“ Manufacturer: Weatherbeeta / Type: Equestrian - Rug „
My one horse has quite a naturally thick coat due to his breeding and even though in the winter he is fully clipped out he can sometimes overheat in his stable at night especially on those wet days which tend to be quite mild. I have quite a few times come to sort him out in the morning and he is a ball of sweat in one his big combo heavy weight rugs. Even though he needed the weight of his big rug, the attached neck rug (see review on Belmont Combo rug) was keep too much heat in so the answer was to buy him a rug without the neck attachment.
There are so many stable rugs on the market of all sizes, shapes, colours and materials which can make it hard to choose which rug is right for your horse. However, for me the only choice I need to make is which Weatherbeeta rug would be suitable. All my rugs are Weatherbeeta as for me they provide the best fit and best value.
After browsing their website I opted for the Highgrove Standard Neck Heavy stable rug. Weatherbeeta do several heavy weight stable rugs without the attached neck but the Highgrove is one their lighter heavy weights if that makes sense and I didn't want him overheating with a heavier rug, should he get too cold I can always put an under rug underneath.
The Highgrove is made from a durable 1200 denier channel quilted outer fabric which reminds me of a sleeping bag as it is incredibly quilted and soft. It is classed as a heavy weight and has 300g of polyfill (higher the amount warmer the rug). It has a lovely soft nylon lining which is anti-rub so the coat stays shiny, soft and best of all you don't get the bald patches which some rugs can cause. My favourite feature of this rug is that it has a soft, fleece cuff around the neck for added warmth and comfort. The front fastens with quick clip closures which are adjustable but not as adjustable as buckles so if your horses chest is quite wide its worth trying on as it may not fit. To secure the rug the Highgrove has low cross surcingles which are fully adjustable and cross under the horses belly to keep the rug in place. There is a colour co-ordinating fillet string which is removable at the back of the rug as it goes under the horses tail, this also helps keep the rug in place to some degree. The tail flap is relatively small in comparison to the rug but this isn't a big issue as it is really only there to protect from the elements and as it's a stable rug for use in a stable the elements are not that harsh!
What I like about the Weatherbeeta stable rug range is that they are incredibly soft and just like a big duvet! The padding lasts a long time which means they keep their weight status for quite sometime but this obviously depends on how much the rug is used. As I have quite a selection my rugs last a really long time.
After using this rug I found that my horse wasn't over heating and did appear sweaty come the morning which was great as he looked far happier! Horses hate being too hot and even though a clipped horse should be protected in the winter due to having really no fur at all it still isn't fair for him to suffer. What I really like about the Highgrove is the fleece cuff which doesn't rug or irritate my horse but keeps his body warm and his neck cool which is what I and he needed. I also like the quick clip closures as they are far easier to do up and release than the good old fashioned buckle. However, I have had to have one replaced as once the spring goes in the clip it doesn't do up anymore.
The rug sits comfortably on my horse and he is quite a good sized horse and I do find that I needed a size larger than some of the rugs I own but this wasn't a problem. It fits him nicely, its snug but with plenty of room. The rug has large shoulder gussets which allow him freedom of movement should he feel the need to move about in his stable although he tends to lie down for most of his time in there. The rug is machine washable which is definitely a plus but as I don't have a washing machine big enough it will need to be professionally cleaned once it needs doing.
The Weatherbeeta Highgrove Standard Heavy stable rug is available from Weatherbeeta retailers and online. The difference in price is quite large and I have seen it priced from £60 right up to £72 so it is worth shopping around for a good deal. Sizes start from 5'0 and go up to 7'0 and is available in navy/ silver and grey/ turquoise plaid which is new for 2010.
For me this rug has come in incredibly useful and I will definitely be using it again this year. I would recommend it to those who need a heavy weight rug but may be have a horse which is crossed with a hardy breed such as a cob and doesn't need the neck attachment but still wants to keep their horse warm.