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Rainproof sheets don't keep horse dry

My 27yo Percheron-TB cross has cushings and a heavy coat. We live in Virginia and horses have free access to sheds. I don’t want her out in the rain naked because her coat will NEVER dry and she will get cold. I tried an off-brand waterproof 1200 denier blanket (sheet) with no fill, but after it rained, the lining was wet and her fur was damp/wet. So I sent that one back and bought a Weatherbeeta 1200 denier triple weave shell ComFiTec Plus Dynamic High Neck Lite (no fill) advertised as waterproof. And the same thing happened. After a rain, the lining underneath was wet and her fur was damp/wet. I checked to see if the horse was sweating, in which case her fur would be wet next to the skin, but she/it was not. Any idea what is going on here? Did I just get two bad sheets? Or is something else happening? My other old medium-weight Weatherbeetas are still waterproof after years of use.

I’ve really had it with turnout sheets. The waterproofing doesn’t seem to last more than a year. I wonder if the washing process ruins it, or just exposure to the elements after a period of time. Even the waterproofing spray doesn’t seem to last long either. I’ve had my blankets sent out to be re-waterproofed professionally and it hasn’t worked. Did it myself and it lasted a year.

I just bought a snapping turtle blanket and so far, so good but it’s been only a month. I hope this one lasts. It seems to be made well.

You could try a Horseware Rhino, which has the waterproofing within a layer between the inner and outer surfaces.

Did they leak, or are they actually not breathable enough, and the dampness on the underside is from the horse?

Bit of Britain has, or at least had, a high neck no fill turnout sheet that I like a LOT. I also am a big fan of Schneider’s high neck Norlund medium weight turnout blanket. It’s physically light weight - husband picked up the box and I said “oh yay, the blanket is here” and he said “can’t be, it feels like there’s hardly anything in it.” :lol: Miss Mare (hers is on its 2nd Winter) had hers on the last 2 nights in our recent downpours (and it’s POURED), and my gelding wore his for the first time the last 2 nights, and both are dry to the skin.

My oldster thinks he’s a duck. The harder it rains, the more time he wants to spend outside splashing.

While not diagnosed cushings, he’s well into his 30’s and has coat so thick, its like he’s been accumulating it his entire life.

He finds ways to get wet despite his blanket being waterproof. He stands in the rain and the water pours down the neck opening, seeping into the lining and stuffing and spreading well inside over his withers and the front part of his shoulders. His chest is always soaked.

He tolerates a neck rug only in the coldest of situations, otherwise he rubs it off on trees so it lays loose and flapping, collecting rain, growing heavy, and twisting his blanket.

He can manage to get wetness across his bum (despite a tail flap), saturate his belly halfway up his sides (despite a deep drop on the blanket), and has even managed to get his flanks damp on occassion. I’m convinced he rolls in mud puddles when nobody is looking.

Despite all this, the important parts, his back and loins, manage to stay dry.

I’ve gone through well over a dozen different blankets and manufacturers over our 22 year relationship and apparently it matters not, where there is will there is a way.

Could be that water is running down her neck and underneath the blanket. Her HQ should not be wet though if that is the case.
Have you tried leaving her without a blanket? Normally, the rain will run off but the underneath coat will still be dry and fluffy. And she does have shelter.

Horse blankets are the #1 big ticket item sold by tack stores after saddles. It is in the $$$$ interests of the blanket manufacturers to have us buy new ones yearly. I’m a buy it once, take good care of it and it should last forever kind of person. Ridiculous to throw out a blanket in good as new shape because the waterproofing is gone after one season.

Edit feature not working, but wanted to add: If any blanket manufacturers are reading these threads, I officially volunteer my gelding as a product tester :slight_smile: if there is a flaw of any kind, he’ll find it in record time :slight_smile:

Amigo XL.

I haven’t found a more waterproof blanket than an Amigo (not the hero 6 line, the actual 1200D line).

If it’s cold her sweat could be coming off her as steam, steaming through her haircoat, and condensing on the inside of the blanket. I often find the inside of my rainsheet has a slightly sticky, damp feel to it in colder rains but the horse is dry so it’s not coming through the waterproofing.

Amigo XL.

I haven’t found a more waterproof blanket than an Amigo (not the hero 6 line, the actual 1200D line).[/QUOTE]

I’ve got the cheapest 600d Amigo Mio on my gelding and he has stayed dry underneath through days and days of dumping rain here in Central California.

I bought the Mio after his first one lasted 7 years before it finally got a small tear in the liner. He is not rough on blankets though.

My mare is little harder on her clothes so she has the 1200d Hero.

Another vote for Horseware Rhino. I have one and my horse stays dry (2 yrs old). I also have a Gore-tex sheet from Classic Coverups (Club Dry) and it’s probably about 6 or 7 years old and it’s still waterproof. I can put my boy out all day in rain and he stays dry. To prevent the possibility of other horses biting or ripping the sheet I use a Kensington protective fly sheet on over top.

If they have access to a shelter then I wouldn’t worry about a rain sheet. They dry if winter coat gets wet.

Around here, which includes Virginia where the OP is, these drenching, coat-soaking, saturated to the skin rains are usually on the leading edge of cold fronts, bringing higher winds and colder temps. That’s awful for horses, and no, they don’t always dry before they get chilled to the bone. Having a shelter doesn’t mean they’ll use it.

Buy one that has a real guarantee behind it… Like the Dover Northwind, or the Smartpak Ultimate.


Fabric breathability can halt or slow for three reasons:
1. Moisture may not move through the fabric fast enough. If this occurs, you will get wet from the inside via trapped perspiration. In dry environments, most “breathable” fabrics work well. In semi-humid environments, waterproof-breathable fabrics struggle. In very humid environments, nothing is going to keep you dry, sorry.
2. The “outside” humidity is too high. If the outside air is nearly saturated with water vapor already, there is simply no capacity for it to absorb additional vapor generated by you. When you perspire, it remains next-to-skin, unable to evaporate.
3. The fabric can “wet out,” or become saturated with water. When this occurs, usually due to the failure of a durable water repellant (DWR) finish, the outside humidity is essentially 100 percent. Moisture on the inside of the fabric cannot pass through these saturated spots. And, in fact, if humidity inside the jacket is less than 100 percent, then moisture can transmit into the jacket from these saturated spots, since it’s actually less humid inside than outside the fabric. This scenario explains why it’s important to regularly restore DWR finishes of rainwear, like by using ReviveX Synthetic Fabric Cleaner

Get drenching rain here also then cold and wind…horses stand out in it. No blankets never seen them shake even totally soaked. Once sun comes out they dry off.

I have a rain sheet from Schneider’s that’s 2 or 3 years old that still keeps my old boy dry; it’s a 1680 denier, if that matters.

Are you aware that you can buy spray cans of waterproofing stuff at a number of sporting goods stores? I use that whenever I need to repair little ouchies on the outside layer of the sheet.

If the top of his hair is slightly damp but his skin is dry it’s probably because at some point he was too warm, and the sweat couldn’t fully evaporate through a soaked sheet.

If his skin is dry he’ll be fine.

I’ve had horses in full coat get rained on when it’s 45 degrees or so and end up miserable and shivering. It doesn’t happen often, but some horses are much more cold sensitive than others.

I also try and keep my old horse in a rain sheet in rainy weather when he’s got a full winter coat (unless it’s in the 70s like last week!) because he’s prone to rain rot. He too will sometimes feel a little damp under there, but his skin is dry on his back which is what really matters.

Buy one that has a real guarantee behind it… Like the Dover Northwind, or the Smartpak Ultimate.[/QUOTE]

Don’t bother with the Smartpak Ultimate. I bought one of those a few weeks ago for my mare and it’s being returned as soon as her replacement comes in. It was leaking at the seams the first time she was out in the rain.

I called Smartpak and the rep actually told me that their rainsheets aren’t meant to keep horses dry when it’s dumping rain outside :eek::confused: In fact, she told me that no blankets are really waterproof for that. Excuse me? I have $60 Amigos/Rambos/Northwinds/Weatherbeetas that are still waterproof after years of use and once per year washing. So anyway, back to Amigo I go because at least they’re cheap to replace.

Much as the bucas rainsheets fit a bit “funny” on TB and WBs alike, and give mine wedgies, they do prevent mine getting wet. Callie wore one, she was a TB. Cloudy and Hattie are WBs and wear them. While it’s too hot here most of the year for any sheets, at least the bucas works for months.

I prefer rambo for the fit for sheets and blankets for both TB and WB. But despite the Bucas rain sheets, make sure you get the neck rug as well, not fitting big round horses of any breed as well as the rambos do, they suffice in rain and cool weather. In cold rain, I use the rambo supreme turnouts with neck rugs.

Always buy the neck rugs when you buy a sheet or blanket.