SWEET ITCH RUGS FOR HORSES
A SWEET ITCH PREVENTION programme needs to be in place well before the emergence of midges - gnats & no-see-ums in the US - in Spring. Don’t wait until your horse has been bitten. If it has been a warm and wet Winter expect midges to be about early and take all necessary precautions.
Picture above: The Stockley Black Horse, Stockley Trading, North St, Midhurst, West Sussex.
Essential Elements of a Good Sweet Itch Rug or Blanket for a horse, pony or donkey in 2013 :-
(a) Made from special soft fabric – not mesh - which is light, strong, breathable and impenetrable to midges. See Special Leggings for Donkeys.
(b) It can be worn by the horse 24/7 without risk of over-heating or discomfort; but is easy to remove for riding.
(c) Water repellent, it dries out quickly after rain.
(d) Normal horse activities – rolling, trotting, grooming, etc – are possible as the blanket has stretch, fully adjustable straps and elasticised seams.
(e) On cold days early or late in the season a coat may be worn over the Sweet Itch Rug.
(f) Easy to wash and repair.
(g) Best Sweet Itch rugs have full belly protection (protectors, flaps, covers, bands, pieces.) For udder and sheath covers refer to MIND THE GAP. Click here
Sweet Itch Rug & Blanket Suppliers in the UK
1. BOETT RUG
Supplied in three colours – dark brown, chestnut and light grey – and in 14 sizes. Boett says this about their rug or blanket “ The Boett is different from other designs of horse blanket and should fit snugly, apart from the neck where there is ample fabric to ensure full cover when the horse puts his head down to graze. It covers the neck, the body and the tail and consists of two separate pieces: The mane, neck, body and tail-piece is fitted over the head (it is extremely rare for a horse to object to this) and there is an elastic neck band which adjusts behind the ears for a snug fit. The separate adjustable belly-flap is attached over the blanket with two elastic surcingles and a chest strap. It takes only a couple of minutes to fit.” More about The Boett Blanket.
2. DEMEULENKAMP RUG
Supplied in dark brown and olive green by Solva Sweet Itch Solutions Ltd.
This is what Solva say about the DeMeulenkamp Rug. It..” was developed by an Icelandic horse breeder in Holland , who was pleased with the results using other sweet itch rugs (he used to be the Dutch Boett dealer) , but who resented the very high prices being charged. He decided to invent his own rug and sell it at a price which is reasonable. Along the way, he improved the original, using stronger elastic which does not go loose, darted shoulders and three girth straps to prevent sagging of the belly piece. By the way, you pronounce it "Duh Moo Len Kamp" Click for Udder Cover.
More about the DeMeulenkamp Rug.
3. RAMBO SWEET ITCH HOODY
Available from The Saddlery who say ” The Rambo Sweetitch is made from tough 1000 Denier Polyester, making it extremely durable yet fully breathable throughout the summer months. It incorporates a silky mane & shoulder liner and Horseware’s revolutionary Rambo Leg Arches™ and third
surcingle - this allows the rug to wrap around for added coverage. With a fully integrated neck cover and Super Size Tail Flap the Rambo Sweetitch Hoody offers complete head to tail protection from biting insects.
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU USE THE RAMBO FLYMASK OR A FIELD SAFE HEADCOLLAR TO SECURE THE HEAD PIECE TO PREVENT SLIPPAGE.”
More about Houseware Rambo Sweet Itch Hoody.
4. SNUGGY HOODS.
”The Snuggy Hoods Sweet Itch Body offers nose-to-tail protection from midges, flies and sunshine (along with mud, dust and dirt!). Comprising a hood and rug set (also available separately), it comes complete with built in ears, fly-fringe, belly band, tail guard and flap as standard. Lined with a silky "shoulder and mane saver©" to prevent these areas from being rubbed or chaffed “ Click for Udder cover.
More about Snuggy Hoods.
Supplied by Solva Sweet Itch Solutions.
An economy, less durable rug than the DeMeulenkamp, suitable for horses with mild sweet itch which are less likely to rub, roll or otherwise scratch themselves badly and damage the blanket. Somewhat more flexible too.
For more information on the Pagony.
EQUI-THEME SWEET ITCH RUG
According to Speedgate "This sweet itch rug is made from a 100% soft and tightly weaved polyester, the 'Sweet Itch' sheet prevents small insects from getting through, while the horse feels comfortable.
Dense and absorbing, it vents the sweat and reduces the damaging effects of UV rays on sensitive skin. Close fitting to the body it protects the neck to the tail.
It is equipped with adjustable flaps at the base of the neck and adjustable elastic straps on the neck and rear legs with PVC clips.
The belly is entirely covered with a wide removable girth. This belly flap doubles the protection of the flanks because it is covering them too, and is clipped on the top of the back. Elasticated and adjustable, it perfectly fits your horses body.
The position is maintained with zips on the horses back and a velcro and clip anchoring system on the girth straps, interlocking with the sheet".
For more on Equi-theme go to Speedgate and Stockley Online.
Fully breathable 900 D polyester rug with mane, shoulder and tail liner, elasticated shoulder gusset, integrated neck and hood with ear holes, head and tail protection, cross surcingles, Supersize tail flap and adjustable tail strap. More information from www.pointerproducts.co.uk
THE ULTIMATE SWEET ITCH RUG.
Made of stretch brown material this rug provides head to tail and full belly protection including within the front legs and to within circa an inch of the sheath. Elasticated edges. Wrap round tail coverage. Integral hood with straps to neck piece allowing it to loosen. For more on the Ultimate Sweet Itch Rug visit www.cotswoldsport.co.uk
FAL PRO SWEET ITCH PLUS FLY RUG.
Incorporating silver textile fibre this fully breathable rug is heat reflective. The silver fibre also helps to “repel microbial and fungal infections, promotes effective circulation and reduces allergic reactions in sensitive horses”.The Flexi-neck design allows the neck to move independently from the rug body. More information on the Fal Pro Sweet Itch Rug at Red Rae Saddlery.
For Reviews and Comments on Sweet Itch Rugs and midge repellents go here. For more about the midge which is the culprit click here.
A GUIDE TO SWEET ITCH
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