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When it comes to having horses the amount of equipment you need to have is ridiculous not to mention all the extras which of course are optional still seem to be bought regardless of whether you actually need them or not. It is great however to buy something which can be used for more than one thing. For me I find that when I buy a horse rug it would be nice if it could be used for more than one purpose especially as they are not the cheapest of items!
My one rug which has multiple uses is the Weatherbeeta Continental Sheet. Weatherbeeta manufacture and sell horse rugs globally and are a leader in their field. They produce a whole range of rugs to suit everyone's budget. I tend to buy Weatherbeeta as they offer good value for money and they fit all my horses very well.
For me the continental sheet has two uses; stable and travel. My horses travel quite a bit and I am currently taking them to my local riding club to use their facilities as my horses have been cooped up for the duration of my pregnancy so this is giving them an airing. However, due to the cold weather they need to travel in something thicker than a fleece and the continental sheet is heavier providing a bit more warmth especially after they have been worked and need to be protected from the cold due to sweating. Two of my horses also have the continental sheet for the stable. I use this rug for when they don't need an actual stable rug which is heavier and thicker but just a rug which will keep them warm and comfortable during the autumn months when the temperature starts to cool.
The continental sheet is made from an ultra strong polycotton blend and even though it is an incredibly tough and durable rug it is incredibly soft and quite light. Because it is light and has no padding whatsoever it can be easily folded and stored for when it is not in use. The rug is breathable which is ideal when my horses travel as they can sweat and I know the rug can wick away any moisture ensuring the horse is kept comfortable.
The sheet is secured at the front by twin buckle straps which are adjustable, these are colour co-ordinated with the rug itself. To keep the rug in place on the horse are two surcingles which cross under the horse's belly and secure on the one side of the rug. These again are adjustable and colour co-ordinated. At the back of the rug the sheet can be further secured by adjustable leg straps which cross in between the back legs (these cannot be too loose or too tight as accidents may happen). Unlike a lot of rugs the continental sheet does not feature a tail flap (these protect the horse from the elements). This is the only thing I dislike about this rug as I like my horses having that extra bit of protection and I don't see why Weatherbeeta did not put a tail flap on it.
The rug also features large gussets at the shoulder which help the horse have fluid movement and not restrict it. However, as my horses only use this rug in confined spaces (stable and horsebox) the shoulder gusset doesn't really offer them anything other than freeing the shoulder up when they do have limited movement. At the top of the rug when it sits on the withers is a faux sheepskin cover to protect the mane from rubbing which is a must on any rug.
For me this is an ideal rug as I can use it more than most rugs throughout the cooler months as its thickness provides a bit more warmth than an average fleece rug and it is incredibly tough and durable which is ideal as mine need washing quite often (the rug is machine washable). It can also be used as a layer underneath a stable rug if you don't have another layer to use. All fastenings and fittings can be easily adjusted for any horse whether slim or over weight. The leg straps can be removed and replaced with a fillet string (goes under the tail) should you not want them.
The Weatherbeeta Continental Sheet is available in the UK and currently retails at around £35.00 but I would recommend that you look online as there are some good deals to be had. The rug comes in various colours such as navy/silver, spring haze plaid and herb plaid. Sizes start from 5'0 and go up to 7'3 but not all colours are available in all sizes.
Overall, this rug for me is great as I can use it for more than one purpose and it isn't the most expensive rug to buy either which is a bonus. The fit on both my horses is fine although I do have to go up a size so this may be worth keeping in mind. However, the rug doesn't shrink in the wash and it is colourfast. So far it hasn't shrunk and the colour hasn't faded which is great! This is a very handy and useful rug to own and I would recommend it to all horse owners.