Manufacturer: Schneiders (View all products by Schneider's Saddlery)
Model: VTEK Turnout sheet, medium, heavy & neck cover (View all VTEK Turnout sheet, medium, heavy & neck cover reviews)
Purchase: My old mare wasn't putting on adequate winter coat, so I needed to get her outfitted for a northern winter. I wanted turnouts that would be durable, waterproof and comfortable for her to wear 24/7 for up to 6 months out of the year. A lot of folks recommended Schneiders, and I liked the different fit styles they offered. I wound up purchasing a turnout sheet, medium turnout, heavy turnout and neck cover all in the VTEK style which cost $605.
Likes: I like way the blanket is constructed, to relieve pressure at the withers. I also like the color options.
Dislikes: They are marketed as waterproof, breathable blankets. The first set I originally ordered lost its waterproofing within the first month of use. Blankets that soak through on an old, cold sensitive horse are not a good thing. I had to just manage the situation the first winter, since she needed to wear something 24/7. So I had to keep her in whenever it rained/snowed. We get a lot of rain/snow, so she was inside more than outside. This was very stressful for her, since she's used to living out. Once the weather warmed to the point where she could go unblanketed, I contacted Schneiders since there's a 2 year warranty on the blankets. I described the problem I was having and was given the runaround. It took a month of emails and phone conversations, finally culminating with informing them that I'd complain to the BBB before they'd honor the warranty and send me replacements. The replacements were very subtly different than the originals, most especially with the medium and heavy turnouts. It was very easy to distinguish between the original heavy and medium turnout. The replacement medium and heavy felt very similar, in terms of thickness. Luckily, they worked just as well at keeping my mare warm. This time, the waterproofing lasted 5 months before the replacements started soaking through. The seam in the lining of the replacement neck cover started giving way, which allowed moisture to soak through. I was rather surprised at this, since this horse is extremely easy on blankets. When I contacted Schneiders about this, they first wanted to send me tape to repair it. When I told them this wasn't acceptable, they didn't return my email. I again had to resort to threatening to complain to the BBB about this issue before they responded and agreed to send a replacement. This second replacement neck cover is very different from the original and first replacement. Its still a size medium, but its much larger than the other neck covers. Its so large that the hooks don't line up to the d-rings on the blanket, so its essentially useless. At this point, I'm quite tired of having to deal with this so I'm going to look into getting new turnouts for her. If I wasn't prompt about switching blanket weights, she'd get sweaty very easily.
Quality: The nylon is very easily torn. Gentle occasional rolling causes tears in the outer nylon and runs in the lining. The lining in the second neck cover spontaneously shredded. The first set wasn't waterproof, and the second set's waterproofing lasted a little longer but ultimately failed. The original medium and heavy weight felt and looked noticeably different, in terms of thickness and weight. The replacement medium and heavy weight felt and looked very similar but they performed adequately. The original and first replacement neck covers were exactly the same size. The second replacement neck cover is so much larger than the first two that its completely unusable.
Summary: Schneiders advertises that they make high quality, breathable, waterproof, durable blankets. My experience has been that they are not waterproof. They are not breathable. They are not durable. And they certainly aren't high quality. What I have are more stable blankets than turnout sheets, since I can't let my mare out of the barn in them. I wish I could get a full refund, since they were a complete waste of money. You'd be so much better off spending a little more on a higher quality blanket (like Rambo or Bucas) than wasting money on Schneiders.
Usefulness Rating: 4 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.
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