Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Useful things: Amigos

I've been meaning to blog about rugs (or sheets, or blankets, as they are called in the US), for a while.  They are absolutely essential up here, mostly because our climate is very wet (which the horses seem to hate much more than cold). 
Also, our own horses work their hardest in the winter, when they are hunting, and as they are clipped its critical to be able to provide them with good quality warm, waterproof rugs.  The horses here almost always have the option to wander outside and they often do, even when the weather is (to our eyes) pretty grim...(!)
Having horses here from all over the place, all of whom come with different rugs, I've had lots of chances to test out what works and what doesn't and I over the years I've formed pretty clear preferences, as have the horses. 
Out in front by a long way, for me, are Amigo rugs which are made by Horseware. Lots of the Horseware rugs are very expensive, but Amigo are the bargain basement of the range :-) Perfect for a herd environment where the odd rip is inevitable!  Currently, I think every horse at Rockley has at least one Amigo, and for good reason. 
Apart from the price (which isn't cheap but is good value) and their robustness, I also like the fit (which is generous and the least likely of all the rugs we've tried to rub), the lightness of them (easy to chuck on and off even in the warmest winter rugs) and that there are no leg-straps.  Also useful is the fact that they come in multiple weights, from a no fill rain sheet to a heavyweight winter rug with optional extra insulation. 
If you are down our way,  Mole Valley Farmers often have last seasons colours (!) in the sales, making them a real bargain.  The only thing to beware of is that the sizing comes up small, so if you normally get a 6ft 3 rug, get at least a 6ft 6 in an Amigo.  Other than that, happy shopping!


dreams579 said...

In typical fashion, Nic's amigo survived rockley... and then nearly got ripped in half within a week of being home *rolls eyes*

that'll be another one for the menders!

Jassy Mackenzie said...

Interesting about the leg straps - on those occasions when mine wear rugs I'm terrified of using a blanket without them in case it slips. Do you find yours stay on OK with just the cross straps, and what is the reason for your preferring no leg straps?

Nic Barker said...

Jassy, the fillet strings work well to keep them in place. If they break then there is a chance the rugs could slip and its happened here occasionally but with no harm done.

I like no leg straps because its 18 less things to do if you are rugging up 9 horses :-) Plus I've had more trouble with them breaking/catching/rubbing than I've had with the fillet strings.

Emma, haven't forgotten to post yours - just haven't got to the PO before closing time yet(!)...

cptrayes said...

I can't use rugs without leg straps. My friend has Amigos and she had to sent two of them off for repair in February because the strong winds on our exposed hillsides blew them up over the horses backs and they trod on them and ripped them.

I have such a terrible rug ripper in Jazz that it is pointless buying any of the horses anything but the cheapest eBay options, but Axioms are good and so are Norti Neddis.

And a tip, gold strandard iron-on carpet joining tape from eBay is a brilliant rug repairer!!! It doesn't look smart but it will even hold on a detached strap :o !!


AnnetteSC said...

Another handy tip is to get rug patches and glue (I think it's called Stormsure?) on eBay to fix rips. It's a lot cheaper than sending them for fixing and works surprisingly well!

jenj said...

I second the love of Amigo blankets and sheets, and totally agree about the lack of leg straps being a selling point. Easy to put on, lightweight, wears amazingly well, and I've never had one shift.

Another thing I like is that all their buckles work the same way (at least, the ones I have do). Just makes things go faster, and I only have four to do!

East Bound said...

Thank you!

Val said...

Thanks for the tips. Amigo was one of the brands that I was looking at when I went "rug" shopping this winter. I removed the leg straps from the blanket that I ended up purchasing. Looked like wedgey-city to me.

If my horse is a 75", what size Amigo would I need?

Sara said...

The detatchable necks are great too you can mix and match them in different weights or go without depending on the weather