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Blanket choice?

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  • Blanket choice?

    I’ve never blanketed my guy (young healthy Mustang, out 24/7 in central Texas), but am toying with the idea of taking advantage of some of the end-of-season blanket sales. Hopes are that next winter we will be in a better position to put in some genuine work in the winter and I would be doing at least some limited trace clipping to simplify cool-down, so he would probably appreciate a little something when it gets quite cold and/or wet. I’m thinking something waterproof with a light fill would be OK, but haven’t dealt with clipping and blanketing before so not sure if that’s too much or not enough. I do have a cooler to use, also. Any specific brands or types or deals y’all can point me toward?

  • #2
    My 100 gram blankets get just a TON of use. It's a really fabulous weight. They're not terribly common, but out there if you look--I use the Rambo version.

    It looks like Smartpak does have it on clearance: https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/ra...learance-22486

    Comment


    • #3
      I have never been disappointed with my Horseware Ireland blankets. I've used Amigo, Rhino, and Rambo and have been happy with all of them. If you're looking for some versatility without a ton of $$, the Amigo Bravo line is compatible with their liner system and you can find them with a whole variety of front closures - the standard straight front, the V-front with snaps, or their new disc system (which I thought would be super complicated but after seeing a friend's - it's not!)

      My new guy is too big to share my mare's wardrobe (of course!). My plan for him is to get an Amigo or Rhino 0g (no fill) with a hood attachment and stock up on various weight liners. I'll add a midweight and a 0g highneck, probably Rhino Wugs, because I like to switch up the cut that they wear throughout blanket season.

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      • #4
        You'll need a rain sheet (no fill) and something with light to medium fill. Wherever the horse is clipped will no longer be able to shed rain and snow like a full winter coat, that's why I think you need 2.

        Also, if it rains for more than 24 hours (or even 12 depending on the blanket), you'll need a second waterproof blanket/sheet to switch it out with. You could get 2 rain sheets and one liner or one rain sheet and one medium weight.

        I love Rambo, Amigo Bravo, and SmartPak Ultimate. I've also had decent luck with Centaur and Weatherbeeta but they are always my least-used or backup blankets.

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        • #5
          The big thing is if the blanket fits. That will suffer by brand and style.

          I scored a wonderful second hand Rambo heavy blanket almost new that is the right size for my mare but the slightly high neck makes it really tight through the chest when she tries to eat off the ground. She has big shoulders. I had to buy an extender for the front. The Horsewares light fill blanket I bought at the same time fits her very nicely.

          We are very wet here so I like a blanket with nylon lining and synthetic fill.

          My oldest blanket is a great fit but has a fabric lining and the fill is more absorbent and when it gets wet it's *really* soggy.

          You may also want some fleece coolers.

          Comment


          • #6
            I disagree about the need for a no fill sheet. I haven't used one in years. The 100 gram is far more useful, IMO.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Simkie View Post
              I disagree about the need for a no fill sheet. I haven't used one in years. The 100 gram is far more useful, IMO.
              I've found it really depends on the turnout situation and climate combo. Large pasture with shelter, room to roam, etc. I don't use no-fill (rain) sheets. Horses in smaller paddocks, I find, are more likely to benefit from protection from the rain when it is a little colder - they can't move around as much to stay warm.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kashmere View Post

                I've found it really depends on the turnout situation and climate combo. Large pasture with shelter, room to roam, etc. I don't use no-fill (rain) sheets. Horses in smaller paddocks, I find, are more likely to benefit from protection from the rain when it is a little colder - they can't move around as much to stay warm.
                I've just never had a circumstance where clothing was necessary and 100 grams was too heavy. Really, I've seen the opposite--if it's wet and chilly enough for any sort of cover, a bit of weight is more appropriate.

                ​​​​I'm not saying that they don't need blanketed in the wet. I'm saying that a 100 gram turnout is better suited than a sheet for those conditions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Simkie fair enough If nothing else, I appreciate the lower cost of the 0g HW blankets and the flexibility to pair them with liners!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kashmere View Post
                    Simkie fair enough If nothing else, I appreciate the lower cost of the 0g HW blankets and the flexibility to pair them with liners!
                    That is true! Plus the ease of laundering!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                      I've just never had a circumstance where clothing was necessary and 100 grams was too heavy. Really, I've seen the opposite--if it's wet and chilly enough for any sort of cover, a bit of weight is more appropriate.

                      ​​​​I'm not saying that they don't need blanketed in the wet. I'm saying that a 100 gram turnout is better suited than a sheet for those conditions.
                      I'm sure it varies by region, but for my set up and climate, I have to agree 100% with this. I used to make sure every equine had two rain sheets, now I have zero need for a rain sheet once discovering 100g fills - or Schneiders techno fleece fills. If its raining and chilly enough to blanket at all, a light fill works better for my herd than a no fill. If its too warm for a light fill, then they probably don't need a blanket at all.

                      Even though waterproof, no fills can get chill a horse just by being cold and flattening down the hair.

                      Now, I don't do liners. 3 wardrobe changes per equine is enough for me. If I ever got into liners I think I'd slit my wrists.
                      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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                      • #12
                        My unclipped mare got through one winter in daily turnout paddock with no shelter in a rain sheet and stayed poofy and warm underneath. This year she wintered naked until January on a field, then had a light weight turnout for January and February. But she's not clipped. I think you might want at least a low fill blanket on a clipped horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                          My 100 gram blankets get just a TON of use. It's a really fabulous weight. They're not terribly common, but out there if you look--I use the Rambo version.

                          It looks like Smartpak does have it on clearance: https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/ra...learance-22486
                          I'll second this suggestion. It's the one used most often on windy chilly nights and fits different bodied horses quite well.

                          And Rambo's last forever, I've some that are 18 yrs. old.
                          "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

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                          • #14
                            We have a horse who has worn a 100g almost exclusively this winter, and that is up in NH! Only when it has been very cold and/or windy have we added anything. I can't imagine that in TX you would need much more than a 100g for a horse with only a partial clip and an otherwise good coat.

                            My go to blanket now is the premier equine (from the UK). Less pricey than the rambos, some very good options, and very well made blankets. Our newer rambos have been less waterproof and fit too snug in the shoulder/neck for most of our horses. We now have both the lucanta line and some of the titan line blankets from PE and they have been great.
                            "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

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                            • #15
                              We use Rambo TO sheets w different weight liners for both clipped and unclipped horses. Adding a hood gives additional protection and warmth as well. I can wash the liners at home and go to the laundry mat once a season to wash the turnout sheets. The sheet I use is the green one w the Chinese puzzle front closure. It’s on a slant and has Velcro and snaps. It fits different shapes well. I use the blue liners under them. Hope this helps you.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                My 100 gram blankets get just a TON of use. It's a really fabulous weight. They're not terribly common, but out there if you look--I use the Rambo version.

                                It looks like Smartpak does have it on clearance: https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/ra...learance-22486
                                This sounds like just the ticket. Hopefully there will still be stock and sales when our lockdown lifts, if not I can just keep an eye out for another sale or good-condition used, it’s not like I’ll need it for a long time. It was up to 87 here today!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by theresak View Post
                                  You'll need a rain sheet (no fill) and something with light to medium fill. Wherever the horse is clipped will no longer be able to shed rain and snow like a full winter coat, that's why I think you need 2.

                                  Also, if it rains for more than 24 hours (or even 12 depending on the blanket), you'll need a second waterproof blanket/sheet to switch it out with. You could get 2 rain sheets and one liner or one rain sheet and one medium weight.

                                  I love Rambo, Amigo Bravo, and SmartPak Ultimate. I've also had decent luck with Centaur and Weatherbeeta but they are always my least-used or backup blankets.
                                  Since I’m only planning on a pretty minimalist clip, and he’ll have shelter to use, I’m not sure a sheet is necessary. The rain should still shed just fine off his back, and if he doesn’t want to get his tummy wet on a relatively warm day he can darn well go into the shelter. Which he probably won’t, he seems to be particularly cold tolerant. The first winter we had him, our area got actually pretty cold for a spell, lows in the 20’s, highs in the 30’s, spitty “winter mix” and one storm with enough snow to actually build a fort. The boarding bard was scrambling to get blankets for horses that weren’t normally blanketed, since they were clearly unhappy in that unusual weather. My guy, a Percheron, and a Halflinger were all “Bring it on, amateurs!”

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I like the rain sheet for those days it rains right before turning cold. I can’t stand blanketing wet horses. I appreciate the sheet keeps his back dry but isn’t too warm.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                                      That is true! Plus the ease of laundering!
                                      SO key. My washer is... not top tier so I try to avoid doing things like shoving a full TO rug in it! The liners are easy peasy though - I can fit two in a load, they dry quickly even on an indoor line, and the 0g or 100g "shells" seem to dry more quickly than the heavier rugs - my 400g Rambo is a gorgeous marvel of a blanket, but if it gets truly wet it takes one hundred years to dry again.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I love my rain sheets (no fill) & so do the horses. I would recommend that - I have never used a 100 g blanket (in NC with trace clipped horses) & I doubt OP would even need that much in TX. Modern sheets are breathable & there is plenty of air space beneath them, they aren't lycra compression suits, so they do not cause extra chill problems. I use them as a barrier to wind & rain (horses live out with a shelter, but that doesn't mean they choose to use it, lol), they work great. If I lived in the NE, I might choose differently, but in the South, I will always use a sheet first.
                                        ​​​​​​
                                        As for what type, it depends on how hard your horse is on them. I don't even bother with anything less than 1200 D fabric, I've learned the hard way it won't last. If your horse lives alone, you may get away with less. I know this board has a love affair with Rambo, but I have a 10-yr old Centaur blanket going strong & another 5 yr old Smartpak Deluxe that has no problems, I also have 2 of the SP Ultimate sheets I bought on clearance that are very nice & heavy enough material to provide a bit of extra insulation. It's not necessary to spend $400+ on a horse blanket unless you just want to.
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