2014 Blanketing Strategy

Last year, Connor proved that the 69" Amigo Bravo 12 was too small, and he ended up in a 72", which fit SO well:

Beautiful, isn't it?

Unfortunately, when homeboy learned he could scrape up against the one stretch of woven wire fencing in his paddock to give himself that authentic "survived a horror movie" look, it died a painful death:

That white spot is stuffing hanging out of the butt flap, which along with the entire left side of the blanket, looked like they'd been slashed from shoulder to tail with razor blades.

So non-Rambo Horseware Ireland's fit great, but I am not made of money, so an authentic Rambo that would stand up to his shenanigans is out.  I needed something that could be replaced.  For free.  No questions asked.  Enter the Smartpak Ultimate Turnout sheet (the one they will replace an unlimited number of times for 10 years), which I got on clearance in August for $125:



I ordered a 72" in this based on the Amigo.  I didn't like the fit that much, but thought it was okay.  However, I have seriously changed my mind this week after he's worn it 24/7 for a month.  It just does not fit well.  It's too long, the neck opening is too big, and it's going to rub his shoulders eventually.

I am not a huge fan of Smartpak, mostly due to their non-supplementing-horse-owner shaming tactics, but I turn to them for expensive purchases that I might need to return: blankets, clippers, helmets.  And it paid off.  They are letting me exchange...this:


Which he's been wearing for a month.

for a brand new 69", AND they're sending the new one immediately so he won't be without his only blanket, AND all I have to do is clean the 72" and put it in the 69" box and send it back.

My plan for this sheet is to use my 100g, 200g and 300g Rambo liners underneath it, which have proven to work perfectly with it even in turnout, and let Smartpak replace the sheet however many times he can destroy them over the next ten years.  If it works out, I will have paid $265 over 10 years for a complete set of sheet/light/medium/heavy blankets for him, or about $26/year.

Anyone else getting creative with blankets this winter?

25 comments:

  1. Glad you have your blanketing situation figured out....but I'm surprised that you're not a huge SP fan. I love all the SP things, have you had a negative experience with their customer service before?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Couple of reasons. #1, I do not like their marketing techniques designed to get you to buy supplements. I know enough to answer "Nothing!" to the question "What is Connor missing?" but plenty of people don't. #2, I once interviewed with them and was granted an on-site, but they were going to pay me what would have amounted to the poverty level in Boston. #3, I prefer to shop smaller tack shops, which we don't have any around here, so I usually turn to Adams or Victory Canter. But while I would feel horrible returning a used blanket to one of those places, I have less remorse about doing it to SP, who clearly wants us to do things like that.

      Delete
    2. You know, you and I should chat sometime ;)

      Delete
    3. I have gotten the feeling that we should...I also get the feeling that I dodged a big bullet with that one.

      Delete
  2. Pretty sweet deal! I on the other hand am a devoted SmartPak customer! Never had anything less than great experiences with them and their products. Even now that I don't have a horse, we use their joint supplement for my 13 year old Sheltie. She went from arthritic to puppy after we started it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I looked into that when we were putting Tucker on a joint supplement, but ended up getting Cosequin DS off of Amazon for less than what Smartpak was charging! I agree though, the joint supplement has made the biggest difference for our 9 year old/80lb Husky mix. He thinks he's 5 years old now!

      Delete
  3. I am so sad that blanket didn't work out for Guinness. It's just not meant for those high withered/big shouldered guys. :( I wanted to go with a Dover Northwind medium weight, but they didn't offer the options I was hoping for, like, you know. A medium weight. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it may not work for Connor either, we'll see what the 69" looks like. Blanketing is so hard.

      Delete
  4. While I'm sure a rambo would work just fine for Mr. Courage, they are not in my financial horizon anywhere. He actually fit best in the 81" smartpak blanket last year, so this year I sold my non-smartpak blankets and then bought another smartpak in the 78", which is actually his size.

    Plus I have assorted liners and a random sheet. So yeah, not super coordinated, but he should be warm and happy all winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Smartpak Thinsulate medium weight blanket fit Pig perfectly for many years, but finally fell apart last year (still useable as a liner on super cold days, though!). However, the Ultimate SP blanket didn't fit in the slightest. Have you noticed a change in their blanket types?

      Delete
  5. Glad to hear that SP is going to be looking after your best interest. You may not like them, but it's wonderful that they are coming through for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally. I very much appreciate it.

      Delete
  6. oh...having 4 horses I am blessed they are all basically the same size give or take an inch or two!

    Knowing this winter is supposed to be horrible, I have been slowly purchasing all the blankets I still need...I have a huge pile now. Happy horses...blanket hoarder :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hoard away, Canadian! I don't know how you do it up there.

      Delete
  7. Great minds think alike. I just reviewed this blanket lol bought it for the same reason as you "new blanket every year!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, and posting it on the same day too, we are joined at the brain. Yeah, I figure you can't go wrong with this thing as long as it fits. I looked at the medium too, but the liners are working well. Although if I had the medium too I could get rid of everything but his 100g liner...hmmm...

      Delete
  8. werk that system!! sounds like a great long-term strategy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so! I have been massively wrong with blankets in the past, so we'll see.

      Delete
  9. You know, I should totally do my yearly cost of blankets haha. I need to purchase Simon one of our barn blankets medium weight, but the price has me sticker shocked a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barn blankets, like, they want you to get a particular style/model?

      Delete
    2. Not required, but encouraged. They're nice blankets though so I'm fine with it.

      Delete
  10. I have a love/hate relationship with SP. Their customer service is unbeatable and the 10 year guarantee sounds like a great deal. But I don't like their supplement marketing either (it's very more more more!)

    I like the strategy of the sheet with the fillers underneath - I haven't even considered that! (Total blanketing noob here) I still haven't decided what to do for maggie...right now she's still fuzzy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, love/hate is a good way to describe it. The liners are great! I can't decide if they are more or less work for the barn staff, and I am in the process of getting tags for them so they know which is which. I think the worst part is you can't tell at a glance what Connor has on.

      Delete
  11. I'm going to answer your question about blanketing strategy in a post. Great idea for a topic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I can't wait to read it. It is such an art and not a science.

      Delete

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP