To kick the 2017 reviewing season into gear, Tailored Mane has been working diligently to uncover some of the best products to make your horse happy and healthy. Beginning the Healthy Horse segment is Horseware Ireland, whom outfitted little Autumn in the best and cutest pony rain coat.
Since 1985, Horseware Ireland has been leading the pack in innovative and top quality horse clothing. Today, they have kept the company on the smaller side of employees while maintaining a truly global presence from Cambodia to America. Brownie points to Horseware for holding true to their roots by keeping headquarters in Dundalk, Ireland, the place where founders, Tom and Carol MacGuinness, created the first Horseware blanket. Your stead is more than a customer to the Horseware brand, your horse is their family too. Every blanket they produce is crafted to ensure overall health, maximum protection, and ultimate comfort. With a multitude of blanket lines in a large range of sizes and weights, you are sure to find the best fit for both your horse and your budget.
Horseware custom made the pony sizes knowing that ponies are built differently than a horse. In my case, a growing horse that is nowhere near her full mature size is a perfect pony size. Autumn is a rambunctious 15hh yearling that is waiting to broaden out, making the Lite Rhino Turn Out Wug ($170) ideal for her wellbeing during California’s temperamental weather. Autumn’s biggest daily struggle is that she naturally runs hot and the fact that she grew three inches of fluff this winter didn’t help. I knew that her first clip would not be anywhere near ideal so, I did a modified trace to keep the time quick and make her comfortable. Unsurprisingly, a ton goes into getting a filly ready to be blanketed but, there will be more on that later. This questioning little filly has grown fond of this classic checkered chocolate and cream, no fill turnout because she quickly learned that the blanket keeps rain, wind, static, and heat at bay all the while staying perfectly intact.
Class translates to your horse’s clothing as well. A chocolate and cream checkered blanket sincerely belongs among your stock pile of black and blue sheets and blankets. Beyond the color and pattern, it is cut beautifully. The shape is flattering while staying functional. The signature front leg arches allow her to gallop around freely during any weather. And when it rains, I never have to worry too much due to the high neck. Keeping the blanket on her is an easy task with the wug through the front “V” closure system, a covered velcro piece and two clips on a loop; both reenforced with tough stitching. This prevents pulling off the blanket with a tare or a clever pasture mate. Also, she can graze all day long without having a chance of rubs from the neck line. Similarly, the cross belly surcingles keep her legs free and the blanket out of the danger zone for damage and slippage. Finally, the tail strap and cover are perfectly placed to avoid rubs and bathroom breaks while keeping the entire hind end of the blanket still and the tail free after playing around in the dirt.
Horseplay is all the more real when you have a young horse. Between nibbling babies teething on it, curiosity luring it into sharp situations, and fences popping off while being the best scratching post, this blanket has stayed vibrant and rip free. After weeks of being weathered and stormed on, an unknowing person wouldn’t have been able to guess the pattern under the grime. However, after a simple spin in a washer, it looked exactly the same as the day we received it. Upkeep is also very simple. All you have to do is pop it in a cold water wash or hose it off. Then leave it out to dry in the sun. And since its already mildew resistant, you don’t need heavy detergents. Talk about easy! I even kept it tied down on a fence durning a storm to get it clean while Autumn was in a stall.
Rain is Autumn’s sworn nemesis. It might as well be acid falling from the sky when it first begins. Being wet though, is not the problem after some time; it’s being itchy that makes her miserable. Fortunately, the Rhino Wug is made from a Denier Polyproylene shell with a nylon lining. This is just a very fancy way of saying the the outer material is extremely tough, will not absorb water, will dry very quickly, and won’t become mildewy. All while the lining absorbs and dries sweat while resisting mildew. Nothing better than a blanket that can keep a half fluffy pony dry from the rain and cool when the sun comes shining through. Wind is also not a close friend to the common pasture horse. Wind can strip insulating properties from your horse’s coat and dry it out by ruining the oils. Not to mention the horrible static! There is noting comparable to unexpectedly shocking yourself and your horse with a grooming tool. But when in California, wind doesn’t always mean a gentle ocean breeze. It usually means that the gusts are brutally dry and hot. This is where the Rhino blanket saves the day again. With Autumn half shaved, I can keep the blanket on her as long as it is under 68 degrees. That is more than phenominal, its almost unbelievable. But it is true! Regardless of the weather, I always find a dry and happy little filly under her favorite blanket.
At the end of the day, this Rhino Pony Wug has become my favorite tool for dealing with California’s unpredictable weather. With Horseware Ireland you don’t have to sacrifice quality, fit, or style for affordability. As we move into spring, you’ll need a lite Horseware turn out to keep your four legged friend happy and healthy!
Stay tuned for the rest of the segment over the next week!