Thursday 9 May 2024

Tailored Attire

I know there was a reason that I felt the need to inimediately ensure that I had at least a basic wardrobe to fit Stitch when I brought him home.

We had a full day of slushy rain last week and about 30 hours straight of rain this week. The good news is that this should significantly lessen the wildfire risk in the area for atleast a little while. I saw some scorched earth along the highway to the barn this weekend so concerns have been mounting.

Soaked at the 24 hour mark.

Stitch is still in the gangly young horse stage of having more leg than body. He's narrow with no boobs or ass - Kim Kardashian, he is not.

I don't want to spend a bunch of money on blankets that will only fit for a year (actually, I want to spend the money, but for once in my life have decided to be financially responsible). I suspect that in a couple of years he will fill out and will fit into my very extensive collection of 75" attire that I've acquired for three consecutive horses. I just need the basics until then.

The smallest thing I own is a 76" Century rainsheet. Cisco only wore it a couple of times - it was a bit snug on him so it became a backup that I never needed.

On Stitch, it was fine lengthwise when snugged up in front. But his lack of cleavage meant that the buckles sat a bit low. Also, the stomach straps were miles too long. They were knotted to shorten them from Cisco wearing it, not a chance that it would fit Stitch.

So, I did some repairs. Not sure if I mentioned this on the blog previously, but last fall I convinced my mom that we should get a heavy-duty industrial sewing machine. This thing powers through 6 layers of webbing like it's butter. I've been doing repairs for myself and some barn-mates all winter. I love it. 

The beast weighs something like 70 lbs by itself - it's staying at my mom's house.

Originally,  I planned to do the strap/d-ring thing like Schneider's blankets have along the neck to be able to make it smaller. A Google search suggested a different idea of just pinching the webbing at the neckline and stitching there. This creates a dart, doesn't stitch through any fabric other than the webbing, and would be easy to remove once the horse fills out.

Just a little dart did the trick.

The stomach straps - well, they were really long. It took me three attempts to get them the right length. Should have used a measuring tape in the beginning, I guess. First, I cut 6" off them. They were still way too long. Next I folded up about 10" and stitched that above the slider. Still long. The final version involved folding the previously folded part up against the blanket, and stitching through the 5 layers of webbing. That was finally the right length, and when he chunks up I will be able to pull the stitches out and expand the straps. 

That's 5 layers of webbing on two straps, and 6 layers on the back strap where the leg-strap d-ring is attached. Your home sewing machine won't manage that!

Since the plan is to hop on Stitch a few times in the fall and then let him grow until spring, he's not going to be working over the winter, which means he won't need to be clipped, and won't need to be blanketed except in extreme weather, which, realistically, will be more for me than for him. Thus, his basic wardrobe will consist of his rainsheet for the crappy summer days, his new Champion 100g blanket for the cool and wet days, and I'll add a layer to that with a vintage 1990's BMB stable blanket that fits him well enough when we get the -40's that we get every year. 

This was originally Farly's, who wore it for many winters but was super easy on his blankets so it's still in great shape.

He's set, right? Lots of horses live perfectly happy all year round without blankets. I can have a naked horse in the winter for the first time in 30 years and that won't make me a terrible horse mom, right? Right?


  1. I think this is great. Having an industrial sewing machine is smart.

    1. It's been fantastic to use and just makes all the repairs so easy.