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The new horse which my cousin and I have ended up taking on has come with a variety of tack and equipment. Most of it is incredibly old and doesn't fit very well but the old owner did invest in a few rugs for the horse which have now been handed to us. Most of the rugs we have had professionally washed and repaired but fortunately a few were able just to put in a washing machine.
One of the rugs is the Shires Lambourne Anti Sweat Rug. Years ago before manufacturers started to produce fleece rugs to wick sweat away, the stringed anti sweat rug was the only option available to you if you wanted to keep a sweaty horse warm whilst getting them dry by wicking sweat away. However, now a days with a wide variety of fleece rugs the stringed anti sweat rugs have pretty much died of death and are not used a lot anymore.
The Lambourne Anti Sweat Rug is made by a company called Shires Equestrian who produce a vast amount of equestrian products for both the rider and the horse and have been going for quite a number of years. Their whole range is ideal to fit a budget but at the same time their products are very good quality. They really do produce items for the everyday rider.
The rug comes in a variety of colours and the one which came with the new horse was black. The rugs really are no frills and as you can see from the picture it has a honeycomb effect made with the stringed fabric which is made out of cotton. This helps wick away sweat whilst allowing air to get to the horse's coat in order to keep them cool. This is great especially after hard work as you want to cool you horse down slowly but still keep them warm as well. The fabric is quite soft to the touch and the rug on the whole is quite light which you would expect considering there are so many holes! They can be easily put in the washing machine and just leave to dry naturally.
This really is a no frills anti sweat rug compared to the fleece rugs currently on the market. It does up with a simply adjustable nylon strap at the front and at the back of the rug there is a removable fillet string which goes under the horse's tail to help keep the rug in place. Unlike other rugs there are no surcingles which cross under the horse's belly. However, these rugs tend to fit more horses as they haven't been over tailored in various places.
I do find that they are effective but because I have been using fleece cooler rugs I have no want or need to use an old style anti sweat rug as I find they take longer to dry a horse than a fleece rug. However, Shires do recommend that this can also be used underneath a fleece cooler rug but personally I don't see the point as the fleece rug does the job of wicking sweat away from the horse's coat easily on its own without the aid of another rug.
These rugs did have a purpose once upon a time but for me I personally wouldn't go out and buy one let alone use them anymore. I just find they take a lot longer to dry a horse than a fleece rug and when I have a few horses to ride and put back out in the field I don't have time to wait around all day waiting for the horse to dry. They certainly had their place in the market some years ago but now I don't know why companies are still making them when they have to compete with other rugs which do a much better job.
The Lambourne Anti Sweat rug comes in red, navy and black and costs a very reasonable £11.99 - ideal if you are on a budget. Sizes range from small, medium, large and extra large.
So would I recommend it? No, not really they are pretty much obsolete now and there are much better alternatives out there. In the end I have given the rug (among others) to a local horse and pony welfare sanctuary who were only too grateful to receive it.