Jennifer Zarek on the CoolHeat Rug, Posted on the Equine Touch Forum
I’ve now had one for a couple of months, and it is certainly having a test in this weather! It first went on in late October and was brilliant in the variable temperatures in November (remember when it was warm?!). I was away for a week and didn’t have to worry about someone thinking about changing rugs for me. In this very cold weather I do have a 100 gram turnout over the top, as we can only turn and run around out for a couple of hours a day, and her ladyship is warm and snug in that combination. When the hunt met at the yard and she got in a muck sweat climbing the walls with excitement, she was dripping – and dried off in a civilised fashion without soaking the rug or getting chilled.
It has been particularly interesting to compare with other horses I’ve been ETing (Equine Touch Therapy) recently. I’ve come across some wearing five rugs! – and the owner says the horse is still not warm. My observation is that quite often the bottom rug is one with a polyester lining, which is very slightly damp – from the poor horse sweating when it does move around? – leaving it feeling very cold to the touch. Fair dos, clipped thoroughbreds do need more rugging than my unclipped Irish Draught, and I can’t comment on how the Cool Heat would work on a clipped horse with no hair for self regulation – but I rather suspect that it would still be good as the bottom layer, keeping the horse dry and allowing some air circulation, and any number of stable rugs could go on top.
So in response to people who enquired or commented, I am a total convert. Little niggles, of course. I reserve judgement as to how robust the lining with the spacers is. It is a fairly thin layer and I fear susceptible to tearing. And it would be nice to have a clip rather than buckle fastening at the front. But it is well cut and constructed. The “carrots” – the spacers (which happen to be orange) – haven’t caused any rubbing at all, and there is none of the usual hair rubbing on the shoulders. The spacers do ruffle the coat slightly, so when you take the rug off, the horse looks a little like a zebra, but that brushes out. And, given my less than fastidious grooming regime, her coat does look rather greasily dirty, because it is not being constantly polished by a rug lining. But that is cosmetic and not a functional matter.
I have no vested interest in these rugs other than thinking that they are a Good Thing for horses, and I’d love other people to make them another Gift to their Horse alongside ET (Equine Touch).