Model: Crusader Pasture Bug Armor Belly Guard
Category: Fly Control
Purchase: Bought from the Dover Saddlery website for $69.90 (this isn't the kind of thing any of our local saddle shops carry!)
Likes: My mare has sweet itch on her belly. She lives in our turnout and loves to roll, so is tough on horsewear (to say the least). I looked at every flysheet I could find and the Belly Guard was the only thing I could find that looked like it would work. I'd say it's unique. Since I bought this for her 3 weeks ago, my mare's sweet itch has cleared up almost completely (whether it's because it stops the bugs from biting her or her from biting her belly, I don't know).
Dislikes: Although it is made to be adjustable on the sides, there is no way to adjust the neck. My mare is a Morgan and has a thick neck, so the part that goes over the shoulders has to go way over her withers and part way up her neck. She's very sweet and doesn't kick, but if a horse was a kicker, I'd be wary of having to run the back anchor straps between his legs and up on either side of his tail.
Quality: The fabric is light but strong. The part that goes over her back is lightweight nylon. The part that goes around her belly is a nylon mesh. None of it has torn or even looks old, with all of her rolling. I have washed it a couple of times and the dirt comes out easily in a bucket of water with dish washing detergent. All of it, except the padded chest piece, dries within 30 minutes in the sun. I guess it's comfortable, because she doesn't complain about it (and she IS a complainer). She broke a few buttons off of the belly guard, but Cashel had included replacements in the packaging. They were really easy to install -- only required fingers! There was also a note that said I could call Cashel customer service and they would send me more. I got right through to a very helpful lady and she sent me out 15 extras at no charge.
Summary: Although I get kidded about my mare's "naughty underwear" by my friends (you have to check out the picture!), it has helped her sweet itch to heal almost completely. It's rugged, easy to clean, and unique. I was very impressed by the Cashel customer service and will definitely buy their products in the future.
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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