Manufacturer: Big "D"
Model: Grand Prix (Special Order)
Purchase: I wanted to find a warm, good quality blanket for my Paint mare, "Dreamer" (about 5 years ago, now). Our Canadian winters can be pretty brutal, with temperatures not fit for man nor beast - I needed something pretty heavy duty. After searching in local shops, I was having a really hard time...most blankets are not made to properly fit small horses - they're bulky and ill-fitting. And the fact that I'm just a *little* bit picky might have had something to do with my trouble...I would only settle for a blanket in "her" favourite colour, Purple. After doing an online search, I found the perfect blanket on www.blanketbarn.com. They had a great selection and their prices seemed fair. I was able to custom order a Big "D" winter blanket (a brand name that I recognized as good quality), in my choice of size and colour combination. The price, while still a bit steep, is pretty fair for such a high-quality blanket - I believe the blanket was listed for about $160.00 USD. The website boasts free US shipping, however because I'm located in Canada, this offer didn't apply. In fact, at the time the company would not ship to Canada at all...thankfully they agreed to ship to an American friend of mine, who shipped it on to me.
Likes: There are so many things that I love about this blanket! The fit comes to mind first...instead of being your generic bulky, square shape, it is fitted to my horse (curved withers, rump, rounded edges). The quality of the materials is superb; I've had the blanket for about 5 years now, and have never had to repair any tears in the fabric. And after being cleaned several times, the inside fill hasn't broken down, or bunched together. I'm totally impressed by the warmth that this blanket offers; Even on the coldest days (up to -30C, maybe colder), if I stick my hand underneath, I find that my mare is warm, but not sweaty. To add to her warmth, I was able to custom-order a full belly band, that keeps her toasty and helps to keep the blanket in place.
Dislikes: I'm really not sure if there's anything that I don't like about this blanket. I suppose it could be improved by having better buckles on the chest...right now it uses thin nylon straps that are woven through holes/grommets in the front. A more permanent, sturdy buckle would probably be best.
Quality: As previously described, the quality is impeccable. After about 5 years, I've never had to repair tears in the fabric, but have once had to replace a buckle on the belly band. It has a tough 1000 denier shell, that is wind/waterproof - I have never had anything soak through, even at seams. The liner is a light nylon, that helps to promote air flow, and keeps her coat nice and smooth. The buckles and D-rings are all securely attached...I really can't say enough about the quality!
Summary: Overall, this is a fantastic product, that I would highly recommend. The dealer was great to work with, although the product would be more affordable if purchased from within the US. I am currently in need of a new blanket for another horse, but because of the hassle of shipping to Canada, I have a lot of pennies to save before I can purchase another. I highly suggest you look into a Big "D" if you need a warm, high quality blanket, especially if you want a custom blanket, but don't want to pay typical custom prices. Your horse will be able to comfortably play outside in colder climates - and will look smashing while doing it!
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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