Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blanketing - 2/3 there!


Blanketing in Alberta... this is a learning curve. Today it's -5 c with snow on the ground, tomorrow it's suppose to be 16 c... c'mon Mother Nature?! That is crazy! The mood swing/weather fluctuations of mother nature make blanketing a real pain.

The barn I used to work at, we would blanket for boarders, and I remember days in winter where I would change one horses blanket 2 - 5 times a day, take off stable sheet, put on a lightweight, put a sheet over that, take those off, put on heavy weight with hood, go back, take off hood, then back into stable sheet, feed, it's gotten cold, put a sheet over that. Ugh. At my barn, blanketing is not offered for boarders, which is fine, but it also means in the Fall/Spring I worry about Jingle over heating/under heating.

Thus, I went with the, "BUY ALL THE BLANKETS", tactic. As you probably have caught on by now, I am a huge supporter of the "spend all the money on the horse" mindset. I went with cheaper blankets for now because he is moving into a group turnout situation in November, and I don't know how rambunctious/blanket ruining he will become in this new environment. However, so far, so good, he's been rollin' and runnin' and I have yet to see any damage to his blanket!

Here he is in Blanket #1: Rain sheet

"I iz distinguished in plaid"

"Sew Matureeee... right Mahm?"

Super basic Cavalier rain sheet, pretty cheap and low denier, just for those slightly crisp fall days, but it's still warm out.

Blanket #2: Light/Medium Weight

"I iz so kewt"

"Bye Mahm!"

I am completely blanking on the name, but it's a decent quality blanket that I hope will hold up. 1200 D I think? Plus I got it on sale because it's last years model, woop woop. The only downside is the back leg straps are a little short and don't have as much hang and give as i'd like them too. He seems comfortable though, so whatever.

So far Jingle seems happy in his blanket situation, however, his big crazy eyes still get pretty wide when I approach him with the big rustly-bustly blanket. Silly boy.

&... dun dun dunnnn... Blanket #3: Heavy Weight Winter Blanket

- yet to be decided -

I have a couple options floating around in my head... 

I could go with your basic, everyone has one Weatherbeeta, which is a pretty decent price (around $200 I think), and I think that's probably the route I plan to go.

However, I was looking at the blankets Crystal of Ranch Riding led me too... Up in Stitches... and I really like them. They are 2700 D and made with Thinsulate, so not only are they nice and thin, they can be worn in a wide variety of temperature (aka, perfect for fricken Alberta). However, they don't come with belly bands, which I wanted, and I also wanted a detachable hood, and all of a sudden they were a bit too expensive for little old student me. I did contact a lady who was selling a couple used though, so hopefully she gets back to me!

Then, when I was at Horselife buying my lightweight, I was introduced to Bucas blankets by the Store Manager. He was trying to sell me pretty hard on this brand, and I can admit, they are pretty cool. The one I really liked was the "Power Turnout", it has some fancy features like a reflective surface that apparently "absorbs and distributes energy", a silver lining that makes the blanket anti-bacterial, a fleece inside that acts as a cooler so you can almost blanket your horse right after a workout, and finally, the most attractive it apparently has a range of -30 to -10.

"I iz fancy pants horse in my fancy pants blanket"

Downsides? Well, he claimed I could literally use this blanket from now, all the way until the snow melts and it warms up again (so, who knows... June in Alberta?) However, these blankets still have 300 g of fill, so they are pretty hefty all the same - they look like winter heavyweights. He said my horse wouldn't overheat, but, to me, it doesn't make sense to me putting on a bulky blanket in warm temperatures. Like, I just can't wrap my head around this blanket being so magical and good at temperature regulation that it's like me wearing a winter Jacket in 10 c and being perfectly happy. Also, the price tag was the heftiest of all - $400. Now, I'm not one to skimp on things I think are good quality, but all the same - this is Jingle's first winter in a blanket and I would surely cry myself to sleep for weeks on end if he completely ruined a $400 magic blanket. So, do any of you have experience with these fancy-pants blankets? Are they all they are made out to be?

Also the manager, who I actually really liked and thought provided me with wicked customer service, did make a snarky comment about how he notices western riders always have the mindset to "buy cheap, not quality, because the horse will wreck it anyway." Whereas I guess all English riders are rich and can just drop $400 on a whim? ... I guess this whole post has been about how I went with cheap blankets due to my horse, but I still take offense!

So yep, that's it - 2/3 done the search, ready to spend more money on ponyboy at any moment!


  1. He's looking classy in his rain sheet. If I didn't already have two, I'd put that on my list. And I must be a western rider because I buy the cheapest shit possible, lol.

    1. why thank you - he thinks it really highlights his eyes. hahaha see, i just buy EVERYTHING, cheap - expensive - inbetween... so I think that just makes me a horse owner hey?

  2. I went through a major blanket dilemma a few years ago when my horse started dropping weight in the (Iowa) cold. I ended up getting a Rambo Wug heavyweight turnout blanket. And I have to say, it amazed me. I left it on until spring into much warmer weather than I anticipated. There were many days I went out there to check on things, and although my horse would sometimes be warm under the blanket, he was never once wet. (I'm sure you know this, but that is the big concern with heavy blankets. If they sweat and get their coats wet, they can get frozen under the blanket when temps drop again.)

    My only quibble with the Wug is mine seem to be prone to getting small tears. I've had success with iron-on patches for the interior. And to be fair, my horse wears his 24/7 for several months in a row, and he lives in a pasture with quite a few other horses and a wind-block that has some pointy bits. That's a lot for any blanket to stand up to. All the tears are quite minor and otherwise I think the blanket is everything one could hope for. I have two now (so we have a spare), and the older one is going into its third winter.

    1. Ya, I also considered the Rambo, but did yours have leg straps? or just the belly straps and under the tail strap? I don't know, I can't wrap my head around not having a blanket with both leg and belly straps... That is the only downside, they can be a bit on the pricey side too, but definitely not as expensive as the Bucas ones I talked about.

  3. My rambo has just the belly straps, but everything stays in place very very well. I've never had a single issue with shifting while on the other hand I've seen horses get in some nasty tangles with unclipped/stretched out leg straps. The model I have also has the high neck, which I've found decreases rubbing on the withers.

    They definitely aren't cheap. Ha. Nothing about having horses is cheap. But then I bet you already know that. :) We just bought a third Rambo yesterday because we have three horses now and though we don't always blanket, sometimes we get ice storms and the horses just need some help.