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"
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!