By Betsy Kelley
Rubbing at the shoulders…pressure on the withers…rusted buckles…leaking…
These are just a few of the more common issues equestrians come up against when choosing a blanket for their horse. Now, add in to this equation the hundreds of brands, shapes, materials, and colors available and it’s easy to become totally overwhelmed when trying to choose the right blanket.
It can feel a little bit like playing Goldilocks when trying to find the right fit for your horse. Fortunately, Noble Outfitters stepped up to the challenge of creating the perfect fit with their new GUARDSMAN™ TURNOUT BLANKET. Unlike many blanket brands who carry an overwhelming variety of different shapes, weights, materials, and sub-brands; Noble Outfitters chose to take into consideration the most common input from equestrians purchasing a new blanket, and created a super-blanket to resolve all of the major fit issues. One blanket, one color, one solution. No more dredging through pages and pages of different blankets just wishing someone would tell you which one to buy!
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth
This blanket rocks. I have a 28 year old Arabian x Saddlebred cross who looks like a Warmblood crossed with a shark. Her withers could cut a watermelon in two. I’ve tried them all: high neck, cutback, fleece lined, you name it. I have enough blankets to clothe a show string for my ONE senior horse. We joke around about her being a “free range” horse, since she has constant access to a turnout paddock. What this translates into is a horse that loves standing outside in the Pacific Northwest downpours, and a fretting horse mom begging her to please just stay in her nice cushy stall. Read: Constantly blanketed.
The GUARDSMAN™ TURNOUT BLANKET had me skeptical at first. The advertising photos made it look lumpy around the withers, and had me concerned. Looks aren’t everything, but I was pretty sure staring at that lumpy wither would bother me. The good news is that it looked nothing like that once it was on my horse. This blanket is thoughtfully and intentionally created at every step of the process.
After a week of use, I love this blanket; it’s attractive, the pressure free wither is genius, and the quick connect buckles are amazing. It’s cold and wet here this time of year, and standard blanket buckles and gloves are a soul crushing combo. My mare is warm and dry with no unseemly blanket rubs, and the amount of angry grumbling when I take her blanket on and off every day has decreased dramatically. The only slightly negative thing I could say about this blanket is that it seems to run a bit big in the shoulders, and doesn’t have a ton of adjustability. Keeping that information in mind, this blanket is a must-have.