February 26, 2015 at 10:07 pm
I just returned a big D medium weight turnout. I was felt so confident about my choice based on thorough research and reviews. However, the 76 was too tight in the shoulder and too big in the rear for my 15h Appendix QH.
Maybe I do TOO much research because I will find a blanket I like, but then people say their horses get soaked. My horse lives outside with a rowdy pack of geldings, so mediocre waterproofing is not an option. Some of the Horseware blankets look like attractive options, but I noticed that they do not have shoulder gussets and I am wondering if that would be too restrictive.
Any input would be fantastic!February 27, 2015 at 2:04 am
Normally, most people can manage with 1200-D rated blankets, but if your horse lives with a rowdy bunch, spend a little extra money and get a 1680-D or 2000-D blanket. They cost a bit more, but the extra sturdiness will save you on repairs in the long run. Have you looked at the Schneiders blankets (SSTac.com)? I repair blankets, and Schneiders makes a good blanket for the money. They only sell their own blankets, but this should not be a problem, as they offer multiple blanket lines, some in the traditional 2″ increment sizing & others in the 3″ increment “Eurofit” sizing. I’ve also been favorably impressed with the Smart Pak T/O’s. Smart Pak is one of the few blanket manufacturers that acturally reinforces the underderside of the bottom line of stitching of the surcingles. The only other company I have seen that does this on every blanket is Horseware Ireland (Rambo, Rhino, Amigo), & for the prices they charge one should get this type of feature; without this typce of reinforcement, eventually, 90% of all T/O’s will tear at this line of stitching, first the lining, then the top layer. The heavy thread used to attach the surcingles to the blanket literally saws through the blanket material.
Whether or not shoulder gussets will prove useful for your horse will depend on the horse. It is interesting that not one of the ultra-expensive Horseware Ireland T/O’s has shoulder gussets. Shoulder gussets do give more freedom of movement through the shoulder if your horse is a big moving dressage or hunter/jumper, but they also rip and tear out, and while it is possible to repair shoulder gussets, it is tricky & time consuming, which equates to expensive to repair. Shoulder gussets are also supposed to help prevent rubs on the corners at the shoulder, but they don’t always do as good a job of that as I would expect.
If you are getting T/O’s with shoulder gussets to prevent rubs, you might try a HUG-front T/O. Dover carries them. Because the two front pieces overlap & hang from the neckline instead of buckles & straps at the center front or a closed front, this type of blanket also will work well for horses with slight larger than average chests in comparison to many horses with with the same back length, so this type would also solve your chest fit issue. I attached 2 photos, but I think you will find the photos in Dover’s on-line catalog more useful. These 2 photos happen to be of a T/O sheet, but the HUG front does come in a T/O blanket version.
Attachments:February 27, 2015 at 9:15 am
I knew I had forgotten a couple important things.
I don’t think there are any HUG front T/O’s in 1680-D or 2000-D. So in this type of T/O you might have to go with a 1200-D. Fit is more important than what his pasture mates might do. If it doesn’t fit right & feel comfortable, the horse with try to rearrange the T/O so it is more comfortable, and lacking finger, he will use his teeth.
The best time to buy new blankets is right now. The clearance sales have started as the big stores don’t want to store what is left, or have money tied up in blankets that won’t sell again until fall.February 27, 2015 at 11:58 am
Thank you for your response! I think I will steer clear of the blankets without shoulder gussets just to be safe.
I have heard varying reviews concerning the waterproofing of the Schneider’s and Smart Pak Turnouts. Any input on this aspect? My horse is in pasture board, so I am not out there every day. I worry that he may get wet and it may go unnoticed.
I have also heard interesting things about the Schneider’s customer service. Customer Service is important to me in case I do have to send the blanket back.
I didn’t consider my horse to have a big shoulder, but apparently (according the big D blankets) he does. Will take another look at the Hugs.
There are so many options, it makes my head spin! I feel like I am narrowing it down though, little by little.February 27, 2015 at 4:38 pmJoe-JoeTopics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205
I got my boy a Schneider blanket and a sheet – same style, same size. The sheet fits perfectly, the blanket does not fit well at all. The waterproofing on both is fine. I had no problems with their customer service, but if you are buying a blanket from them, make sure you try it on (over a clean sheet or they won’t take it back), and perhaps get a size larger than you normally would. I went with them, because he is an Arabian, and theirs are said to be designed with the Arab physique in mind. The blanket would slip after he took two steps, and he got some horrible rubs from it. On the other hand, it held up beautifully. Have since purchased a different brand.
It is never the horse's faultFebruary 27, 2015 at 4:53 pm
Knowledge is indeed power. I have not heard of any waterproofing issues with Schneiders T/O’s. However, I rewaterproof mine at least once a year after they are washed, and I use the waterproofing in the tent & camping section of WalMart – – the one with the orange cap. It is UV rays that kill the waterproofing on the top layer and eventually the membrane fused onto the underside of the nylon top layer.
Sorry this is coming in bits and pieces. I’m trying to pack for a tack sale tomorrow, complete repairs on a T/O to take with me, and my lack of concentration is showing.
Another thing to keep in mind is that all the 3″ increment sized blankets are based on what is frequently called a “Eurofit” pattern, which basically means that any 3″ increment sized blanket is based on the larger chested European warmblood breeds, which tend to be more massive than a lot of our American breeds, so the blankets are cut to fit a bigger chest. That means that 3″ increment (69 – 72 – 75 – 78 – 81 – 84) will tend to fit horses who have a bigger chest than the 2″ increment blankets (68 – 70 – 72 – 74 – 76 – 78 – 80 – 82 – 84 – 86), This is not written in stone, but as general rule it is handy to know. Also, if you have a big chested horse, stay away form the Dover Northwind 1680-D line. Georgeous blankets, but 2″ increments plus cut REALLY narrow through the chest. Northwinds are great for narrow TBs, Arabians, etc., but not for chunkier TB’s, AQHAs, etc.
So far, only 1 Smart Pak T/O has come in to me for repairs, so either they are not popular in West Michigan, or they are holding up well and not needing repairs, or they are getting shredded to the point of not being worth repairing. So I really don’t have a lot of info on this brand, other than that they seem to be as well made as other brands in the same price range, but are the only T/O’s in that price range that come with the reinforcements for the bottom stitching line of the surcingles.
Hope this helps.
I have not had problems with Schneiders customer service, and several friends have bought from Schneiders for close to 10 years, returned blankets, and never had a problem.February 27, 2015 at 10:40 pm
I looked at the Hug blankets- there is a line made with 600D and one made with 1200D. I also looked at the “Snapping Turtle” made by turtleneck. I am thinking it is going to be between these two.
Of course, with more trolling, I found reviews stating they were not waterproof 🙁
Maybe I should get over it and accept that every blanket line probably has their defective ones that leak, but it really bothers me.
I actually wanted a Dover Northwind from the beginning, but I refuse to pay 25 dollars for shipping AND return shipping if it doesn’t fit! Good to know.February 28, 2015 at 3:02 am
Nylon T/O’s are waterproof because there is a membrane fused to the underside & the outside of the top side is chemically treated to be water resistant. Eventually, the membrane will de-laminate, and at that point you can re-waterproof with a waterproofing spray and it will last for 4-6 weeks but not the entire winter. How old were the T/O’s that stopped being waterproofed? The culprit that damages both the laminated membrane & the chemical spray to the top side is UV rays. Impossible to prevent UV rays from hitting the blanket because it is designed for the horse to wear outside.
Don’t be tempted by the slightly lower price of the 600-D T/O. They just don’t last, and the price difference between a 600-D that might make it through 1 or 2 winters if you are lucky and a 1200-D that should last, with repairs, for 5-10 years is not enough to justify buying the 600-D. They just don’t hold up unless you have one horse, or one horse and some minis and ponies. Two horses will play blanket pull because unless they have hay 24 hrs a day they get bored. And sometimes in winter they get bored even if they do have hay 24 hrs a day.
Northwinds are gorgeous and well made, & if they fit, almost worth the price. If the on-line catalogs would explain the fit, they would have a lot of happy customers. But they don’t, and people have to learn the hard way, as I have, when a horse destroys a blanket because it is uncomfortably tight across the chest. Luckily I do my learning on used blankets, as I buy used blankets, wash them, repair everything on them, rewaterproof the top layer, and use them myself or sell them as “reconditioned” T/O’s.March 3, 2015 at 12:46 pm
I went ahead and ordered a Smart Pak Deluxe Turnout. The only way to know if it fits is to try it on! I figure the Smart Pak blankets are probably all cut the same, so if this one does not work for him, I can rule the rest out.
Fingers crossed!March 3, 2015 at 3:05 pmJoe-JoeTopics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205
The fit would depend on whether or not they are made at the same factory, which was the problem I had with the Schneider blanket. Also, different styles will fit differently. So, if one doesn’t work, don’t necessarily rule out all the others.
It is never the horse's faultMarch 4, 2015 at 6:13 am
Joe-Joe makes a good point. Particularly with a company like Schneiders, which makes both 2″ increment sized blankets & 3″ increment sized blankets. The 2″ increment sizing is the old American sizing and was developed to fit typical American horse body shapes. The 3″ increment sizing, also known as “Euro-Fit” sizing, was developed to fit the typical European warmblood type body shape, which tends to run to bigger chests in relation to back length than many of the “American” breeds or Arabians. Which is why it is true that Schneiders makes blankets that fit Arabians, but also true that Schneiders makes blankets that fit a chunkier body shape. 2″ increment sizing for Arabians, 3″ increment sizing for chunkier body shapes.
One other critical point that should be mentioned regarding 2″ & 3″ sizing: the measuring methods are not the same!
2″ increment sizing measures from the center of the chest around to the butt crack.
3″ increment sizing measures from the center of the chest to the back edge of one back leg. You need the back leg used for measuring to be squarely underneath the horse, not out in back to get a correct measurement.
It is therefore important to measure your horse both ways, so you will know which size to order for each system. It is a lot easier to do these measurements when you have a 2nd person, and have both on file, rather than be trying to measure your horse on a bitterly cold winter day because the horse shredded his T/O overnight & you don’t have a back-up.March 4, 2015 at 5:52 pmMHBTAvatarTopics Started: 1Replies Posted: 31
I bought a 1200D Tough One sheet thinking I was saving money. (I had purchased a 600D midweight from them before as a stable blanket – $30 woo hoo! – and really liked how it fit, and seams etc held up, but the fabric just didn’t hold up so when I needed a new sheet I decided to try their 1200). It did NOT breath and my horse sweated in it worse than if I had put a midweight blanket on him. I would definitely steer clear of that brand if you are worried about your horse being wet. Learned my lesson about trying to save a buck. Now I just look for sales on the better brands.
If you get desperate enough to try something without gussets, I love my Amigos, and they do fit my somewhat large-shouldered, big moving horse well with no rubbing (and with some of the nicer features, but not the pricepoint of the higher end Horseware lines). I love how their hoods are contoured too around the cheek. After many tries, I will stick with Horseware, if not specifically Amigos (Aaah, maybe someday I’ll hit the lottery and buy Av a new Rambo wardrobe 🙂
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