Blanket recommendations needed please!

This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Janet 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • IrishMelody Original Poster IrishMelody
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 27

    I have a 14.3h super narrow pony/horse, she’s right on the line. She is very narrow and her wither isn’t very prominent. She takes a 69-72 blanket, depending on who makes it. My problem is that everything just slides right down her chest because it is made for something with bigger shoulders. Then she gets awful rubs and it rains right in the neck.

    I am wondering what styles or brands or features my fellow SmartPakers have found fit horses with a similar confirmation (she is built like a narrow TB, just take off the prominent wither). High neck? The kind with the velcro adjust necks? Combo turnouts? Buckle front vs HUG vs the closures Rambo uses?

    Any input is greatly appreciated!

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Schneider’s makes some with adjustable necks, but be very careful, and try it on over a clean sheet should you order from them. Consistency is NOT their catchword. Neither is customer service and their return policy is rigid.

    It is never the horse's fault

    IrishMelody Original Poster IrishMelody
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 27

    Yeah, I have been through the Schneider’s catalog and like the adjustable neck. I just wasn’t sure if anyone had had a good fit with them. I’d like to be able to order from SmartPak so exchanging it is free. Gotta love that free shipping!

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Agree – I’d prefer dealing with almost anyone except Schneider’s. Perhaps we can inspire Smartpak to get into the spirit of adjustable necks? I do have a Schneider’s sheet which fits my narrow chested, high withered Arabian perfectly. The blanket (same size, style and even color) did not fit at all. Also, order a size larger, because they assume that small horses are also skinny, which is not at all the case, and the surcingle straps were really tight, with little adjustability (I have the belly band).

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    You can correct this problem in two ways.

    1) If it is a stall blanket with a center back seam, remove the wither pad and the edge binding at the center back seam, then put the blanket on the horse. Lift & pin a new center back seam, starting with the neckline edge and angling back to the original seam so the the new seam will lay flat, and the front of the blanket fits the horses chest correctly. Take out the stitches from the old seam, and stitch the new seam, then finish the new seam the same way the old seam was finished, removing the excess. Put the edge binding back on, overlapping where necessary, as you will have more binding than you need.

    2) If it is a T/O, the above method won’t work, as 99% of all T/O’s do not have a center back seam, as it could leak. Instead, put the blanket on as above, but add a dart on each side, right at the inside corner, where the neckline changes direction from up/down, to across the front of the chest. The size of the dart will depend on how much too big the chest area is for the horse. Once you have established how wide the outside edge of the darts needs to be, remove enough of the edge binding so that you can pin each dart flat and stitch it down. Reattach the edge binding, over lapping the edges, as you will again have more binding than you need. You may need to trim the excess binding, in which case you will want to turn under a 1/2″ or so of the top layer of the edge binding so that the binding does not ravel.

    If you don’ sew, but have a good blanket repair person in your area, you can do the measuring & pinning yourself, but have the blanket repair person do the sewing, as they should have the more powerful commercial sewing machines that may be needed to sew through all the layers.

    Either of these methods will work for T/O sheets, light weight T/O blankets, and medium weight T/O blankets. Method 2 does not work well for heavy weight blankets as you end up with too thick a dart that will not lay correctly flat. Unless you want to remove excess fiberfill, which is more work than it is worth. You can always add a blanket liner for really cold days, but you may have to alter the liner in the same way.

    This is actually a very common issue. Some blanket repair places know how to custom fit blankets, some do not. But if you pin the darts in for them, they should be able to do the sewing part. I custom fit a couple of blankets almost every winter.

    My other suggestion is to look at the Dover Northwind line of 1680 T/O sheets & blankets. They are fairly expensive, but well made and the entire line has extremely small chests, so they tend to fit some of the narrower chested horses, but not breeds like AQHA’s or even a lot of the TB’s. But you won’t find that info anywhere in the on-line catalog blurbs.

    swats232
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I had this same problem with a boarders mare. Try a Rhino Wug. They have the high neck so it held the blanket in place and the cross front closure. No rubs at all the whole season either. Good luck!

    sammy_shatto
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    A slezzy(the chest ones) works well to that’s what we used last year to stop rubs on this on horse plus u can get a color to match your blanket or a fun print. Plus the buckle closing fronts and the necks that have adjustments as well put the 3 together is your best bet it worked well on him and the narrow tb my friend had always had problems with I told her that when we tried it and last year no rubs for her either

    OTTB Momx2
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I can’t say enough good things about the high neck “wug” style cut. This cut works well on both of my horses(OTTB), one of which is extremely narrow through the chest/shoulders. I have used both the Rambo Wug and the Weatherbeeta Freestyle High Neck and both have fit “Mr Narrow” well. I think Smartpak makes their Ultimate in a high neck style, and Dover’s Northwind also comes high neck. You can also find Weatherbeeta high necks that aren’t the “Freestyle” cut for about $100. My favorite thing about these high neck blankets is that the rain/snow/sleet doesn’t drip down inside the blanket. I have never had one of these cuts rub shoulders and they don’t slide back (used 3 seasons).

    The Rambo has held up very very well, and one of my guys is a destroyer of all things blanket. The Weathrbeeta Freestyle has held up OK, and my barn mate got the regular high neck Weatherbeeta, which already has the tail flap torn off after being worn 10 times. Another feature I like about the Rambo is the angled front snaps, as I feel this doesn’t “choke” them as much when their head is down grazing. I also like that it has 3 belly straps and a tail cord instead of back leg straps, and I have never had a blanket shift. I have never owned a Rhino or Amigo, but they have similar features for a lower $$$. PS-order Rambo or Rhino one size smaller than your typical blanket size as well as the Weatherbeeta Freestyle.

    Sleezy, or lycra, shoulder guards and Bossy Bibs are also an option. I hear great things about the Bossy Bibs but they are kind of hard to get. I have used lycra guards in the past, but they weren’t completely covered by my turnout in the neck area and got wet when it rained/snowed 🙁

    Kholoured
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I have a similar but different problem lol. I have a 78″ OTTB with a small neck and chest. so I would have to get a smaller blanket just to fit his neck. I tried schneiders, weatherbeeta, Rambo, amigo, and several other large name brand blankets. What worked for me was the Snuggit Tough-1 blankets, the best fit I’ve had was the triple gusset blankets with the d ring and buckle adjustments on the chest. I bought 2 78″ for if and when he ripped his other one and ended up purchasing an 69″ blanket size Arabian. sadly for a few weeks I only had the 78, we’ll I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if that blanket adjusted so well the darn thing fit perfectly lol cheaper option then schneiders and have had several other horses under those blankets never seen a rub anywhere very we’ll made

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  Kholoured.
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    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Schneider’s adjustable neck can help with neckline fitting, but on some horses, they forms accordion pleats that fold out instead of laying flat against the horse, and allow water to get in between the T/O and the horse.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    G&S – the Schneider’s fly sheets are terrible for this pleating. Can’t iron them, the pleats don’t straighten out during washing, and one ends up with something fit only for scavenging for patches and spare parts. Never again will I get horse clothing from them.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    I guess I have been lucky with Schneiders. I have had only limited experience with their customer service, and that was to be certified (or whatever the correct term is) to repair Schneider Blankets that were under warrantee. The contact person was sometimes a bit slow to respond, but not difficult to work with otherwise, and we were able to communicate with e-mails, which I prefer because it leaves a paper trail.

    As far as the fit goes, it really depends on the why the blanket does not fit. The real problems with necklines not fitting is NOT that the chest area is too big, but that the angle of the neckline is wrong. Which is why adding a dart at the corner works – – it changes the angle without changing the chest size.

    As far as Schneider’s quality goes, I have a lot of blanket repair clients who have Schneider’s blankets, have had them for years, and have been sufficiently content with the blankets that they have replaced worn out Schneiders with new Schneiders. Schneiders is the only blanket manufacturer I know of who offers both 2″ increment blanket sizes and 3″
    increment blanket sizes, as well as 600-D blankets (which I recommend my clients not buy – – they just don’t hold up to robust winter games of “banket pull”) 1200-D, and 1680-D. Schneiders blankets hold up as well as any of the other blankets in the same price range, and unlike many of the big manufacturers, they offer blanket lines that do not utilize cost saving changes (cost saving changes for the blanket maker, not for the horse owner) such as changing from stitched down back end darts to what can only be described as open pleats, which provide a perfect teeth grip for the attacking horse in a rowdy game of “blanket pull” and because the area is designed to be curved over the horses rump, can be tricky, difficult, & expensive to repair when this area gets ripped, compared to stitched down darts.

    I have no qualms about recommending Schneiders T/O to my blanket repair clients. I agree that the Adjusta-Fit straps don’t work for every horse, and I have altered several almost new Schneiders T/O, to add a dart at the corner of the neckline to fix the fit. But I have also done this to WeatherBeeta blankets, as well as blankets from multiple other manufacturers. This is not a problem limited to Schneiders blankets.

    Fit is one of the most crucial aspects in prolonging blanket life, and since every blanket maker uses a different set of patterns, frequently even different patterns for different blanket lines, there is a lot of choice. To my knowledge, Schneiders is not the only blanket maker who requires blanket purchasers to pay to ship blankets back to them, even blankets under warantee. But they will pay for repairs done under warantee, since it saves them having to dispose of the damaged blankets & replace them with new ones and once the file has been initiated by the blanket owner, Schneiders is happy to have me do the customer’s paperwork, which makes everybody happy. Schneiders then reimburses the buyer, usually by crediting their credit card, and the blanket owner pays me. Since I don’t return the blanket without payment, I always get paid, the blanket owner gets a repaired blanket, and Schneiders has to pay for repairs that are less expensive than the cost of replacing the blanket. So far, Schneiders is the only company who is willing to work with me, and has the procedures in place to do so.

    Bottom line, no one blanket maker’s blankets are going to fit every horse body shape, so when one finds a blanket that fits correctly, stick to that blanket, and in the spring, when the big guys put their winter stuff on clearance, stock up, and save some money. Neckline fit is a much more common problem than many people realize, and at least Schneiders offers a solution. Not one that always works for every horse, but the other makers basically ignore the entire issue. And for the record, moving the front buckles back usually does not solve the problem, because it does not correct the angle of the neckline.

    I’m not saying that Schneiders is perfect, and working with customer service can frequently get “interesting”. My experience with Schneiders has been different than that of the other posters, & I think it only fair that I post about my positive experiences.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    And, you are very right to do so. My experiences have NOT been happy, and I was unable to get any assistance with the problems I have had. I’d rather deal with Dover or Smartpak.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Janet
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    There is no substitute for a well fitting blanket. That being said, you do have a few options. Dover and SmartPak are wonderful with returns and will let you try the product until you get just the right fit. Saratoga Horseworks, however, will custom fit any of their blankets/turnouts etc. for your horse. I have purchased items from them, pinned them up so that the fit is what I want, shipped it back and they have done alterations for me. Their prices are about the same as you would pay for any quality blanket/turnout. If you need something immediate – go to one of the Dover Stores.

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