* Prices may differ from that shown
When it comes to horse rugs they come in all different weights (grams of polyfill) and when it becomes colder the heavier the rug you put on your horse. One rug I have invested in for this winter is the Weatherbeeta Taka Original Combo rug for two of my horses as they aren't as great with the colder weather than my other one. I was looking for a heavyweight rug for when it gets extremely cold and if it is anything like last year with the snow it will be a wise investment!
I chose the Taka Original Combo one because it is made by Weatherbeeta and this manufacturers rugs fit my horses incredibly well and two because I'd read a few reviews of it on horsey sites and it was raved about. It isn't the cheapest rug but it's certainly not the most expensive rug on the market and I was able to buy mine for £90.00 each which I thought was reasonable for a heavyweight rug.
My Taka Original Combo comes in a gorgeous turquoise blue colour (on the Weatherbeeta site it is royal and black) and is certainly eye catching, I certainly will be able to spot my horses a mile off! You can only get this rug in the combo version (it has a neck attached which is not detachable) and not without the neck which for me is great as my horses are clipped so I want them to have as much protection as possible. The neck is made from the same material and also the same weight as the main rug. The neck goes up to the ears and it is fastened by two Velcro straps which are pretty tough. The neck is skin tight and there is a gap between your horses neck and when you fasten it.
I mentioned above that this rug is a heavyweight and this is because it contains 360g of polyfill (higher the grams warmer the rug) and it is incredibly padded, it almost feels like a quilt! Inside the rug it has a hygienic 210 denier Oxford polyester lining which is antirub on the horse. The outer fabric is waterproof, breathable and incredibly tough at 1680 denier ripstop (higher the denier stronger the fabric). It also has a Teflon coating to make it even stronger. The inside of the rug also has taped seams which seal the rug making it completely waterproof.
The rug features the traditional side gusset (these are at the shoulder) which allow free movement for the horse which I find incredibly important with a rug as my horses are out for around 9 hours a day and I want them to be comfortable when outside. There are two surcingles which are black in colour, these help the rug stay on and are fastened from one side of the rug to the other and go under the belly, these are fully adjustable and not removable. At the back of the rug there are black elastic leg straps which are adjustable and removable. These again help the rug stay secure on the horse but they must be adjusted properly as a horse could quite easily get his/ her back legs caught.
My one horse has modelled the rug recently as he took a bit of a bad turn but needed to be out and moving around, albeit in a smaller area and this rug fitted him perfectly. He was incredibly snug and warm and all the buckles and fastenings were easily adjusted without too much fuss. The only thing on this rug I would like to change is the tail flap (at the back of the rug) as it is quite small in comparison to the overall rug, I would prefer a bigger tail flap as this helps protect the horse from the elements but chances are that this rug will be on top of another rug on my horses which will probably have a bigger tail flap so I'm not too concerned.
The new 2010 Weatherbeeta Taka Original Combo replaces the Taka Contour Combo rug (which I will also be reviewing!) and comes only in royal and black at the moment. It is also limited in sizes and is only available from 5'6 to 6'9. The rug is available from all Weatherbeeta stockists and plenty of online stores sell the rug. Prices range from £85 - £105 so it is best to shop around. The rugs come in reusable rug bags which are great for storing the rug in when it's not in use.
If you are looking for a decent heavyweight rug which doesn't cost the earth then I would definitely recommend this rug. It fits quite snugly on the horse keeping in their body heat which when in the very cold months is vital. A great heavyweight rug which is not too heavy to handle especially if like me you have a tall horse! Mine will definitely be getting a lot of use this year.