The Sunday Review: Rider’s International Blanket by Dover Saddlery

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OVERVIEW:

The Rider’s International line of turnout blankets is a brand sold exclusively through Dover Saddlery.   I found this blanket in a bargain bin at the store for a fraction of the original price tag (Seriously I think I bought it for $28).  This is a discontinued item but the new version of this blanket is still available and called Rider´s International® by Dover Saddlery® Medium Weight Supreme Turnout Blanket.

The blanket is medium weight, coming with 200g of fill.  The exterior of the blanket is a 1200 denier ripstop teflon coated polyester material.

The blanket is fluffy and light yet keeps the horses quite warm.

The sides of the blanket are long and fit a wider frame or deep heart girth easily.


PROS:

  • Fit
    • Blade was a large horse with a deep heart girth.  He had a nice wide build.  I have run into situations where the sides were too short on him.  For this blanket, however, the sides were nice and deep.
  • Price
    • I did a double-take when I found this blanket.  I know it isn’t quite fair that I am reviewing a blanket I found for $28 but the new version is just as great with a good price tag.  The blanket, new, is about $150.
  • Quality
    • I was very impressed with the quality of this blanket.  I have used it a couple of seasons now and it is still in remarkably good shape.

 

CONS

  • Length of belly straps
    • My only complaint about this blanket so far is the excessive length of the belly straps.  I don’t keep them tight to the belly but I prefer them to be close.  If horses lie down they can easily get a hoof caught in an overly loose belly surcingle.  The blanket I bought was always too loose in the belly for Blade even at it’s shortest setting.  I love how roomy the blanket is but I wish there was an option to tighten the fit.

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Tips:

Not specifically for the blanket itself but for turnout blankets in general:

  • Belly Surcingles crisscross.
  • Rear straps go around each leg, crisscrossing in the middle
  • Fit the belly surcingles relatively close to the barrel of the horse (no more than an inch or two of space preferably) to prevent legs getting caught.
  • Frequently remove the blanket and check underneath.  Check your horse for rubbing, healthy skin, healthy weight.
  • During inclement weather always check under the blanket to make sure the blanket is still waterproof.
  • Keeping blankets clean is crucial, but over-washing blankets can deteriorate the waterproofing.  Always make sure you are using the recommended detergent and follow care instructions to keep your turnout rugs looking good (I use Rambo Wash).

Alternatives:

A few other brands you might have heard of:

  • Schneider’s AMRMORFlax Warrior VTEK ($229-339)
  • WeatherBeeta ($200-250)
  • Horseware Ireland’s Rambo ($300-450)
  • Tough-1 ($90-150)
  • Saxon ($70-100)


Final Word:

Dover’s exclusive brand Rider’s International makes high quality and affordable turnout blankets.  It is good quality, waterproof, breathable, and fits well.  I am not in love with the overly long belly surcingles but for the price, I paid it was 100% worth every penny.  I imagine I will get many more uses out of it before it bites the dust.

If you are interested in getting one for your own simply visit:

DoverSaddlery.com

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