I've spent the last couple of days knee deep in blankets. I've finally finished re-waterproofing all of the ones that I think might need it. Now I just need to finish getting them distributed around to their various storage places and we'll be ready to go. Hopefully by being prepared this means they won't be needed for awhile!
I've had a couple of people ask what I use for the waterproofing. I like to use Aqua Armor because it is made for use on outdoor fabrics. It does not discolor anything and the breathability of the fabric is not affected. For any blanket that is either on its last legs and I'm just trying to squeeze another year or two out of, or of a brand that tends to lose the waterproofing fast, I use Thompson's Water Seal. This will get the blanket waterproof but it does sometimes discolor the fabric and it will also weaken the fabric over time and make it easier to tear. I can usually get away with a couple of seasons of Thompson's Water Seal and then it is time for a new blanket.
As far as what brand of blanket I like, Rambo by Horseware hands down. I like anything by Horseware and also like their mid-price Rhino line as well. I know it can be hard to swallow paying $350 for a horse blanket, but I have one Rambo that is going into its 14th season. It is still waterproof. Granted the horse that wears it is not hard on his blankets and I have always made sure the blanket was washed correctly (no detergent and line dried) but you can't complain about the lifespan of this blanket. I am also a fan of Bucas blankets.
There are lots of brands that come in second place. Dover Northwinds and Dover Riders, Weatherbeetas and Pessoas come to mind. I don't love them the way I love the Horseware blankets and they don't have the longevity but they get the job done just fine. Schneiders would be one of my least favorite brands. The blankets tend to be durable and hold up well. My issue with them is the waterproofing. No matter how carefully you wash and handle them the waterproofing seems to disappear after the first season. I've also had two Schneiders blankets be completely soaked through the first time they were used, literally straight out of the packaging. Since I consider being waterproof to be a vital component of a turnout blanket I rank them low despite the fact they seem to be hold up well enough otherwise. After a Schneiders blanket has been washed (I should add washed correctly and line dried) I reach straight for the Thompson's Water Seal as I assume the waterproofing is gone.
Since opinions are worth what you pay for them that should tell you what all of the above is worth!!
Lined up and ready for waterproofing
blankets were everywhere
Sorting through all of boxes that have been sent recently with my supervisors looking on
George and Silver
Snappy rolling, Lightening and Noble grazing
Cinnamon and Traveller
Tiny, Johnny and Rampal