As winter weather approaches (maybe not this week, but it is coming) I wanted to take a moment and share my thoughts on quarter sheets.
For those of you not familiar with them, quarter sheets are a partial blanket that cover the horses hindquarters while you are riding them in the colder months. They are great for keeping the muscles warm and allowing the horse to perform to the best of their ability.
In some advertisements, you see riders with the quarter sheet covering the rider's legs as well. I heard a personal account from a rider, that has led me to advise against this situation.
This particular rider was riding with the quarter sheet over her legs - there is velcro to attach it. Her usually reliable horse spooked, and she knew she was going to fall off. However, since the quarter sheet was around her legs/waist, she had a few precarious seconds before the velcro let go, when she was not sure how the fall was going to go.
My advice to any of you who ride with quarter sheets - save it for the horse and wear winter breeches or long underwear under your summer breeches. Several years ago, I also tried riding with the quarter sheet over my legs. As soon as I picked up a posting trot I found that it constricted my movement and stopped to put it back under the saddle. After hearing my friend's story, I will definitely be layering up and saving the quarter sheet for my horse.