“ Brand: Weatherbeeta / Type: Equestrian „
I've mentioned in a few of my reviews that my one horse has some issues such as arthritis in his neck, back and spine. He is quite a sensitive sole and is far older than his 12 years. I've had him since he was 6 and have had to deal with years of him suffering before a diagnosis was finally made at the grand age of 10 when we were told he had a disorder called navicular which affects the feet. This basically meant that we had to reduce the work load that he did and he basically became a hack - a horse that doesn't do much other than walking along the bridlepaths and doing a small amount of gentle work in the arena.
To add to everything he needs to be as comfortable as possible and during the summer horses are plagued by flies and other horrible insects and this can make them pretty grumpy and irritable when they are being ridden as all they want to do is scratch the itch making riding quite difficult! Apart from using the repellent sprays I decided to invest in a fly mask which attaches to his bridle which kept the flies out of his eyes. This worked to some extent but he was still being bugged - quite literally! After reading a horsey magazine I saw that Weatherbeeta had bought out a mesh exercise sheet. Normally exercise sheets are used for wet and cold weather but this was different!
The Weatherbeeta Airflow Exercise Sheet was designed for the typical fly ridden summer days. It is designed to deter flies and keep the horse free of any irritation. It is made from a soft mesh material which still allows the air to circulate but offers great protection against the flying beasts which can bite and majorly irrirate the horse! Because the air is still able to circulate the horse doesn't become hot or sweaty.
The Airlow Exercise Sheet fits under the saddle and does up by a Velcro touch tape closure which is at the wither (bottom of their mane). The exercise sheet comes complete with a colour co-ordinating colour string which goes under the tail. This helps keep the rug down so it won't blow up. The exercise sheet is light as a feather so the horse will hardly feel that anything other than the rider and the saddle is on their back. When not in use it is easily folded up and can be stored almost anywhere!
So does it protect the horse from the flies? Well to put it simply yes it does. I found that it was incredibly effective in keeping the flies away from my horse or at least irritating him. I used it for most of the summer and I found that I could have pleasant summer rides without him stopping and scratching every few steps which was great. The exercise sheet doesn't rub at all and the only thing I did notice was that he sweated a bit more under his saddle which was to be expected. As it doesn't have any straps holding it down I did wonder whether it would slip over to one side but I found that it stayed perfectly in place.
The Weatherbeeta Airflow Exercise Sheet comes in two sizes; pony/cob and full/ warmblood. Sizing an exercise sheet isn't the easiest thing to do especially when there are no set sizes. Best thing to do is measure your horse from the shoulder to the tail and then speak to a retailer before buying as they will be able to put you in the right direction. The exercise sheet costs around £20.00 and is available both online and from a Weatherbeeta retailer. It is currently only available in a pale blue colour.
I would definitely recommend this to any horse owner who is sick of having summer rides tarnished by flies! It provides protection for the horse and keeps them irritant free. It is also machine washable and because of its fabric its easy to put on a cool wash and it comes out as good as new.