatility.
Once the PVC pipe is cut down to size, thread the chain through it, wrap through the stall posts and clip with a carabiner when it is at the desired height. You can use smaller than a 1″ PVC pipe if you’d like but remember the chain must be able to fit through it AND it must be strong enough to hold whatever size blanket you will be using. If you have a tall space to hang this you could actually do a double decker and hang two blankets on it. I am hanging it on each individual stall on the far side away from the stall door.
Here it is in action with one of our heaviest blankets. The stall door is off to the right – you can see the shadow. There is plenty of space for the blanket rack and blanket. I didn’t need any hardware other than my PVC pipe cutter but I had that already since I use PVC for everything I can think of. If you need one they run about $15 for one that will cut 1″ PVC pipe. You can also use a hacksaw if you prefer – I have done both. I didn’t need to drill into the walls or anything. Piece of cake!
To recap – instead of spending $100 or more on blanket racks for 4 horses (that will probably break) – I spent $30 and I know they won’t break!