Friday, February 09, 2018

Rhino Wug First Impressions

We've been having rain and snow and sleet and all manner of fun weather here in Northeast Tennessee. We have a very nice 4 stall barn, but only one shelter. This means all 4 horses have been making use of their rain sheets and heavier coats this winter.

I definitely use the barn when the weather is particularly nasty and the 2 geldings are put into stalls every night for Tanna's good. I try to leave the mares out when it's not too bad. They are very energetic, especially 5 year old Dia, and do well with room to move around. Besides, 2 more stalls to clean does not make for fun morning chores.

Earlier this week, I put out a plea on my Facebook page for suggestions on a high neck rain sheet. Last week, both mares ended up with wet shoulders and chests from their Schneiders rain sheets. It's possible the sheets are a size too big for my small Arabian mares and I'm still willing to entertain that possibility, but I wasn't convinced.

My absolute favorite front-runner was the Rambo Wug. I have a heavy weight Rambo Wug for Sasha and I just love it! It's amazing quality, fits her great, keeps her warm and dry in the nastiest sleet storm or 0 degree weather. But it was expensive at $360. The 0 fill Rambo Wug is also expensive at $320.

I saw the Rhino Wug on sale at SmartPak for $150. It was even a cute color, green and blue plaid. I'm not a big fan of the brown/beige plaid of the "normal" Rhino Wug. With free return shipping and half the price of the Rambo Wug, I decided to give it a try. It is similar to the Rambo Wug, but my friends warned me it was cheaper because it's made out of cheaper materials and just is cheaper overall.

I was lucky to receive my Rhino Wug just in time for promised rainy weather over the weekend. So I got Sasha up to the barn during supper to try on the Rhino. I brushed her carefully and put it on.

It's definitely cheaper than the Rambo Wug. It feels more flimsy. Now, granted, this is a 0 fill and my Rambo is a 400g fill, so there's definitely a difference there. But it just felt cheaper over all. I had been warned.

At the end of the day, I decided to keep the Rhino Wug. Sasha will wear it this weekend and we'll see how it does. I don't think I would pay the normal $200 price tag for a Rhino over paying $320 for a Rambo. And if I ever see a Rambo Wug Lite on sale, I might just trample my own mother to get one.

Now for several pictures and my thoughts on each.

This is just the general blanket on her. This is size 69". She's an Arab mare, about 14.2 or 14.3 hands, around 825 pounds. It fits her fairly well from chest to butt. You can see how high up her neck it goes. That's ok by me as long as it doesn't just crumple from its own height. The cut around the front leg concerns me a little bit. Seems like it would inhibit motion and/or rub her shoulder while she's out running around. Standing still like that, it looks adorable though. No concerns with the cut around the rear legs.

Close up of the blanket straps. This is definitely different from the Rambo Wug. Next time I put the Rambo on her, I'll have to get comparable pictures to show the difference. The Rambo has 3 belly straps and is contoured differently. I kinda wish the Rhino had kept that. But...price difference.

This is the tail strap. The Rambo and the Rhino just have a tail strap instead of leg straps. The Rambo came with a really nice heavy plastic covered (read easy to wipe clean) tail strap. The Rhino is just your run of the mill cheap strap. I sorta wish they gave the option to use leg straps, but neither the Rambo nor the Rhino have the inner ring for leg straps. On the Rambo, I just removed the tail strap and it does just fine. But because the Rhino is much lighter weight all around, I decided to try leaving the strap on for now. If I decide to leave it on all the time, I'll see if I can find the Rambo tail strap to put on instead.

The other side of the blanket. Cause. Honestly, it drives me nuts sometimes to see blanket pics, even on manufacturer's sites with just one or two pictures and usually of the same side of the horse.

The front closure is pretty good. Again, not as good as the Rambo. It has double-sided velcro, which I've found to be very effective on the Rambo and on my fly masks. The Rambo has an additional velcro piece on top of the double-sided velcro. My mare might destroy every part of the Rambo, but I'm convinced the chest would still be securely fastened. But the Rambo is a nice quality blanket and my Sasha-mare is not hard on her blankets, so I suspect the Rhino will be ok.

Just another view with the soft velcro securely fastened. Then that piece I'm holding goes over it. For a nice little sandwich effect.

Sandwich closed. So much nicer than the other sheets I have that only have the normal velcro closure.

The last part of the front closure is to fasten the bolt snaps to the ring. There're really no adjustments that can be made here. It either works for your horse or it doesn't. I do like the V shaped neckline and the secure front so when Sasha grazes, the front doesn't open up.

I could have done without the SmartPak logo, but since this color is specific to SmartPak, I guess it's ok so I can remember years from now why it's a pretty blue/green instead of brown.

Overall, the Rhino does feel cheaper and just doesn't have all the niceties of the Rambo, but, hello, I paid less than half for it.

Hopefully, it will last many years.