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We Are Flying Solo

November 23, 2011

This Is How We Roll: Turnout Blankets

It's getting chilly at night (although not this week!) and the stall doors are adorned with blankets, sheets, and coolers to keep the horses from shivering off that perfect weight we finally got them to this summer.  So what do the Flying Solo boys strut around in?

Encore is trying a new look this year; he has a full length turnout rug from the friendly folks at  I had not tried this type or brand of blanket before, but so far, I am thrilled with it.  Fresh out of the box, it was a lovely navy blue (yay!) with yellow piping.  I loved the generous drape of the leg and tail flaps and the easy-open snaps on the chest.  The 81" fit Encore surprisingly well (is he really that big?) and even better now that he has gained some weight; the only part I had to adjust were the belly straps, which were much too long for him, but it was easily solved by knotting them in the middle and voila!  Fit.  No rubs thus far, it has a smooth nylon lining that makes Encore's coat shine.  I got the medium-weight and it is SUPER MEGA WARM.  I'm not sure what the insulation is, but it's wonderful stuff and much less bulky or heavy than my other medium-weight.  Obviously, it is colder in England than it is in North Carolina!  (Duh.)

Check out the butt billboard!
   I wondered how durable a 600 dernier blanket could be, but pasture-buddy, Pete the Arabian/Monkey cross decided to test it for me.  On the second day I had the blanket (grrrr), it was sitting in the grass outside the pasture, waiting to be applied to Encore.  Pete decided he was bored and snaked his little nose through the fence and dragged the blanket into the pasture, because it apparently looked like an Entertaining Plaything.  He proceeded to do a tapdance on top of it until his whims were satisfied, at which point he wandered off to find something else to destroy play with.  I found the blanket in a dirty, trampled heap and moaned in dismay.  I had it ONE DAY, Pete, ONE DAY!  But I picked it up, brushed it off, and stared in disbelief -- not a scratch on it.  No tears, no bent hardware, it was completely fine.  So rest assured, when your horse is wearing this blanket, he will be completely protected from tapdancing Arabians!  I'm very happy with it and I hope that Encore will get to wear it for many more years!  It's also very affordable -- if I used my currency converter right, 50 GBP equals US$77.  Even with shipping to the US, you are still getting a good deal on a super toasty turnout!

Solo may not be decked out in snazzy imports, but he still stays warm.  He wears a Weatherbeeta Landa medium weight turnout.  This is the first blanket I ever bought for him, in a second-chance auction on eBay, and I believe this is at least the fourth winter he has worn it, if not the fifth.  Mr. Chunky wears the 78" and it has a nice length to its drape as well.  Also nylon-lined with a shoulder gusset, it has never once rubbed his big shoulders.  I have had to replace the leg straps once, the cheap snaps on the back froze up on me and broke, but it was an easy fix.  I've sewed up a hole or two in the lining over the years -- it once got run over by a tractor (sans Solo, thankfully) and some of the stress points have stretched and worn, but nothing a quick stitch-up couldn't mend, so it's still going.  The outside is impeccable -- all of the stitching is still tight and it has never ripped.  I have had it cleaned and re-waterproofed one time (yeah, I'm cheap) and it remains waterproof and breathable.

The boys share a rain sheet, which is one I bought secondhand from a friend about two and a half years ago.  It's a very simple Rider's International turnout sheet from Dover.  I didn't pay a lot for it, but I have been very impressed with it; the horses stay dry and it's a great windbreaker.  No sexy horse modeling pics of this one, sorry.  It's mesh lined with nylon at the shoulders so it doesn't rub either.  No rips on the outside of this one, although I have plied my impeccable seamstress skills to the inside a time or two.  I would guess it's about four years old at this point, but doesn't show any signs of stopping soon.

We have other dashingly fashionable items of horse attire, naturally, but I'm not about to admit in one post how many.  But that is the extent of our turnout wardrobe and I can happily give a confident thumbs up to all three! 


  1. Glad to hear the Landa Freestyle is a good buy, since Harley now owns the same one!

    Your boys look cute in their duds.

  2. Nice turnout blanket. I think Misty wears an 81", but unlike Encore, I have to extend the belly straps as far as they'll go to get around her big drafty barrel.

  3. OH MY, you are very restrained! I have a little thing for rugs and have many! I do use most of them or over the years I have used them all but Sam has a large wardrobe!!!!!

  4. I haven't tried the Freestyle, Val, ours is the original style, so you'll have ot let me know how it goes!

    OUAE, apparently, they had Misty sized horses in mind when they made this one.

    Ahahahah, Nina, the turnout rugs are expensive so I restrain myself. Sheets....less success.

  5. Awesome, I was hoping to hear about an equestrian clearance rug!

  6. I have two very hard to fit youngsters. A coming 4yo arabian filly, and a 6 yo Quarter pony. They both wear about a 64". They have ripped every blanket, I only buy 1200 denier.... Finally after 4 years found 1680 in 'pony' size. Surely I am not the only one with maniacally inclined rippers.... So far no tears on the new blankies. I can't imagine how a 600 d would survive...

    Your boys look snug alright. :)

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  8. I also have the navy blue Weatherbeeta Landa Freestyle turnout, but mine is a sheet not a blanket. I used it on both Mac and Salem and it really fit them both well. I've been very pleased with it, as it doesn't rub or twist and it still looks brand-new. Then again, this *is* Miami, so it isn't like I get all that much use out of it.

    I was thinking about getting a lightweight blanket for colder nights, since right now I just use a fleece Schneider's blanket liner under the sheet. But, really, I don't know if I can justify the expense seeing how little it will be used!

  9. Eeeeheeeheee, blankets in Miami! I guess they can snuggle while chowing on their plantains!

    Lune, thankfully we have no blanket shredders at our place!

  10. blanket shredders are one thing, but the serious skill of the Arabian Tango is another.

    I think Pete has invented a new sport.

  11. I smell a winter project for you: perfecting the Arabian Flemenco floor show.