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Over the past few weeks I have started to compete two of my horses at some of our local dressage shows which are held on an evening so by the time we have finished it is nearing 10pm. We therefore end up in the dark and it has got quite cold by then especially for the two horses who have sweated.
In order to keep them warm but to help wick away the sweat I use my trusty fleece rugs which apart from taking the chill off but they also dry off the horses whilst in transit back to my yard. The fleece rugs which I own are from my favourite rug manufacturer; Weatherbeeta. I have recently purchased new fleece coolers whilst on sale as my other fleece rugs were dying a slow death but to be fair I had owned them for a few years and they got a lot of use.
I already own the combo version of the rug which features the attached neck but this is the standard version without the neck. The fleece cooler is made out of a light weight anti-pill polyester fleece and is incredibly soft and because it is lightweight it is easy to carry and to store when not in use. It is very useful as an under rug but also for travelling and general stable wear in the warmer months should your horse or pony need a little something.
At the front of the rug there is a 420 denier nylon overlay which sits on the shoulders which helps reduce rubbing on the coat but it also helps prevent the rug from stretching out of shape as other fleece rugs I have owned in the past end up out of shape after use and washing. The nylon overlay is quite tough and this is measured by the denier, basically higher the denier then tougher the material.
The rug is fastened at the front by two chest straps which are done by large silver buckles and can be adjusted easily. There are two adjustable surcingles at the one side of the rug which cross under the horse's belly. The surcingles help keep the rug in place but they shouldn't be too loose or too tight as they may cause an injury and will be uncomfortable if too loose. To help keep the rug even more secure there is a fillet string (removable) which simply attaches from one side of the rug to another at the back of the rug and then goes under the tail. All fastenings colour co-ordinate with the rug.
I generally use my standard fleece coolers as travelling rugs as they are lightweight and easy to store in the horse box once they are folded up. I find that the fittings are all easy to adjust no matter how old the rug becomes which is great as horses can change size a lot especially around the belly and I hate having to faff around trying to adjust straps.
After competing y horses are pretty sweaty and the lightweight fleece manages to keep them warm on the cold nights and helping them avoid getting chills but they also manage to wick away the moisture whilst getting their coats dry which is great as the rug is breathable so by the time I come to take the rugs off they are almost bone dry. Perfect.
The fleece rug is also incredibly easy to wash as it can be folded up and put in the washing machine. Ideally it does need to be washed on a cool wash and then left to dry naturally. It should never be tumble tried as it may shrink. Because the fleece is thin it doesn't take too long for it to dry after being washed.
As I said above I've recently had to purchase this rug again as my previous ones had been worn out completely and I managed to pick them up in the sale at a reduce price which was great. These are the best fleece rugs I have used and owned to date and I would recommend them to anyone who owns a horse or pony as they are incredibly versatile.
Availability: Weatherbeeta retailers - online or in stores
Sizes: 4'0' to 7'3' - not all sizes are available in all colours
Colours: Navy/ silver, orchid/royal and spotty orchid/royal - new seasons colours