Saturday, December 1, 2007

Bulging Out At The Seams

Brego is starting to mature into his hefty self at a ripe ol' age of 7. I don't have any papers on him to know his birthday, but I was lucky enough to get him accurately aged at 4.5 and have thankfully kept track as time goes on. I am not thrilled about him bulking up, because I will get to make some tough decision about his jumping career. On the other hand, though, I am glad Brego is growing into his genetic potential. I can throw an eventing saddle on him, but at the end of the day, he's a draft horse, and he should never look like a Thoroughbred.

So good for porky Brego.

However, his blankets have started to look like some pop diva, way past her youthful prime, at her unfortunate return to the stage. In other words, a little tight. No one wants to see that. And since his body clip is almost grown out, and it's a balmy 70 degrees here in Texas in December, he will get clipped again and will need to be blanketed on the off chance we get some winter weather here.

Last winter, I bought him an 84" WeatherBeeta Arion (now discontinued) in medium weight, an excellent blanket with lots of features I enjoy. This year, the blanket has started to look a little, er, tight across the chest. Also, since he is clipped, I wanted to get a plain turnout sheet as well, for milder days. And maybe a heavyweight. Oh, and I need a cooler because he is still an active sweater. You can see where this is going.

Turns out, it's really hard to find a blanket much bigger than 84" off the shelf in all the popular brands, and those that you do find are cut for some mammoth Thoroughbred who is long and skinny, not broad through the chest, barrel, and butt like my guy.

Enter, Schneider's "Big Fella" line of blankets. It still makes me giggle to type "Big Fella". They've got sizes that go up to "Elephant" and they are cut to be broad. I bought a turnout sheet for my "Big Fella" and it is backordered, so I couldn't check the fit. I then ordered a heavyweight and hoody in 84", and it came in yesterday (very fast shipping). It's really well built, has some nice features, and an excellent price point. I am happy to say, it was made to fit Brego. So, unless he grows more (please, don't grow more), I will not need to venture into scary 87"-90" land.

I also bought an 84" Rambo Newmarket cooler so Brego wouldn't feel left out from the Cool Event Horse clique. It's what all the hipsters are wearing this season. Unfortunately, Schneider's doesn't make a "Big Fella" (hee hee) fleece cooler. The Rambo fits adequately, but it's too snug in the chest (and non adjustable, duh!) for long term use due to rubbing. Since I have the heavyweight "Big Fella" though, I should not need to double its use as a liner and it's fine for just cooling him out. Somewhere along the way, I also bought an 84" non-"Big Fella" fleece cooler from Schneiders and that didn't come close to fitting Brego. It now dwarfs Hobby who looks like a little sister waiting to grow into her big girl clothes.

Someday soon, I will replace the WeatherBeeta medium weight with another "Big Fella". It's time to stop denying Brego needs to shop at the Big & Tall store. That's ok, there's just more of him to love.


Anonymous said...

UUGGHH- the blanket woes. I just (I mean 2 hours ago) picked up a Rambo XL medium weight for my "husky" gelding. He's 10 and I swear he's growing (out and up). He outgrew all the blankets I bought last year! I've tried to explain that his clothing habit is expensive and I can't afford it, but he doesn't listen too well...

jbb said...

Hi There! I did a google search for 'Big Fella' and your blog was #2 (my ad on Craigs List is #1). You'd think it would be Schneiders... Anyway - I have an 86 in the turnout sheet that I would like to sell. It's a little to big for my small Percheron mare, and it was too late to return it by the time I figured it out. I've added fleece o the withers and some elastic to the neck (to try to give it some give). I consider these improvements. They definitely haven't diminsihed the quality of the sheet. Let me know if you're interested, and we'll make a deal. Great blog!