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Discussion on Blankets - preventing rubbing behind withers

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LL
Member
Username: frances

Post Number: 1101
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, Sep 17, 2010 - 8:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Knowing how inventive HA'ers are, I was wondering whether any of you have found a way of preventing blanket rubs behind the wither?

My mare has always had high withers, and now that she is getting on in years they're even more prominent. Last winter she got a couple of nasty rubs and I don't quite know what I'm going to do this year.

I have a whole selection of light/medium/thick/waterproof/flyproof etc blankets - some of them quite new - and I don't really know whether just one or two of them are to blame or all. My trainer says they all pull back, and she thinks I would have been better getting the "high neck" variety (I didn't know they existed but now I see on the net that a few brands offer them).

1) Does anyone have any experience with these high neck blankets, i.e. would they solve the problem or would I end up with an empty wallet and even more blankets which all cause sores?

2) Better still, does anyone know a way of adapting my existing rugs? Darts? Buying a bib and attaching a foam "donut" shape to it under the blankets (maybe a hole would need to be cut in the wither area to allow for the space taken up by the foam ring)?

Any ideas most gratefully accepted!
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 6059
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Friday, Sep 17, 2010 - 11:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

You can use some nylon or tricot and hand stitch a lining onto the areas that rub. This allows the material to glide without rubbing. If it's just where the edge of the blanket puts pressure on the neck/withers, you can line with sheepskin. If the blankets are too tight, however, you'll need to get new blankets. Some horses just don't do well with the cut-back style. I am in love with the Schneider's adjustable neck blankets. They have tabs on either side of the neck so you can adjust the fit. I've never had a rub with them. Be careful of the really high necked blankets that come way up on the neck to just behind the head. I've had those rub out the mane. You need to use a slinky hood under them imo. You can also buy slinkys or Robinhoods to go under the blankets, but if your horse is like mine, if they are turned out in the ones that go over their head, they can shred them in about 5 mins. of turnout. They work great in the stalls.
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 7140
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Friday, Sep 17, 2010 - 5:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've seen a few of these around and they seem to work VERY well.

http://www.bossysbibs.com/
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 897
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Friday, Sep 17, 2010 - 6:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi LL,

A few years back I had a very large Standardbred mare with very pronounced withers. I found a blanket called a Rhino Rug that was just the ticket. Waterproof too! The neck portion went 1/4 of the way up the neck. I also used a Sleazy under it to protect her shoulders and this helped protect her withers as well. The Sleazy stays put even if the blanket rubs. I would buy a size larger than you need in the Sleazy to help cover the area that rubs. The straps are adjustable on the Sleazy.

I have also had good luck with using a fitted cooler under the blanket.

Rachelle
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Sandra Ross
Member
Username: sross

Post Number: 141
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Sep 17, 2010 - 7:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Last winter I used 2 Rhino rugs (light and medium). No rubs whatsoever. My barn owner (who ends up doing the blanketing) thinks these are the best rugs ever. Another horse in our barn has the same rugs, and they do great for that horse also. With the slightly longer neck, it seemed to keep my horse extra dry even in the snow and the wet.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 6060
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Sep 18, 2010 - 12:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

With the Rhino rugs it depends a lot on the size and conformation of the horse. For some breeds that are more narrow or shorter backed, they don't fit as well. I have a couple that are great on one of our stallions and a gelding we have, but are too big in the chest and neck for the lighter built horses. They are a very well made blanket, however.

Those bibs look very useful. There is also an things called "under-alls" that is similar but I think it has a strap that goes around the belly.
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LL
Member
Username: frances

Post Number: 1103
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Saturday, Sep 18, 2010 - 8:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks so much for the responses.

Sara W: all my blankets are lined with sheepskin at the wither, and I don't think they're too tight. Maybe they're too loose, as they slip back and that's where the damage is done, but they don't LOOK too big either. Pressure seems to be exerted in two spots, one just behind the wither and the other slightly further back. It may well be that the cutback style doesn't work for her, as you say. I had a look at the Schneider's adjustable and it looks really good.

Rachelle and Sandra: the Rhino Rug looks and sounds great. However my horse IS narrow and fairly short backed, which Sara says is not the best conformation for the Rhino. Hmm.

Diane: that Bossy Bib looks very good. I would think that even though the injury may be caused more by tightening pressure than actual friction, it might still do the job. I'll show it to my trainer and get her take on it.

I really appreciate you all taking the time to help. Will let you know! Thanks again.
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LL
Member
Username: frances

Post Number: 1145
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, Dec 23, 2010 - 7:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, in the end I bought two new rugs, both combos (with full necks). One is the Weatherbeeta Joules combo turnout rug, 220gr polyfill, and the other is the Saxon combo turnout rug, 180gr polyfill (also made by Weatherbeeta).

The fit is excellent for her shape, and having
no seam at the withers makes them really comfortable for her. You can always fold the neck back if it's not cold enough to need it.
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