* Prices may differ from that shown
Yet another review on a horse rug, apologies for those who are finding them boring but I have quite a few rugs! My one horse has arthritis in his neck and spine a long with various other problems and it seems my lifes work is to keep him as comfortable as possible 24/7 which I know is not always going to happen. Due to his issues he doesn't do well outside for too long but in order for his main condition to stay stable he needs regular exercise which involves him being able to roam around a field for hours. When it comes to his health it seems that he is in a rug nearly all year round even in the summer months he will be in a fly rug to try and keep him comfortable in and around the flies.
Since August he has been wearing the Weatherbeeta Freestyle Landa Lite which is basically a thin sheet designed for those warmish days prone to rain showers. Due to him having arthritis in his spine and back I don't like him to get his back wet so using this rug is incredibly useful. The rug is incredibly light weight to carry and it can be folded up quite small so storing it will never be a problem.
The rug itself is waterproof and has a breathable 600 denier (higher the denier then stronger and heavier the fabric) outer shell which has Weatherbeeta's ripstop technology - this is wear the weft in the material is modified to enable any rips or tears to be contained. The rug has a polycotton lining which is incredibly soft on the horses coat and it has absolutely no polyfill making it simply a waterproof sheet. It has taped seams on the inside of the rug which makes this rug even more waterproof. For me the fact that this rug is breathable (due to having a hydrophilic or water loving coating on the inside of the rug) as any moisture is wicked away from the horses coat is a bonus as horses hate being too hot and uncomfortable which for my horse with his issues is a nightmare as he needs to be kept comfortable.
As I said above this rug is the Freestyle Landa Lite, Weatherbeeta also make a standard version of the rug but the Freestyle comes with upgraded features such as:-
Wrap around tail flap - the tail flap is huge and is quite long in comparison to standard tail flaps. It helps protect the horse from the elements.
Forward positioned gusset - this is at the front of the rug and gives greater freedom of movement for the horse.
Cupped shoulder dart - positioned on the shoulder this also allows fluid movement when the horse is active in the field.
The rug has a nylon lining on the underneath of the rug which is around the shoulder, neck and withers which is anti-rub meaning that the horse won't be left with bald patches! It also has a little sheepskin type lining which sits at the top of the rug on the withers which again stops rubbing to this delicate area and it saves the mane! The rug is fastened by twin buckle straps which can be adjusted depending on the width of the horses chest. It has colour co-ordinating surcingles which secure the rug by crossing over the horses belly, these shouldn't be too tight or too loose on the horse as it can cause an injury. The rug is completed with two leg straps which go around the back legs, again these help secure the rug in position and are fully adjustable and also removable should you not want them.
For me this rug has been used every day up to a few days again when the weather turned bad for a few days. I always check that my horse isn't over heating when I go and check on him during the day and he has never been too warm or too cold. By having this rug on means that he is far more comfortable which leads him to move more in the field, eat properly (he stops eating when he is in discomfort) and can manage to stay out with my other horses for a good 8 hours or so. With having no filling whatsoever it is just a big sheet which keeps him dry and comfortable and for the warmer months that is exactly what he needs. I also use this rug as an under rug under his heavier rugs if the weather gets bitterly cold, e.g. when we have snow as it provides a nice thin layer.
Weatherbeeta rugs do tend to stay waterproof for several years but as I use mine regularly throughout the year I have mine washed and re-proofed every year and I do have a spare just in case it is ripped or torn (fingers crossed it never has). Having a rug professionally washed to me makes the rug last a lot longer and stays in better condition.
The Weatherbeeta Freestyle Landa Lite is available in navy/ silver for 2010 but other colours it can come in is Spring Haze Plaid and baby blue/ grey. The rug can be purchased at most Weatherbeeta retailers or online which I personally find has the best deals even with P&P but prices really do vary. It seems that the average price for the rug is around £50.00 which I think is great value but if you want the same sort of rug just without the modified features the Standard version of the rug is around £35-£40.
I personally wouldn't be without this rug for my horse as it keeps him comfortable and as dry as possible when a rain shower comes along. He is certainly happier when he can move around freely but warm and dry at the same time which makes the initial expense of the rug absolutely worth it. It is incredibly durable, tough and lightweight and has so far lasted me two years.