Horse covers,call me old fashioned.

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15 years 2 months ago #281 by witheze
Had to buy new covers again as the s/w covers had the leg straps pull out in no time at all last year. And my big horse got a severe kidney problem that I put down to wearing a flimsy synthetic cover during wet Northland winter. After inspecting heaps on a cool wet day I have again bought all ripstop canvas jute and wool lined for this winter.Ones that have the straps sewn and rivetted. The synthetic were so cold to the touch on a wet day, except the ones lined with fleecy cotton, of which there weren't many. I had asked my rider to burn the synthetic job but horse came home with it on so now I'll get the pleasure :D But I'm a capricorn who hates change supposedly, so tell me why most people have synthetics, other than the fact they're lighter???? The shop owner has race horses and she said their horses wear Ripstop so that was the deciding factor.

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15 years 2 months ago #42480 by Dream Weaver
My Nieces hubby is a saddler and he said its amazing the amount of covers brought from SW come to him for repair.

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15 years 2 months ago #42481 by Foxwell
I'm also old-fashioned when it comes to covers.

I think the rug manufacturers and retailers have done a great marketing job and "persuaded" horse owners (particularly younger ones) that their horse has to have the latest fashion in rugwear. When I used to graze my horse in a communal situation the younger grazers loved getting new rugs at the slightest excuse!

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15 years 2 months ago #42485 by Louise W
I haven't had any real trouble with synthetics and have been using them since they first appeared on the market. In fact I still have my very first Weatherbeeta blue and red synthetic which is used as an undercover on occasion! However, I don't think they are all made equal and I think year in/year out different makers get it right/wrong. I have had Weatherbeeta rugs that I have been thrilled with and others, not so - I think the makers are getting slacker and that rugs are not made to last like they used to be.

At the moment I think Zilcos are about the best you can get value for money wise and they seem to fit my big/broad horses nicely. I refuse to pay big money for a rug though and think some of them are ridiculously price - I mean $500 for a cover! OMG! The Shires rugs from SW seem to be quite good and I have a few of them but I would not buy any of the SW own brand rugs! They are [email protected]!

I find my guys stay really warm in the worst weather in their synthetics. I have canvas wool lined rugs as well and find that I have to reproof them and they are awkward to get on and off, stiff, and require regular reproofing. But again, not every canvas rug is made equal either and I have some canvas rugs that will be serving out their 15th winter this winter!

I used to be a bit of a rug whore which is why I have so many. Now I am a little more inclined to feed more hay and leave the covers off longer. I even keep a number of horses all winter completely naked. 20 years ago I had my pony in three rugs in the middle of winter! LOL


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15 years 2 months ago #42487 by Anne
The main advantage of synthetics is that they're lighter - both for us to put on and the horse to carry around. I don't like the ones with the synthetic lining - I always put a cotton sheet on underneath - but then I usually do that anyway. I think that some of the synthetic covers do not stay waterproof very long. I have some that are only one season old and the horses get wet when it rains. Mind you the same goes for cheap canvas ones too. I like the canvas ones when I know I am not home during the day if there should be a hot spell - they do seem to stay more comfortable if it gets hot and humid.

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15 years 2 months ago #42490 by Louise W

quote:Originally posted by Anne

I like the canvas ones when I know I am not home during the day if there should be a hot spell - they do seem to stay more comfortable if it gets hot and humid.

Totally agree! Have yet to find a synthetic cover that claims it is breathable that really is!


TALISMAN FARM

Home of 'TF Hamish'and 'Crossiebeg Brennan' and where we are 'breeding extraordinary horses for ordinary riders'

25 acres of beautiful rolling pastures in the heart of the wonderful Wairarapa.

NixPixArt and Talisman Farm
or join us on FACEBOOK

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15 years 2 months ago #42492 by Valmai
Sorry to hijack this thread...but....
I have just been given a canvas, wool lined rug to try out on Meg this winter. Meg has never been rugged before, even down in Sthland. So I started with an old potato (lucerne chaff) sack,[:0] and can now get that on her reasonably easily[:I]. Should I move onto an old blanket which is a lot bigger, lighter and easier for me to chuck at her, or go straight to my old handmade patchwork quilt which is closer to the weight of the 'real' cover? (Of course if the weather turns to custard I will get my friend around to help get her into the real cover asap).

Actually another question as well (sorry). How do you train a horse to lower her head and keep it down while you put her halter on? When I tell you that Meg is 17.2hh and I am 15.1hh you can see how important this last question is!;)

Carbon-based biological unit.

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15 years 2 months ago #42499 by oskatd
I love my shires winter rug, it is sooooo warm and dry. It only cost $99 and is about to start its second winter, cheap enough to chuck away when it gets wrecked. I can patch it myself with glue and silicon, so no repair bills should they be required. At the end of winter you just hang them up and forget them. great. why faff around with canvas rugs that need proofing, taking to the saddler every time they need repairing. My horse itches his backside a lot and so is very hard on backstraps, at least with most of the synthetic rugs you just cut the old one out and put in a new one. all good!

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15 years 2 months ago #42503 by witheze
Valmai how is Meg handling the sack? If she is flighty I would spend time with different items over her until she stands rocklike. When you put her canvas cover on, do it in a secure yard and walk her round and round til she gets totally used to it. I had a mad little arab who ripped away from two of us, over a gate and thru a fence, when doing cover training .But she was one of 29 others who didn't care a bit. She was unbroken. How old is Meg? Dont forget to "proof" her upper hind legs so she gets used to flappy straps. My flighty Arab also went thru 2 other fences at later dates before she was broken in, possibly due to ..well anything.... she is now well behaved with a large scar on her leg.

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15 years 2 months ago #42506 by Foxwell

quote:Originally posted by Valmai

Sorry to hijack this thread...but....
I have just been given a canvas, wool lined rug to try out on Meg this winter. Meg has never been rugged before, even down in Sthland. So I started with an old potato (lucerne chaff) sack,[:0] and can now get that on her reasonably easily[:I]. Should I move onto an old blanket which is a lot bigger, lighter and easier for me to chuck at her, or go straight to my old handmade patchwork quilt which is closer to the weight of the 'real' cover? (Of course if the weather turns to custard I will get my friend around to help get her into the real cover asap).

If she's never been covered before and has been Ok I would first ask why do you want to cover her? Horses who are properly acclimatised to cold weather and grow a reasonable winter coat and have good shleter in their paddocks don't necessarily need to be covered. On an uncovered horse the hair will stand on end when it gets cold making the horse look very fluffy but also providing a great insulation layer. When we cover our horses it means the hair has to lay down flat thus removing the natural insulation.

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15 years 2 months ago #42515 by Foxwell

quote:Originally posted by Valmai

Actually another question as well (sorry). How do you train a horse to lower her head and keep it down while you put her halter on? When I tell you that Meg is 17.2hh and I am 15.1hh you can see how important this last question is!;)

I would use clicker training. There's lots of information on this site www.theclickercenter.com/ . The basic idea is that first you get Meg to associate a click with a food reward (carrot coin or horse pellet). Then when she does the right thing you click her and then give her the food reward. The advantage of using the clicker is that you time the click for exactly the right time so that Meg knows exactly what was the right thing to do.

Clicker training works by training the building blocks of the behaviour you want and then shaping them. So with teaching Meg to lower her head I would start training with a headcollar and leadrope on her. Apply gentle downwards pressure to the leadrope (this is called the cue) until Meg lowers her head slightly in response. Then immediately click and reward. Your timing is crucial. To begin with reward the slightest downward movement. Once she gets the hang of it, reward for increasingly better responses. Repeat many times over many short sessions (2-3 mins a few times a day if possible). Then as you want her to keep her head down, only reward her when her head stays down for an extra second - then gradually lengthen the time. Then since you want her to lower her head without the headcollar on you need to substitute the cue. The new cue could be a word or it could be touching her on part of her head/neck that you can reach. Start using the new cue just before the old cue (downwards pressure on the leadrope). After a while you will be able to "vanish" the old cue.

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