My old mare needs to be blanketed, since she doesn't grow much winter coat anymore. After my experiences with Schneiders, I'm a little gun-shy about blanket makers since they've just been a constant problem. Right now, I'm thinking about getting a Weatherbeeta sheet w/ integrated neck for her. Its the only integrated neck turnout sheet I've been able to find in her size.
I prefer this style since I'd use it over what I have when necessary, and I absolutely don't want her getting wet or cold. We can get a lot of driving rain here, which is why I'm opting for an integrated neck turnout vs one with a removable neck.
Any experiences, good or bad with Weatherbeeta customer service and their turnout blankets? As far as durability and waterproofing of the blankets and ease of working with customer service if there's a problem that the warranty should cover.
I have had great luck with mine. It comes with a three-year waterproof warranty and you can take it in and exchange it if it fails at Dover. Mine lasted two years with a hard playing group of ponies. Last year two ponies ripped it in half at the butt part playing tug a war. I contacted Weatherbeeta about repairs and they told me to trade it in at Dover and they exchanged it for a new one, no charge or they would have mailed me a new one. Said it was covered by warranty. Now I only use Weatherbeeta's.
I really liked Weatherbeetas until they brought out their "freestyle" design. It has much shorter gussets in front and is very fitted compared to the more traditional style. My poor Paint gelding, who is 16hh but built quite narrow in front, got some serious rubs, which had never been a problem before. Overall fit tends to be generous. But on the whole I thought they wore really well.
The blankets are pretty good by Weatherbeeta.
But if you want something really great, get the Horseware on sale with a detachable neck rug. Lasts forever and stays put.
Buy on sale, right now some sales are 15% off, or check eBay where soon they will be cheaper. Just make sure you get a guarantee on eBay that it is waterproof, via email to seller, so if it isn't waterproof, you can get a refund. I've bought lots of eBay and all were great because eBay protects buyers.
But don't forget that each brand of blankets WILL FIT DIFFERENT!
If your horse is a Rambo wearer and those fit well, the WB won't fit as well. I love the Rambo blankets but they do not fit my mare AT ALL. Whereas the WB fit her perfectly.
I have had my WB blankets with those horse for a couple years. They hold up pretty good and she is hard on blankets. The freestyle style did not fit her and she DESTROYED that blanket. There are 3-4 different styles of blankets, and this year they have gone and changed their names AGAIN. The Originals are what fit my warmblood mare.
So what is the difference between how a Rambo fits vs. a Weatherbeeta? My previous horse did well in Rambo's but I have a new horse now and need to buy a blanket. She's very different looking in terms of build, so I am just wondering how to determine which will be a good fit.
"The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky
Weatherbeeta Original fits all three of our horses really well (high withered narrow-ish OTTB, broader chested OTTB, chunky lower necked QH.) I have a few Freestyles for my horse (the high withered narrow-ish OTTB), and they rub his shoulders and withers. I used a Freestyle on my QH last winter, and he didn't get any rubs (was also wearing a Rambo liner underneath.)
If you don't want any gapping or spaces around a detachable neck, the SmartPak blankets have a LOT of overlap (more than my Weatherbeetas.) I haven't had any issues with the SP blanket rubbing my horse. Both are durable and wash nicely. My boy isn't super rough with his blankets but does like to play, and both have lasted with very minimal damage. Waterproofing on both is very good.
I have both a Wetherbeeta and a Rambo for my QH gelding. He's pretty stout and both of these fit him well and have worn very well. However, like other posters have said, different blankets fit differently on different horses. You'll have to try them on.
Sometimes you have to do what's best for you and your life, not what's best for everyone else.
I haven't worn out any of my Weatherbeetas yet and one is going on five years of regular use. I have the detach a neck style with the Velcro and there is no way that stuff is coming off. There's quite a bit of neck to blanket overlap so don't feel like you have to get the attached neck style. I've never had any moisture get between the two. I did take a seam ripper and take off the little fleece part that goes up around the throat. It was easy to do.
Thanks everyone. Just ordered a Weatherbeeta 1200D combo pony turnout sheet for my old mare. Hopefully it'll work out well. I've been specifically looking for a turnout sheet w/ integrated neck in a 66 or 68, and this is the only one I've found. If this works out, I might wind up getting her the ComfiTec Essential combo neck heavy and medium (or possibly the Rambo all in one heavy).
The Schneiders VTEK fits her well (only good thing about them), and so does her Amigo bug buster fly sheet. I also have an old Centaur turnout that fits pretty well too. She's a narrow, medium wither Arabx.
Its so much fun blanketing an old horse who doesn't grow much winter coat up north. Especially since she self destructively freaks out when stalled and still insists on standing out in the rain/snow, even when the wind kicks up.
They're my next choice after the Horseware blankets. Fit totally depends on the horse, but I find that the original fit has worked for most of my horses whereas the freestyle has not (despite varying body types).
I'd take a Weatherbeeta over most any brand. Our older mare is still wearing hers that came with her 9 or 10 years ago. She's worn it every year and lives outside 24/7.
The Rambos I've seen have issues with their lining not holding up. My other mare wears a Pessoa that I happened to buy off of someone at our barn, and it's nice, too. But her blanket has a much easier life.
I follow the Facebook site of a local professional blanket washer and have seen a large number of Rambo lining failures over the last two years. The waterproof liner that is supposed to stay adhered to the outer fabric, not the part that lays on the horse. The blanket fabric gets big wrinkles that with stretch to flat when pulled but bounce back to wrinkly because the waterproofing layer is delaminated and stuck to itself.