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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2012
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    384

    Default What material is best for coolers?

    My gelding ripped his cooler to shreds a few weeks back, and I'm looking to replace it. I don't exactly need something that buckles or fastens, as this one will not be used as a blanket liner like the last one was (he was getting too warm with it on, even being outside 24/7) so I'd just like something I can throw over him during warm-up/cooling down and after bathing.

    I was thinking about just buying a large piece of material at the local craft store, cutting it to kind of shape him better. If it turns out more costly than buying a cooler with all the fastenings, then I'll just go that route instead.

    I've seen wool and fleece coolers. Which is best? And would any piece of fleece from, say, Wal-Mart, work?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2003
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    Default

    I have a nice jersey cooler from Horseware that was like $30 at Dover. And a really nice Centaur fleece that I got from Horseloverz also for $30:

    http://www.horseloverz.com/Dress/615...ece-Sheet.html

    for some reason this week it's $49. Whatever. Still worth it!



  3. #3
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    Jun. 9, 2012
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    Default

    I wasn't asking where to buy them as I already know that, lol, I was asking what material would be best for one if I want to go get the material and "make" one myself.



  4. #4
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    Oct. 27, 2009
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    Default

    I personally prefer a good quality medium to heavy weight wool. I hate the way the fleece and jersey ones cling and wool lasts for-freakin-ever... My quarter sheet is going at least 15 years old.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2004
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    2,620

    Default

    Wool is my preference then I'd choose fleece but both need to be the heavyweight kind. Definitely not cotton!! The fleece I've seen at Walmart is super thin - not what I would use.
    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Feb. 23, 2005
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    Spotsylvania, VA
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    Default

    I've had good luck with wool blankets from Goodwill
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
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    NE Indiana
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    Default

    I bought a couple of amazing 100% virgin wool blankets at a military surplus store (sorry, I can't remember the name but it seems like it was in VT or NH somewhere)...I LOVE them. I didn't cut them or anything, they are perfect for my horses that normally wear a 76-78 blanket (4 out of 6 of my horses are the same size!). Anyway, they are nay blue, VERY soft and I use 4" blanket pins to secure them at the chest. I know they weren't over $30...maybe even $20.


    I plan on buying a fleece from the same store (when I find the receipt so I know where it is!), to use for warmer weather.

    ETA: I found the link to the exact blanket but they are sold out ....they are awesome and a little more than I thought but still half the price of a CHEAP cooler! http://shop.vtarmynavy.com/longer-na...ets-p2376.aspx



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
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    8,380

    Default Wool ~



    Wool !
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2011
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    Default

    For cooling out a hot horse on a cold day, I vote fleece. It probably doesn't last as long as wool, but I can deal with replacing every few years if it serves its purpose. It seems to wick water pretty well. I like that fleece blankets do kind of cling and shape the horse. If they are hot and sweaty or have just been bathed on a cold day, I want them warm! Wool just kind of hangs off of them.

    "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2007
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    293

    Default

    Wool!!7



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
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    NE Indiana
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelico View Post
    Wool just kind of hangs off of them.
    Not all wool, and definitely not the wool that I linked above - it has a soft, soft hand and clings nicely on the horse. Hair does stick to it though!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
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    Default

    I use acrylic for our coolers. We use our coolers almost daily in this kind of weather, and with sweaty horses, that means 3-5 coolers get used each day. The acrylic does pull the sweat off, and using two in layers, will dry a wet horse nicely. Depends on how hairy the horse is, how many coolers he needs to get dried fully, so he can be left uncovered. We don't clip anyone, so these are fully winter-hairy horses to dry off after work. They live outside during the days, need what hair they have.

    The acrylic dries fast after getting sweat pulled off and then hung up for drying. They also wash and dry fast in the machines, because with that much use they need weekly washing. Easy care is HUGE with me, in choices of my horse clothing used as much as these coolers are.

    Wool is great stuff, but it needs extra care to keep it nice, can't go thru the washer and dryer like the acrylics can.

    And for cheap, I bought acrylic blankets, king size, added chest strings and use them in our cooler collection. They work just fine, were a lot cheaper than "horse" coolers, though they are the same material. If you don't want to sew strings on, those spring clamps at the hardware store are fine to close the chest and keep coolers on with. This big size fits our 17h horses, who wear 84" blankets, come down to cover both sides, up the neck and belly with a strap.

    One horse also needs an elastic surcingle because he wiggles a lot while drying, so his coolers slide off sideways. I just redid the elastic in a surcingle that had died of old age, no stretch left. JoAnne fabric had some new packages of 4" wide elastic, 2yds long, for $5 and change. I sewed on the end clips I had already, for fastening the surcingle, using the old ends. It works great, plenty of stretch. A lot less expensive than buying new surcingles!!

    I don't use the fleecy coolers because they hold onto sawdust, shavings, hay leaves, and don't want to let it go! I don't have that issue with the acrylics. Even if I drop them in the sawdust, a flip will get most things snapped off.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Fort Collins, CO
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    Default

    Looooove real, heavy wool coolers. Damned near impossible to find anymore, although you can often find really nice wool blankets at the army surplus store.



  14. #14
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    Oct. 1, 2005
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    Sandy, Utah
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    Default

    Wool. I've got a wool dress sheet probably 40+ years old that's still going strong. And between the wool cooler and the fleece cooler, the wool performs better.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2003
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    Default

    Hate wool, pain to clean, smells funky if not totally dry when stored.

    I'd go fleece but even at speciality fabric stores have never seen the thick fleece that the rambo and centaur coolers are made of.

    I posted links because I would think between time, gas, and actual material it would just be cheaper to buy a $30 cooler.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2000
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    3,132

    Default

    Wool. It's a natural fiber, comes in a bunch of different weights.

    I've got dress sheets & day rugs that RARELY ever get used (they are also wool) - but many, many years ago I bought a tropical weight, BIG square wool cooler (it's Triple Crown brand) and have used it a million times on all different sizes of critters.

    Yes, wool can be a pain to clean - you can't just toss it in the washing machine with hot water or throw it in the dryer (it will felt & shrink) - but you can cram it into a washtub of cold water with a blob of Orvis, soak it, scrub at any stained spots, press out all water, and hang it to dry. I haven't had to wash mine very often because it's a cooler and no one is wearing it when they could roll it in, etc. As I think about it, I don't remember washing it but one time in all these years.

    PS - I do work in fiber and so am admittedly biased...



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2002
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    Canada!!
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    Default

    One of the major reasons wool is better is because it retains warmth when wet. A cooler vents moisture away from the horse and gets wet in the process so unless you switch off coolers, your horse might get chilled in wet fleece or acrylic in cold weather. I tend to use fleece everyday but I will switch to a second cooler when one is wet. I love my wool one but hate trying to clean them so I use them more sparingly.

    If your willing to invest in a good one consider a bucas power. Thenwork great are way easier to take care of and are antibacterial which means anti stink. I use mine to trailer all the time and I love is under a rug if the horse wasn't totally dry when turned out. If I could only have one cooler I'd go with wool though.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
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    MI USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky View Post
    One of the major reasons wool is better is because it retains warmth when wet. A cooler vents moisture away from the horse and gets wet in the process so unless you switch off coolers, your horse might get chilled in wet fleece or acrylic in cold weather. I tend to use fleece everyday but I will switch to a second cooler when one is wet. I love my wool one but hate trying to clean them so I use them more sparingly.
    This water removal from the horse, goes to the outside layer, right thru two acrylic coolers. When most of the top of the outside cooler looks "frosty", then it is time to remove it from the horse and hang to dry. The actual fabric isn't wet, but you need to dry the cooler of the frost stuff. The inside cooler that was covered, is NOT wet yet. But if horse isn't dry, that second cooler will also get "frosted" with pulling off the moisture. So it will need hanging to dry as well.

    Usually by then, most of our horses are pretty dry, so they don't need another cooler. The one VERY hairy horse, could need a third cooler to finish drying, but he thinks he still lives in Canada, has enough hair for 2 horses. They are stalled wearing their coolers, not ever turned out with "clothing" on. Coolers DO NEED the weekly washing, since they will pick up the sweat and get stinky while drying the horses.

    We have wool coolers for use in the carriage, for Turnout classes they used to be required. However I think the wool coolers have only been used on the horses about 3 times in the LONG time we owned them. Usually get used as lap robes to keep US warm. They have been washed once or twice, but it is a PITA to be so careful with them. I don't do hand washing very often, and sure won't be doing it weekly to keep our daily use coolers clean and non-smelly!

    Wool is a lovely fabric, and I like sheep, been a sheep owner, so we support the wool industry when we can! Wool just isn't going to work for us in a daily setting. Guess our horses sweat harder, get stinky working, than other cooler users horses do. And dealing in volume horse cooling, with multiple coolers for each horse, keeping them clean is a job that is LOTS easier using our acrylic coolers. Some of our stash of coolers are from a retired Standardbred owner selling out, and those folks WORK their horses every day, wash and cool them out with numbers of coolers layered on the horses. Trophy coolers they win are acrylics, just because they are so much easier to use and clean, than wool coolers.

    The wool coolers are great, but stay mostly put away here. Only get them out for good looks at a show or competition. Not put on the horses!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Center of the Universe
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    Default

    It is true that wool retains heat even when wet, but it's not a very efficient moisture-wicker, it mostly just gets wet and stays wet. If your goal is to dry your horse out, these people sell moisture-wicking fabrics: http://www.rockywoods.com/Fabrics-Kits/Wickaway-Fabrics

    they'll actually suck the water off the horse and pull it to the outside of the fabric. Depending on how big your horse is and which material you select (I'd go for polartec powerdry myself), it'll cost under $20 to get enough for a cooler.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2012
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    384

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goodhors View Post

    ETA: I found the link to the exact blanket but they are sold out ....they are awesome and a little more than I thought but still half the price of a CHEAP cooler! http://shop.vtarmynavy.com/longer-na...ets-p2376.aspx
    That^^ link isn't working.

    Wendy - I will check out that link you gave.

    I don't bathe my horse in the winter, so a cooler then would just be used for warming up/cooling down during riding.
    During the spring & summer is when I'd use it to help dry faster after bathing. Although usually I just let him graze in the sun if it's warm enough.



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