Tuesday, October 30, 2012

(even more) Winter Wardrobing

I was incredibly spoiled when I got Pia, because sorta like Malibu Barbie, she came with a full wardrobe.  And thanks to Supermom's good taste and shrewd sensibility, All of her clothes are cute and still in great shape.

Sadly, P2 came with no clothing and since I was busy with wedding planning and honeymooning when I got her, I just copied her then blanket that worked (Pessoa) and went with it.  She got one Medium Blanket and one Turnout Sheet.  (both matching, duh).

I like having extras for laundry and backup, so we picked up one more Pessoa Medium and one more Pessoa Turnout Sheet on sale (also matching) during the off season.  I've also amassed a fleece cooler that matches Pia's (cute), a nice stable/show sheet for traveling and looking pretty (the Rambo Helix, LOVE), the absurd (but cute) "sweatshirt" and her exercise sheet.

It's a lot of clothing, but she still doesn't have anything in the way of a Heavy Blanket, or layers that would render her medium appropriate for the super cold. 

So I've been hunting.  Prairie seems to fit the Pessoas really well, and so far I've been really happy with how they are wearing in their second season.  I also really like their cute plaids.  But their heavy blanket lacks the option for a higher neck (which I like) and also comes in ugly colors with a giant "P" on it instead of their normal fun colors.  While having a giant P on P2 is sorta entertaining, I've been exploring other options.

Here's what I know:
  • Prairie needs something warmer than just a Medium to get through the winter.
  • I have a tendency to spend more money on "good" brands because I hate when shit breaks.
  • The notion of spending $400 on a Rambo still makes me cringe.
  • Pessoas (and supposedly WeatherBeetas) fit the mare pretty well.
  • I don't like detachable neck covers (and I don't trust our staff to put them on/off well), but I do like higher necks for super cold weather.
  • Realistically, Prairie only needs to get 3-4 weeks out of a Heavy Blanket per year, assuming some of those days she swaps to a Medium for turnout..)
So, in trying to balance my instinct to spend more money on things than I need to, with the fact that realistically, her Heavy blanket won't see the same amount use and abuse her Mediums and Sheets do, I think this is one item that I don't need to write a blank check for.. 

I started looking in the $200ish range.

My two finalists (of the moment) are the WeatherBeeta Freestyle High Neck Turnout

And the SmartPak Deluxe High Neck Turnout.

The WB comes in right at $200, while the SmartPak has a slight edge at $169.

I've have WeatherBeetas for years and they've always worn well, but based on reviews I'm leaning toward the SmartPak.  I've never owned a SmartPak Blanket, so it seems like a bit of a wild card, but it looks like the warranty is pretty decent and I sorta like trying new things. 

Also, the (not insignificant) issue of color is pretty much even.  The WeatherBeeta would be in black with purple trim, while the SmartPak has a very comparable (though sorta boring) black with white/gray trim.

Anyone want to weigh in?  As soon as the visa payment clears (two saddles in one month was a little rough..) I'll be placing an order for Prairie's final (for now) addition to her closet...


  1. I hate to say it, but if you can swing it, bite the bullet and buy a Rambo. Cash's Rambo is on it's 13th year (not joking), and aside from being a bit faded and having one small roughened spot on it, it's still waterproof and warm. Well, OK, I re-waterproof it every year, but still... it holds the record for Best Lasting Blanket in my book!

  2. Why just a high neck? Here in Oz we use combos (with a full attached neck).

    Also, are you a millionaire?!?! I am yet to buy my second saddle (still saving) and I got my first saddle almost two years ago. :p

    1. I like the combos, but they aren't super common in our barn and our guys complain enough about blanket changes that I like to keep it simple. (fewer things to attach/not attach) I swear that a good chunk of the time they forget to do belly straps or leg straps and I would hate to have a neck cover not on well.

      That's just my bias talking though. I know most people use them without issue... :)

      Also, re: saddles. I (fortunately) had some inventory to play with/sell in order to fund everything. well... almost everything :) but the husband isn't complaining yet!

  3. Two things:

    1) It is totally normal and advisable to buy winter blankets based on color. I was torn between two, but chose the color I liked better, so Cuna's going to rock the chocolate brown this winter. Def get the black and purple.

    2) A HEAVY? I am trying SO HARD not to laugh. So hard. Whatever for? Is she going to be full-body-clipped?

    Cuz mine is, and he gets a medium and a liner. No heavies in sight.

    1. 1) Okay good. I thought so too.

      2) Laugh all you want you crazy mountain woman. But neither of my horses grow hair. I considered a nice liner for a medium, but I have limited blanket storage at the barn and have to rely on other people to make the changes. Easier to give them a temperature to switch to the heavy than orchestrate when a liner goes on/off and it's also easier for them to not forget if the liner is on/off if the blankets are just different.

      And yes. A heavy. not for every day, but our ponies here get cold too. It just happens at warmer temps :) You'd probably also laugh at the number of layers I put on to go to the barn in 40degree weather. We're wimps :)

    2. I'm not saying the reason your horses grow no hair is because it never gets cold, but I'm thinking it really loud.

      Maybe I'm biased? I do come to Seattle in January because it's so warm and balmy.

    3. That may be true, but everyone else gets to clip the yak fur off their beasts - so clearly some of the ponies think it's worth wooling up. Also if you really want balmy, you can just cocoon up in Prairie's soon be be bought winter blanket and sweat it out the next time you're in town :) It'll be like your own little sweat lodge.

    4. At least I'll look classy doing it. ;) I can always trust you for that.

  4. I love my Dover Rider's International which has survived 3 winters (this may be it's last) on FULL TURNOUT. I did get a medium weight but Laz grows fur like a Yak. ;)
    ALSO Schneider's has great cuts/sizes and COLORS!! sstack.com

  5. I have 2 SmartPak blankets and can't say enough good things about them. I actually like them better than my Rambo. Both look brand new and Charlie just about lived in the medium weight one all last winter.

    As someone who lived in the Seattle area for 2 years, I totally understand the need for a heavy blanket. While the temp may not be that low, the humidity makes it feel very, very cold. ;)

  6. I am in the Seattle area, too, and the weather has been (and can be) nuts. One day 60s, the next day 40s. It is so hard to know the right combo and then trust the right combo is going to be put on/taken off. My horse is already HAIRY...I can only blame the wierd fluctuating weather. Poor thing was foamy yesterday after I rode her because it was 67 degrees! I need to invest in a heavy blanket, too, as the double blanketing (fleece blanket and water proof light weight) isn't going to be enough through the winter.

  7. LOL at the above comments. I'm in GEORGIA and we all do heavy 300g blankets! I don't like to double up as I feel it's a PITA and just adds a whole other step. Granted we full body clip and repeat clippings as needed. I've always done a neck cover but this year I've switched up blankets trying to find one that doesn't chest rub. The Rhino/Rambo Wug was suggested to me. It's a highneck! I opted for the Rhino version bc it's cheaper at about $180. So far I love it! It comes in a brown check plaid and a blue check plaid, both are really nice looking! I'm gonna do a review on it soon... But definitely check it out! I've found that i find no comparisons between the rhinos and Rambos that I own!

  8. I bought Hue a WB Detach-A-Neck blanket last year that I didn't use and plan to pull it out soon - I doubt the neck will ever be removed. Not that Praire has a problem keeping weight on but last year it seemed like the ponies that are harder keepers and had the neck covers stayed a little fluffier (weight wise) than those without.

    Hues wardrobe will probably have a heavy addition in the near future too when he gets body clipped.

    Just a thought - I bought Houston's Weatherbeeta on Horse.com with a code I found off Retailmenot.com for a steal- I paid under $100 with shipping for a detachaneck that was 1680 denier. It was a medium not heavy but shop around - they seem to have decent customer service too :)

  9. Wow.... I'm so happy it doesn't get super cold here (well to the horses anyway, I freeze myself) and that they grow great winter coats lol. I actually have zero.... yes zero!.... blankets for any of my horses.... I'm feeling a little left out, but my bank account is happy LOL!!!!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails