By By Nina Fedrizzi
Most days, I feel bad for my jeans. Once, they held a place of honor in my closet; a premier shelf where they could be neatly folded and grabbed at a moment’s notice, for a work meeting or an impromptu night out. These days they sit, partially buried, unworn, and forgotten. My leggings, on the other hand, have never seen more love. (Here’s looking at you, Lycra!)
Like the proliferation of meme culture, outdoor dining pods, and a world without hunter line-up jogs (hurray!), our new dependence on athleisure wear, everywhere, has changed how we approach the world forever. For equestrians, there’s no time like the present to reevaluate how we think about fit, comfort, and technology—in our horses’ wardrobes as well as our own.
Enter the brand new, Anatomeq Fit blanket: a revolutionary design that’s about to become your horse’s equivalent of your favorite pair of leggings. The Fit probably doesn’t look like anything you’ve ever seen before, and for Anatomeq Owner and CEO Taylor Stafford, that’s just the idea.
“As with all Anatomeq products, we design 100 percent from scratch and seek to be completely innovative in what we deliver to market. We have no interest in re-creating our own, branded version of a product that already exists,” Taylor says. “The inspiration behind the design [for the Fit] was actually athleisure wear.
“As humans, we gravitate toward particular styles of clothing for comfort; clothing that has stretch and is shaped in a way that doesn’t constrict our movements. Yet, with horses, we still blanket them in materials that have no give and are [often] not shaped to fit properly.”
Right out of the box, my first impression of the Fit was that it actually looks and feels like a wetsuit. With no buckles on the front, it’s designed to go over your horse’s head, creating a more anatomical fit than traditional blankets. In this way, it aims to reduce shifting, slips, and pressure points, even when your horse moves and rolls. The goal? Fewer rub marks on the neck, withers, and shoulders.
This blanket is also lightweight, weighing in at the equivalency of just 50g of polyfill (for reference, your average medium-weight rug contains 250g of fill), meaning it can be worn under other blankets as a liner, or as a standalone piece in warmer climates. The Fit’s blend of Polyester and Spandex is also super versatile, and its unique wicking capabilities mean that it can be used as a cooler (yep, you read that right!), thereby streamlining the number and type of blankets you need to own and maintain all year long.
My horse is based in Upstate New York, and despite the frequent, wild fluctuations in temperature that occur here this time of year, I found that in the Fit, “D” stayed toasty and dry under one, two, and on a couple of occasions, three rugs, while never seeming to overheat. “The fabric we sourced for the Fit is a three-dimensional spacer fabric, [meaning] it acts as a breathable sponge, [holding] air pockets within its core,” Taylor explains. “This creates a thermo-regulating effect, where the air inside the fabric remains warm from your horse’s body heat, yet the fabric also allows for moisture evaporation.”
Taylor, herself, knows a thing or two about Northern climates. The Quebec native designs and manufacturers all of her products in Canada, using her own, first-hand experiences with horse blanketing, combined with extensive industry feedback. The result is a modern-styled rug with unique yet practical sensibilities.
“I often witnessed horses with wither, shoulder, and mane rubs, and even muscle indentations from poor-fitting, constricting blankets,” says Taylor, who spent two full years researching and testing her products before Anatomeq launched in 2020. “I felt like there had to be a better solution for our horses.”
What’s more, Stafford, who majored in Environment and Sustainability Studies at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, is bringing her sustainable know-how to Anatomeq’s corporate ethos. “Finding ways to minimize our negative impact on the planet has always been extremely important to me. I’m constantly [looking to make] sustainable choices within our day-to-day operations,” Taylor says. To that end, the brand re-purposes or recycles all fabric waste from its production, avoids leather and animal by-products, and uses recycled content and sustainable fabrics whenever possible in its designs.
A small business that prioritizes function and comfort in its products while keeping an eye toward improving the world around them? It’s just one more way that in this post-pandemic, post-blue-jean world, Anatomeq is the horse blanket company we need now.