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Canvas/wool blankets....does anyone use them?

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  • Canvas/wool blankets....does anyone use them?

    I have the usual waterproof turnouts for my pony, one unlined, one medium weight. They work fine. But I was thinking about how I always choose wool for myself when I want something warm, and the way that wool works even when it's wet. I was thinking it might be a good choice for cold weather that's not wet. I also know that the poly-lined blankets are sometimes so warm that the horses perspire under the blanket, and I think that would be less likely to happen with wool.
    I know that old fashioned blankets were wool with a water-resistant canvas shell, and they're still made.
    Does anyone have a blanket like this? What are the positive and negative points? Can you waterproof the canvas?

  • #2
    I have a couple of Jute Rugs from England, which are wool lined with a jute backing. They are absolutely my favorite rugs, although the heavy wool dress rug is right up there too. They are not suitable for turnout, but indoors they can't be beat. I will not trailer a horse or pony in one of those non-breathable nylon things! They end up a sweaty mess. I always trailer (in the cold) with the wool rug or wool dress sheets. I still have a couple of my old New Zealand rugs, which are canvas with a wool lining, but they are meant for outdoor use and don't really breathe all that well. I would use tent waterproof spray on them, but they were never really waterproof. I will admit to using those new-fangled nylon supposedly breathable and waterproof turnout rugs, because they do keep the critters much drier than the old New Zealand rugs ever did.
    blogging at HN: http://www.horsenation.com/
    check out my writing: http://jeseymour.com
    Just out: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/dd-p...ead-poisoning/

    Comment


    • #3
      Weight is the big factor with canvas blankets. They weigh a ton dry, and even more when wet. Makes them hard to hoist up on a big horse, or even a medium sized 15H animal. Even with liners, horse could get wet inside if the blanket REALLY was out in terrible weather. You needed more than one canvas blanket, so one could dry while horse wore the other. They are usually stiffer, especially when dirty. So it is easier to get a rub on horse using one. Can be hard to get clean, if you have no local laundromat to sneak into with the huge washers. I always hung mine to dry, which could take several days in cold weather or non-sunny days.

      Getting them repaired you had to take them into an awning shop, and that blanket better be CLEAN or they won't talk to you about fixing it.

      They were TOUGH, withstood all kinds of things that destroy the nylon blankets. However there wasn't much wiggle room in fit, it did or didn't fit. Not much variance in sizing between the various brands. Seemed mostly aimed back then, at the TB type horse.

      I have an old canvas blanket that is over 30 years old, got used lightly by a couple horses over the years, has a patch where it got snagged on one corner. Still in good shape to be used, but needs a coat of sealer to make it waterproof. Back then, Thompson's Water Seal for decks was the best choice to paint on canvas, to keep horses dry in their blankets. I would not carry this blanket and ANY OTHER THING, it is so heavy. Nothing tougher than the canvas, but disadvantages outweigh the good stuff for daily use by most folks.

      Comment


      • #4
        I remember using New Zealand rugs – back when modern blankets were just coming out.

        I remember them being HEAVY
        I remember them RUBBBING
        I remember them getting WET and taking FOREVER to dry

        Bought a Weetherbeta in 1989 or so, and NEVER went back. Couldn’t pay me to lug around on.

        If its cold out, and I am worried about them carrying on in turn out and working up a sweat – I used a turn out sheet, and an old beat up wool cooler under it.
        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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        • #5
          I remember hating them. However, I love a wool cooler or a Whitney as an underneath layer in a very cold barn.

          Comment


          • #6
            I had drying lines in my basement (right near the furnace) for my New Zealand rugs. I remember hauling wet canvas rugs through the house, leg straps trailing, and the smell! Nothing like that smell of wet canvas mixed with manure!
            blogging at HN: http://www.horsenation.com/
            check out my writing: http://jeseymour.com
            Just out: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/dd-p...ead-poisoning/

            Comment


            • #7
              I used New Zealand rugs back in the day, and they were great--if they didn't rub, which on most horses, they did, and if they didn't get wet, which, of course, they did.

              However, as far as coolers, especially for an unclipped or minimally clipped horse, there is nothing better than a string (not Irish-knit) cooler topped with one of those big square wool coolers. Fleece coolers don't come close. You can still find the square wool coolers, but unfortunately, string coolers are next to impossible to find anymore. I have a couple of ancient ones that I love and will never part with.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yup I use them.... as liners/insulation in the winter "nest boxes" I built for the barn cats. The cats snuggle up in there on cold winter nights and seem to be pretty happy. But hauling stiff, heavy, non-waterproof carpets up onto a horse? No thanks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
                  I used New Zealand rugs back in the day, and they were great--if they didn't rub, which on most horses, they did, and if they didn't get wet, which, of course, they did.

                  However, as far as coolers, especially for an unclipped or minimally clipped horse, there is nothing better than a string (not Irish-knit) cooler topped with one of those big square wool coolers. Fleece coolers don't come close. You can still find the square wool coolers, but unfortunately, string coolers are next to impossible to find anymore. I have a couple of ancient ones that I love and will never part with.
                  I have a couple of the string coolers still. I could swear I saw one in a recent catalog but a google search only turned up this one in England -

                  http://www.brighteyesandbobtails.co....g/Coolers.html
                  blogging at HN: http://www.horsenation.com/
                  check out my writing: http://jeseymour.com
                  Just out: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/dd-p...ead-poisoning/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Hippo got it right!

                    I don't think anyone has mentioned the pleasure of handling a frozen NZ rug yet, either... Give me Rambos or give me... well, maybe not death. Maybe I'd settle for the Bahamas...

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks all!!! You've confirmed some of the concerns that I had, and informed me about things I hadn't thought of, like the weight issue.
                      My pony lives out 24/7 (except truly terrible weather) and is not clipped, so I think I'll pass on this little mind fart of mine and stick with the new technology I already own....waterproof turnouts and my Weatherbeeta dry-wick cooler.
                      I knew I could get the low-down from COTH

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Seems to be available in this country as well -

                        http://www.equestriancollections.com...mpaign=SE00171
                        blogging at HN: http://www.horsenation.com/
                        check out my writing: http://jeseymour.com
                        Just out: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/dd-p...ead-poisoning/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh, I didn't mean to write off wool for all purposes (do you need shopping enabling? ). I love wool for coolers, quarter sheets and dress sheets for short term use rather than turnout. I was only writing off those wool-lined canvas rugs, like NZs. Except for dog beds, because they are cute.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use wool/canvas some of the time.

                            Sure weight is an issue, but if they get wet I'm not convinced they take any longer to dry than a synthetic. Because of the weight though they will rub unless they are clean (on the inside) and a good fit.

                            I like them for rough turnout groups. When I boarded my horses, BMs seemed to frequently change turnout companions which would lead to biting and torn rugs. Canvas is pretty hard to tear.

                            I like them for lazy horse management. I think it is harder to cause over-blanketing problems with wool. Like people, even if you are a bit too warm in wool you don't tend to sweat as much as the same degree of synthetic.

                            I think they are a good option for a horse that is out 24/7 that needs a medium warmth blanket. If you are doing in/out and rugs on/off twice a day you'll probably prefer synthetic unless they are getting torn.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Everyone I ever had rubbed something awful... I'll go with a nylon-lined blanked any day.

                              However, I did have a cheap "New Zealand" knock off blanket about 10 years ago that was lined with this plastic-like felt stuff. While it still rubbed like crazy, it was great for rain storms because that plasticy felt didn't absorb ANY water.
                              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Appsolute View Post
                                I remember using New Zealand rugs – back when modern blankets were just coming out.

                                I remember them being HEAVY
                                I remember them RUBBBING
                                I remember them getting WET and taking FOREVER to dry
                                Yes, those things were monstrous. Wool is a fantastic fiber, but no one has figured out how to use it properly for horse blankets (even the lovely wool sheets aren't terribly washable or durable) and maybe it just isn't economical to do so. Canvas is awful. I remember constantly changing and adjusting blankets all winter and horses still getting terrible rubs and sores.

                                There really have been tremendous advances in horse blankets in the past 20 or so years.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I scored two old Horseware (??) wool lined, nylon shell blankets at a used tack sale a while ago. Not terribly waterproof, and it looks like the wool lining may have shrunk in the wash (probably why they were at this particular sale) - but I love them as a layer under a rainsheet on a cold, rainy day. The wool is fairly light and the whole thing is no heavier than any of my other midweights.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have one on my horse today

                                    I have one and still use it depending on the weather conditions. It comes out when the forecast is wind and freezing rain and it is put it on overtop of a liner.

                                    Mine is made by Big D, I checked their website and I don't think they make it anymore. It has never gotten soaked through wet (unlike almost every other blanket that I have tried that claims to be waterproof) and it blocks wind like nothing else. Horse is always warm and dry underneath, no matter how wet, cold and windy. I am also not convinced they take longer to dry.

                                    HOWEVER: They are heavy. I would not leave one on for 24 hours, it comes off when horse comes in at night. Also, the wool does rub. I always put at least a nylon shoulder guard underneath or even a nylon sheet. Today my horse is wearing a nylone stable blanket with the wool/canvas blanket over top.

                                    IMO, they have their place if you can change blankets 2x day and take it off at night.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I went to synthetic rugs for winter about 15 years ago as I was having to double-rug my old timer (then aged about 37) in wool lined canvas rugs and they were just too heavy for him.

                                      Last season I bought a jute lined canvas rug as an inbetween rug and ended up using it more this winter than I used the synthetics.

                                      I had forgotten how heavy they can get. And how long it takes them to dry. But I think my horse was happier in it than he was in his synthetics. I think I'll buy another one for next winter, maybe a wool lined this time.

                                      My horse is here at home, I work from home and he's in a big yard at night so changing rugs is not a problem.
                                      where am I, what day is it, am I still having a good time?

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