“ Brand: Luna Rider / Type: Lightweight, flourescent, waterproof wrap-around exercise sheet for horses „
Unfortunately as riders we often have to take our horses onto the roads to exercise them. This is not usually by choice but is a necessity to get to the nearest bridleway, or to link up two bridleways etc. Also, in the winter a lot of the bridleways are impassable as they get too muddy or frozen etc.
As a rider who regularly rides out on the road, safety is paramount and I consider it essential to wear hi-viz, whatever the weather. Even on a bright, sunny day, drivers can't always immediately see a horse and rider. In fact it can be worse in the sunshine as it dazzles drivers and also creates shadows on a leafy lane which can camouflage us riders.
I have plenty of hi-viz clothing myself, but the rider is not actually in the direct eye-line of a car driver and actually, putting something hi-viz on the horse is more effective. In addition to this, when it's cold or rainy horses can often do with some protection over their back and quarters, so a hi-viz exercise sheet like this kills two birds with one stone!
After a bad experience with a 'waterproof' exercise sheet not doing its job properly at all and regularly ending up with a soaked horse after a rainy ride, I decided to try the Luna Rider hi-viz sheet. I picked this up at the bargain price of £15 so, whilst I expected it to do the job, I wasn't expecting great things from it.
----- Materials -----
The sheet is made from a waterproof polyester outer with a cotton lining. The outer is fluorescent yellow, with two reflective stripes each side at the back. It is extremely bright and easy to see and the reflective stripes will catch either the sunlight or a car's headlights at just the right eye level for a driver.
It is indeed waterproof and believe me I have tested it! We have been out with this sheet in absolute downpours, often being out for well over an hour in persistent heavy rain (oh what wonderful rides I sometimes have!) Every time this happens I come back expecting the rain to have penetrated the sheet but it never has, the horses are always totally dry underneath it.
The cotton lining is soft and comfortable against the horse and makes this a lightweight sheet so is very useful for when the weather is just a bit damp or windy and so I only need slight protection for the horse without weighing her down with a heavy, thick sheet which I might use in worse weather. As it is so lightweight, in very cold weather I can use it on top of a fleece exercise sheet without adding any weight to the horse's back.
----- Fit -----
The sheet attaches with a Velcro tab just in front of the saddle. It is a wrap-around sheet, so it has a cut-out for the saddle and passes under the saddle flaps to the main part of the sheet which totally covers the horse's quarters. I find it to be just the right length - covering their back and quarters nicely, without being too long and interfering with their movement. It has a fillet string which passes under the tail to stop it from blowing up in the wind.
It stays in place perfectly, I have used it for schooling as well as hacking, so have tested it with prolonged periods of faster work and it never shifts. Because it is nice and light with just a cotton lining, the horse stays comfortable underneath it without getting hot and sweaty.
----- Washing and Durability -----
This sheet has been used, dropped on the floor, chucked in a box, soaked, hung up to dry, thrown in the back of the car, you name it. It dries pretty quickly when it's had a soaking and it has retained its shape and is still waterproof. On the rare occasions that I actually wash it, I chuck it in the machine at 30 degrees and hang it up to dry afterwards. It looks almost as good as new.
----- Value for money -----
I think I did get a bargain at £15 as I see it around for about £20-25 usually. However, I still think this offers excellent value for money at either price. It has already lasted me a couple of years of regular use and I expect it to last a good while longer yet, the way it is performing so far.
Overall an excellent and essential piece of kit for the all-weather rider, I would be lost without mine.