* Prices may differ from that shown
My one horse as I have previously mentioned suffers with arthritis together with various other issues and ultimately he needs to be kept comfortable at all times. He is kept in a separate paddock to the others as they tend to push him around a lot and he struggles to keep up with them at times so it is just easier on him to be in the next paddock together with his companion pony. Because of his issues he tends to wear a rug of some kind all year round and he therefore has quite a substantial wardrobe although he tends not to rip or tear rugs some can become worn out and do need replacing.
One rug I bought last year for warm spring days and chilly summer nights was the Weatherbeeta Joules Standard Lite rug. Weatherbeeta is a global manufacturer of horse rugs (and dog rugs) and I find they fit my horses the best and that they are well worth the money. Weatherbeeta teamed up with Joules and created a limited range of horse rugs alongside Weatherbeeta's usual range. Basically the only thing that made the Weatherbeeta/Joules range different from the normal WB range is the fabric patterns and colours!
I didn't purposely go for the Joules version of the "lite" version of the rug (it also comes as a medium weight) but as it was on offer due to stock clearance I couldn't really say no especially when the other Weatherbeeta Lite rug (exactly the same except the colour) was about £30.00 more! The colour of the rug is called Benjamin Stripe and as you can see from the picture colours are quite bright and the stripes certainly make the rug stand out from the crowd!
The rug is ideal as a rain sheet in the summer to keep your horse dry and is also ideal as a very thin under-rug should your horse need an extra layer just to take the chill off. Weatherbeeta also say that this rug can be used during the winter for horses that don't feel the cold that much but I personally think the rug is far too thin as there is no filling. Basically it is just like a rainsheet.
The outer shell of the rug is made of 600 denier ripstop material which is waterproof and breathable. Fortunately my horse doesn't sweat easily so I don't have any worries about him sweating underneath this rug but should he I know that the sweat will be wicked away. The rug has a diamond type weave which helps keep any rips or tears contained, ideal for those horses who do have a tendency to rip their rug, it just makes it easier to repair. The rug has no lining of polyfill whatsoever so it is incredibly thin. It does have a nylon lining which helps keep the coat soft, shiny and also helps prevent any rubbing.
To keep the rug securely on the horse the rug features two strong adjustable front straps which do up with large metal buckles (Weatherbeeta do chest expanders for those horses with extra large chests). The rug has low cross surcingles which cross under the horse's belly, from one side of the rug to the other, this helps keep the rug in place but it is vital that these are not too loose or too tight as accidents can happen. There are adjustable leg straps at the back of the rug which cross between the horse's back legs, again these help keep the rug in position and prevent slipping. All fastenings are colour co-ordinated with the rug. In this case they are navy in colour.
The rug features decent sized tail flap which helps protect the horse from the wind and rain this is exactly the same fabric as the rug. Ideally the tail flap should start at the top of the tail. In order to prevent rubbing of the horse's mane there is a fleece wither pad which sits on the mane just at the end of the horse's withers. Even though it is there to prevent rubbing I do still find that it rubs the mane slightly as it still rests against the mane. There are shoulder gussets at the front of the rug which are ideal for a horse out in the field as they don't restrict movement. The usual Weatherbeeta logo is featured on the front of the rug together with the Joules signature logo aswell.
Overall, I can't really complain about this rug as it certainly served a purpose and certainly will again this year. It manages to keep my horse dry and cool without getting overly warm especially when the warmer weather starts to arrive (if it does!). The rug fits my horse well especially in the shoulders which sometimes his rugs can gape a little as it is a slim built horse. The fastenings do up easily and without any hassle although once they do get wet a lot the material seems to stiffen a little making it harder to adjust anything but this is hardly an issue especially if you can air the rug once it is off the horse. The rug is incredibly lightweight as it has no filling whatsoever so it can be easily folded up and stored. Another plus side is that should you want to wash it yourself you can simply put it in your washing machine (should you want to!) and it will fit in quite easily (just remember to use a specific rug wash).
I do think the colours of the rug are pretty but not very practical for a horse! The rug will soon get dirty and look just as grubby as a plain dark coloured rug so for me the colour wasn't important as the horse is still going to get it covered in mud! A decent rug which is a little expensive for what it is.
The Weatherbeeta Joules Standard Lite is still available at various retailers but I would recommend purchasing it online as you can get a better deal. It comes in Benjamin Stripe and costs around £60.00 which I personally think is a little on the expensive side and I am quite thankful that I purchased mine in the sale.