* Prices may differ from that shown
One of my dear friends who keeps her horse at my yard is currently working abroad for 3 years and did not want to sell her beloved horse so she put her on loan to me to ride and compete. As one of my horses was retired this spring it was nice to have another horse to ride especially one I have known from a foal.
Fortunately the newbie, Petra, came with tack and rugs (for a small price) so at least I didn't have to go out and buy everything saving me quite a lot of money! My horses are all currently still in turnout rugs and this is no different for Petra as she is currently wearing a lightweight either turnout or stable rug as once the warmer temperatures drop it can go chilly and she has quite a fine coat so needs a little protection.
Her current turnout rug is the Masta Zing Lightweight rug which is manufactured by Masta who are a very well known rug manufacturer and produce a large range of horse rugs and other equestrian equipment. The Zing rug comes in a lightweight, mediumweight and a heavyweight so there is an option for anytime of the year. The weights are dependant on the amount of polyfill in the rug.
Petra's Zing Lightweight is brand new and was new out of the bag when I put it on her a few weeks ago. Even though I prefer a different brand of horse rugs I was impressed with the Zing once it was on her as it fit well and was deep enough for her despite her height (she stands at 17.2hh). Like most rugs the Zing comes in a variety of colours depending on where you purchase it but mine is classed as the Cherry Check variety which is apparently a new colour for this season (spring/summer 11).
The Zing lightweight is perfect for the summer months as it has absolutely no filling it simply provides a little protection against any rain showers or windy weather (which are currently experiencing here on the Lincs/Cambs border). The lining of the rug is made from a soft polyester fabric which helps keep the horse's coat smooth and clean but it is also breathable so if the horse does sweat for any reason it helps wick away the moisture and drying the horse to make them comfortable.
The outer shell of the rug is made of 600 denier ripstop polyester printed check fabric - basically higher the denier tougher the rug. The outer shell of the rug is toughened to withstand basic rips and tears although with force the rug can tear such as another horse biting onto the rug and pull it. As with all turnout rugs the fabric is waterproof which helps to ensure the horse is kept dry.
The rug features shoulder gussets at the front of the rug which should if the rug properly fits on the shoulder of the horse. These allow the horse to have free fluid movement in the field and shouldn't be restricted in anyway. The rug features a tail flap at the rear of the rug which should start at the top of the tail. The tail flap is exactly the same material and colour as the rug and is basically designed to help protect the horse from the elements when out in the field. It seems to be a decent size compared to other turnout rugs I have previously owned.
In order to make the rug as comfortable as possible for the horse it needs to fit correctly so buying the right size is vital. However, there are several components of the rug which help it fit and ultimately make the horse comfortable. At the front of the rug there are two fully adjustable front buckles which also feature a hook and loop fastening strip which help adjust the buckles and keep the rug even more secure. At the side of the rug there are two adjustable surcingles which cross under the horse's belly and fasten on the other side, these help keep the rug in place on the horse. At the back of the rug there are also two thin straps called leg straps and these go inbetween the horse's back legs. These are adjustable and need to be fastened properly as if too loose or too tight they may cause an accident. These can of course be removed should you not want them and replaced with a fillet string but the leg straps do help the rug stay in place and secure. All the fastenings are colour coded with the rug.
As I said above, the rug was brand new still with tags on when I had Petra so I didn't have to worry about whether it was waterproof or not but with older rugs they should be re-waterproofed once a year in order to keep your horse dry! Petra takes a large 7ft3 rug which is the largest size Masta do and I was surprised at how light this rug was but then this was due to not having any filling. All the adjustable buckles and straps were easy to adjust and they do have anti-rust buckles and fittings which is ideal incase they get wet a lot.
Petra has quite a fine build despite her breeding and therefore is quite petite for her tall height and I was initially worried that the rug would gape at the front of her chest and shoulders but I was proved wrong and adjusting the buckles the rug fitted well with enough room for movement. Being such a tall horse some rugs do not come up deep on a tall horse but the Masta Zing came up nice and deep on Petra giving her enough protection from the elements and keeping her warm and dry.
Overall, the fit of the rug is great. It is well secured and doesn't lean to one side which is great. Petra has been wearing it now for about 2 weeks and she has been kept warm and dry without overheating. Her coat has been left smoothed by the soft lining and it hasn't rubbed her in any areas (so far). I can't complain about the rug at all, it fits her well and keeps her dry - I haven't found any faults with it yet. I would definitely recommend this especially for this time of year.
Price: RRP £58.99 (Equestrian Clearance £46.99)
Availability: Masta stockists - check online
Colours: Cherry Check, Dark Navy and Ocean Blue (new season colours)
Sizes: 4'6 to 7'3