I love my Northwind! I have one on it's 4th year and it looks pretty much new, plus two others that are maybe 2 and 3 years old, both look great.. There's also a 2 year warranty on them, which is always a plus. I have some of the Riders Supreme blankets, they're good too, but I think the Northwinds are worth the extra $$.
"You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.
I got one for my then 3 y.o. who is now 11. I think it was called something else back then, but the photo looks the same. He protested by removing the binding from a portion of the front, but I sewed it back on with my SpeedyStitcher and sprayed some sort of no-chew stuff on it and he got the message. That year. I think I had to repeat the exercise one or two times after that. Otherwise, it's held up great. I use it as an in-stall blanket rather than a turnout so no re-waterproofing issues and likely less wear. I have used it less and less over the years for the simple reason that it's kind of too-much blanket for this particular horse in our climate. So, again, it isn't as if it's been used for long winters for 8 years. But I would definitely buy another one.
I have one of the Riders turnout sheets (has mesh and some sort of slippery lining, but no fill) and he managed to tear the lining out of that with less use than the Northwind.
I got one for a TB I had and it fit him wonderfully. They hold up really well too. I do hate leg straps though!
I then got one for my ISH, and I couldn't even get the 84" to fit him- for the record he is probably 17.3ish, and probably pushing 1300. He is not drafty, just big and he wore it for about 5 minutes till I just took the darn thing off, cause it looked like a crooked miniskirt, and half his butt was hanging out.
I eventually got him a midweight Smartpak turnout, 1200 denier and am super happy with the way it fits him. Has held up for one winter with absolutely no problems with it. It does also have leg straps. Guess I have gotten spoiled beween the Rambos-Rhinos-Amigos that don't have them.
The first two I bought several years ago are awesome. Well made and still going strong.
the one I bought last year is not anywhere near the same quality. I won't buy another one. Same experience with the Riders' Supreme. I had one for Trav that lasted years and still looked great, but had to send back the one I bought last year. The lining was all twisted up and it tore on the first wearing.
So sad... those started out as great blankets, but obviously manufacturing standards on them have changed.
Thanks for the replies! I think I may go ahead and order the Turnout sheet, and see how that holds up before ordering the blankets.
He'll be out with only 1 other horse once he comes home, but he's currently out with a bunch of ponies and another Thoroughbred...so it will be the ultimate test!
If anybody else has one they ordered last year, I'd love to hear other opinions as well. Did they not compare to the older Northwinds for you, either? That's a shame about changes to manufacturing....sounds like the same thing happened to Schneider's from the threads I've read here (I loved my old Schneider's blankets I had for my old horse, they look brand new after 3 seasons...but I don't think they will fit my new guy).
I was going to add that I've got a Northwind Midweight Turnout for Gus and it is holding up beautifully. I'm the second owner (purchased used through Ebay) and it's been going strong for at least 5 winters. With the exception of a few minor tears (easily fixed myself) it's doing great. I do rewaterproof all my blankets yearly though, just as a precaution, so I couldn't tell you how long the original waterproofing lasts.
Excellent blanket though IMO. I think I'll switch to the Smartpak ones though once I need to start replacing blankets... they look to be nearly identical and Smartpak's customer service is excellent (as are prices, for the most part).
I have 2 blankets and a sheet, have had 1 blanket for... oh I forget, 5 years? and the other blanket and sheet for 3ish. They all get washed Very Often as my horse loves to get them as dirty as possible lol. Hold up great, even to horsey roughhousing with lots of teeth action... lol