So I’ve been blanketing my little herd with Amigo Bravo rainsheets and the Horseware liner system for the last couple of years, and, suffice it to say, I’m fed up.
The oldest shells are only 2 years old, and they look like they’ve been through a war zone. They’ve faded from deep navy to rhinoceros grey-purple. The binding is coming off in many places. The tails are coming off and have been stitched back on multiple times. They have so many patches they look like blanket appaloosas not blankets. And this is with horses who are not hard on blankets!!
The liners aren’t holding up much better; all of them have at least one back snap that’s broken, and the stuffing is starting to poke through along the stitching, not to mention the fact that the fabric seems to be wearing through in places.
We’re heading in to spring, and, as you may imagine, the blankets are about as waterproof as cheesecloth, so I’m looking for other blanketing options. There’s no way I’m shelling out more money to line Horsewear’s pockets!!
A couple of barn mates had horses with Bucas blankets. They look fabulous and basically brand new, and I was shocked to learn that they were all a couple of years old!! A little patch on the rump, or a little pulling on a second-hand fly sheet were the only indications they had been used. I know quality has gone down for many blanket companies - are the new Bucas (say 2018/2019/2020/2021ish) holding up as well as these blankets seem to be?? Specifically the silver power turnout line.
I was told by one barnmate that the power turnout is good over a huge range of temperatures: -5 to +16 degrees celsius according to their website; -25 to +13 for the power turnout Extra. Does this hold up in people’s experience? They’re pretty expensive so I’m leery of going out and buying 6 new blankets plus 6 new necks to test this out and find out I need to constantly supplement with liners etc. I was thinking of getting the power turnout as a rain/fall/spring blanket and the power turnout extra as a winter blanket (supplemented with a liner or two when it gets below -25). Having a blanket that versatile over such a large range of temps sounds too good to be true TBH. With the liners I find there’s a lot of switching between fill/no fill necks and liner weights as temperatures fluctuate.
I’ve read the Bucas have a tendency to shift to one side - have they improved or are they still like that? The horsewears seem to be pretty good at sliding 2-6 inches off centre so I’d be a little.
How are they for rubbing? I have one delicate flower (who gets sheepskin everything) who usually has some sad rubs on each shoulder from his blankets, but the other two are showing little rubs this year as well - even the tank of a pony has a little, barely noticeable one just below his windpipe (probably from eating all the time, but still). The blankets seem to also rub out a section of mane, the mare’s lost about 1/2 of hers, the gelding about 6 inches, and the pony about 4. It’s not completely gone, just won’t grow over an inch or two, and what grows is thinner than the rest of the mane. I know a lot of blankets will do this, but are the Bucas perhaps a bit better? I’ve noticed my mare and the delicate gelding are both becoming a little averse to blanketing this year, so I’d love to switch them to something they’re happier in. Fit-wise the pony and mare are tanks (beefy shoulders all the way) and the gelding has fairly narrow shoulders but widens towards the rear (think broodmare that ain’t).
So TL; DR: What are people’s experience with Bucas blankets in the last couple of years? How’s the durability? Does the Power Turnout line really cover such large temperature range? Do they rub? Do they shift badly?