* Prices may differ from that shown
When my new horse came at the beginning of January I was completely unprepared when he arrived without his rug wardrobe that his previous owner said would travel with him. Fortunately I didn't pay extra for his wardrobe (thankfully!) but it did mean that in one of the coldest months of the year he was rugless. My other horses who are a similar size are of course using their own rugs so I needed to go rug hunting immediately to at least get him the essentials.
One rug I cannot do without is a fleece or cooler as it can be known as. Especially in the cold months when you've ridden your horse or pony to the extent that they have sweated up it is nice to put a fleece on them and let them cool and dry naturally. I can't abide people who just turn a sweaty horse out back in the field without letting them regulate their temperature. After trying on several different sized fleeces (my other horses range from 6ft9 to 7ft3!) I was confident at what size and brand I'd prefer to buy.
One of the local equestrian and agricultural stores stocks Horseware rugs which I love as they fit all my boys perfectly. I have rather large horses as they are all over 16.3hh and they require the rugs to be quite deep and the Horseware brand cater for them perfectly. After picking up two essential rugs (I have previously written a review on the Amigo Bravo) I spotted the Amigo Jersey Cooler and even better it was reduced as it was end of the line. Fortunately the bigger sizes tend to be left so I was able to get the size I wanted.
Amigo is another brand owned by Horseware, as is Rambo and Rhino. Amigo was originally known as the cheaper sister to the other two but in my opinion the Amigo rugs are fantastic, they fit well and are durable. The Amigo Jersey Cooler is available in quite a few different colours and each season Horseware will come out with new colours. I bought the colour excalibur and aqua, basically it is a dark grey rug with a turquoise thread in the binding and on the front chest strap.
Unlike most fleece/cooler rugs the fabric may be fleece on the inside of the rug but it is made from a more durable jersey type material on the outer shell of the rug. To be precise the outer shell of the rug is made from brushed polyester and is completely smooth to the touch, because of this it is apparently meant to keep the rug cleaner for longer as Horseware reckon it was harder for dust and dirt to stick to it. The rug itself has been designed to wick moisture away quickly and efficiently to ensure the horse is left as comfortable as possible. The inside of the rug is made from a fleece material and again is incredibly soft and will not irritate the horse but keep them warm instead.
The rug is fastened by a single velcro strap at the front of the rug which is done up via a silver buckle. The strap is reinforced and therefore incredibly strong and durable, it features the Horseware logo embroidered in a colour contrasting thread. At the back of the rug there is a fillet string, again in a contrasting colour. A fillet string basically helps keep the rug in place somewhat. It attaches from one side of the back of the rug to the other and just needs to be done up to be secure, it is vital this isn't too loose and baggy or too tight. However, if you don't want it, it is removable. To help keep the rug even more secure there is a hidden surcingle which is basically an adjustable strap which goes from one side of the rug and fastens on the other side. On this particular rug it is found just behind the shoulder and once done up you can't see this fitting at all as it is sewen on the underside of the rug.
My rug has had near enough daily use since buying it and I am amazed at how well it is lasting as it hardly looks worn, obviously apart from the horse hair! I think if you had a wide chested horse though you may find this rug is not very giving at the front of the rug as the front strap isn't adjustable and the same goes for the surcingle on the underside of the rug, if your horse is overweight you may struggle to adjust it enough to fasten as the surcingle doesn't seem to adjust all that much so it may be worth trying before you buy or try and return if possible. Fortunately for me it fits my horse a treat from his withers to the top of his tail, it fits him perfectly. The rug manages to keep my horse cool whilst drying his cost off after being worked so I can't complain at all.
I really cannot complain about this rug, because of its constant use I have had to put it in my washing machine a few times and it has washed extremely well. It hasn't lost shape or shrunk, it has simply made it look as good as new except the horse hair. The rug is lovely and deep on my new boy and keeps his coat clean whilst wicking the moisture away. Definitely a great rug for any horse owner and it won't break the bank either which is even better as all horse owners know it isn't a cheap sport! 5 stars from me!
~ Useful Info ~
Brand: Horseware Amigo
Colour(s): Variety depending on the season
Sizes: 5ft6 to 7ft6
Price: RRP £28 but I bought mine for £12.50 - worth shopping around for
Availability: Amigo retailers in store or online