Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What Do Wednesday: Fix It

Its been quite some time since I last posted a “What Do”; all my previous posts are up ^ there in the tabs section linked up!

One of my favorite things about blogging would be the community and I always love getting sound advice and picking everyone’s brains when it comes to horsey problems. Everyone always has so much experience and things I’ve never heard or thought of and I must know it all.

This week, because winter, I have a wintery question. I actually have several, but I will only ask two and save the third for next week!

I am not sure if I have mentioned it before, but Bacardi has a special talent for destroying blankets. Actually anything in general. I don’t just mean tearing them, like shredding, destroying, snapping past any repair. Last winter he killed 2 heavyweights and 4 stable blankets. Absoulutely SHREDDED. I alsost wasn’t mad, more thoroughly impressed. In his defense, the stable blankets were well past their time and I had only kept them because I can’t really afford to have a whole team of Amigo’s. To dream a dream.

I replaced one of them with a BRAND NEW Weatherbeeta, which he promptly snapped the front buckels on. Awesome B. I also had found a lovely lightly used Lightweight Amigo on Ebay that he shredded within a few weeks and I still haven’t sewn it back up. He also tore off the stomach circingles on another heavyweight and also snapped the front closures on his medium weight.



Therefore, I have a troop of jerry-rigged blankets with tears up and down the sides and ONE good blanket left (it is currently on him, pray for its safety).

So far, my improvised buckles have worked but I know its dangerous and wont hold much longer.

I literally cannot afford to replace 2-4 blankets so before you even give me the line “If you buy from Smartpak it has a warrenty”

I FREAKING KNOW. Wouldn’t it be nice to have about a grand to buy brand new coats for my Prince.

Alas, I do not and have been scavenging ETT and Ebay but either not finding one for my budget or finding ones in my budget that have the snaps he can break.

Also sidenote sidenote, I know most of you are dolls and adults, but lets please leave the “don’t clip your horse” lectures off of here as well. And yes, his blankets are the correct size for him, I’ve measured.

I’ve decided that I would really like to replace all of his eventually with Amigo or Rambo’s since the front and belly closures on those he hasn’t been able to completely destroy, only tear the material (COOL).

So. He tears them, but that’s my question.

Have any of you ever sewn blankets yourself to repair? If so, what thread do you use? I know you can’t use normal person thread. Where do you get it?

I know we have blanket repairmen in town, but last time I checked it was $50/blanket and up depending on repairs and I have 4 murdered. That’s a brand new blanket. Three of them need new buckles and my Amigo needs to be sewn up.

I can sew. I cannot replace buckles. Eventually I will replace everything with Amigo’s most likely, but first I need to find the elusive Money Tree.

My second part here kind of goes along with my dear horse and his ability to destroy all things (blankets, his own body, things near him, etc).


At our barn, there are two ways to communicate to staff what you want. Things like, “Please leave my crazy beast in, I have a lesson/farrier is coming” or “please only feed in corner bucket hanging on the wall, Smartpaks and grain are expensive and he WILL flip the tub on the ground” or “please change blanket Sunday, its going to be much warmer” etc.

One is to write it on the white board and hope they see it. Two is to text the BO on her personal phone and hope she gets it to them in time. Neither work well because the workers don’t always see the notes and the BO is always giving lessons-not her fault by any means. Love Supertrainer.

So I have TRIED to keep one of those tiny whiteboards on his door. I’ve put it on the actual front of the door. Should’ve known he would tear it off. OK, move to the side of the stall. It somehow also fell off the wall. I’m thinking B did it SOMEHOW  (freak neck) or his neightbor did OR the stickies didn’t work very well.

I’m thinking of finding something at Walmart and finding a way to get a rope on it/through it/attached to it and CLIP the rope to a ring. Super well thought out obviously.

So, second part question here is, how do you boarders get instructions to your staff? Do you have a stall board? Whats it made out of? How do you hang it? Please tell me.


So, dear readers, feed me your secrets. I need to know.

33 comments:

  1. I have had a lot of success with repairing small-ish holes and tears with iron-on denim patches, and then sewing around the edges with dental floss. You could also sew pieces of old blankets over bigger tears, again with the dental floss, using as small a stitch as you can. Good luck!! Blanket destroyers are the worst. When you get around to replacing his wardrobe, check out the Shires brand. They have a set of blankets that's like... 1million denier that even my good friend's determined blanket-shredder hasn't been able to rip!

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    1. I have never heard of Shire OR using old blankets. I won't throw them away now! And I will def look into that brand, thank you!

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  2. Dayum girl. I can get a blanket repaired for like... $10? Also my horse is way less hard on his things, which is awesome.

    I just text BO, but she's more low key then your BO.

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    1. Yeah I miss MO and their cheap prices on EVERYTHING

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  3. I repair and sew all my blankets (and for my trainer in exchange for training rides) -- I save old blankets (good for patching) and any/all buckles and straps for future repairs. My very basic Brother sewing machine can handle most things and occasionally there are spots I have to hand sew. The trick is to use upholstery-grade/heavyweight thread AND the heaviest needle you sewing machine can take (it's usually the type meant for leather/denim. I've been able to sew on straps from other blankets too!

    As far as the note thing... you could maybe get a stall card laminated (they make a kind that you can use dry erase markers on) and ziptie that sucker somewhere (stall guard), bars...?

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    1. Or better yet, staple it to the boards! That's a glorious idea. Can't believe I didn't think of it.

      I also never thought of saving old blankets. Will be ugly, but functional as hell. Thank you for the thread advice. I am a pretty good seamstress and we do have a sewing machine but I get everything tangled I prefer to do it by hand. Awesome thank you !

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    2. Seconding the laminated card - though they stop coming clean after a while. I also do duct tape + pad of paper I keep in my car and tape the sign to the bars right in your face - otherwise I have had signs ignored... or have gotten calls that my horse is missing when we left for a show that morning. Albeit, my barn leaves much to be desired when it comes to staff competency. If your stall has enough metal, you might be able to use really (really) strong magnets, too.

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  4. After several disastrous attempts to sew up very straightforward rips in my horses' old blankets, I bought some tent repair tape (http://www.amazon.com/Gear-Aid-Tenacious-Fabric-Repair/dp/B005BLQTEE) and used that to patch up the blankets. It held up well through last winter; I replaced the blankets for this winter because mice chewed through the inner lining. It's certainly an option for quick repairs!

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    1. Thank you for the link! :D So helpful!

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  5. A friend of mine has had good success with iron-on patches as well: http://www.lessonsintr.com/2015/12/07/how-to-repair-a-horse-blanket/
    You can get some pretty heavy duty nylon or polyester thread online- just make sure your needle is big enough!

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    1. All these links everyone is giving me, so helpful! Thanks :)

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    2. All these links everyone is giving me, so helpful! Thanks :)

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  6. I've ghetto-fied my blankets by sewing them up all Frankenstein-style using wax coated twine. It's durable as shit. Do my blankets look beautiful? Nope. But the twine is dark and the blankets are dark so meh. Everything still functions and that's all I can ask for.

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    1. I also have never heard of wax-coated twine. i'm learning so many things! Thank you for the tip!

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  7. I've also had the denim patches work well before. Another thing to consider is how much you value your time, if the blankets are total disasters.

    I use Totally Horses for all blanket washing and repairs. Their prices are excellent for repairs - I've never paid more than $10 - and shipping all my blankets squished up in their shipping bags was surprisingly cheap as well. (they're three hours away from here) I can't say enough good things about their quality service and results.

    Good luck!

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    1. Thats very true, I don't know if I have the time to even patch and sew....hmmm

      I NEED to contact that guy and see if he will take my business. TAKE MY MONEY

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  8. I've been using tent patching (Gear Aid or Kenyon brand - whatever is cheaper on amazon prime) plus tear mender glue. The glue alone is doing a really decent job holding on an entire buttcheek worth of binding and the patch + glue combo has been holding - the whole combo works best when I take it home to patch/cure somewhere warm(er) vs. patching at the barn/while the blanket is on the horse. I can't hand sew and am afraid I would die from needle sticks... though if anyone has a machine that can handle even a sheet, I would love to know the brand/model.

    RE: Shires brand, I've heard similar good things. Bit of Britain's in house blankets are made by Shires, and I just came across a line of Defender Plus blankets at stateline/horse.com that are supposed to have the nice features of Shires at a more budget price but they are 1200D (also, they have ones with nice detachable neck covers). I also have been eyeballing a Country Pride blanket sold by Big Dee's Tack that is 1680D and very very easy on the wallet compared to most of the higher denier blankets.

    If my destruco-mare finally does in her used-to-be-nice Weatherbeetas, I'm probably replacing it with a 1680D Arctic Combo from schneiders - the heavier 1680 nylon only comes in a heavy but the cheaper/1680d poly blanket comes in a sheet/med/heavy and held up well her first winter with no tears (just teeth marks and a few puncture type holes). Of course she outgrew it, but I figure even if I only get one winter out of it, it's a 100$ blanket vs something nicer and more expensive. If she keeps destroying blankets, I might end up trying the Kensington mesh fly sheet over the blanket trick - I've seen it work for some people (though others just ended up with a shredded fly sheet).

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    1. I honestly was unaware that they made blanket with more than 1200 D! Holy indestructible batman! Thanks for the tips!

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  9. I have the same recommendation as Niamh in regards to thread, upholstery thread all the way. Regular thread will break way too quickly. Also seconding the save every bit of things you can from old and destroyed blankets. Save some lining, save some denier, save all straps/buckles.

    The barns I worked at had a dry erase board that was next to the feed for instructions. There was a spot for "normal" notes and then a special section for "daily/new" notes that would be erased after the elapsed/applicable time. The laminated card is good, make sure you keep it blank unless you have a "new" note otherwise it will never be read as they "assume" it has been read before and they "already know geez".

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    1. I wish we had a board like that that they'd actually look at....

      And I'm def going to save my blankets now!

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  10. I know you said you already know about the smartpak blankets, but really they're less than $200. I just checked and a heavyweight turnout blanket is $168. An Amigo will cost you more and the Smartpak ones get replaced for free if they're broken. I've seen other bloggers get new ones even when their horse maliciously destroyed the blanket. You don't even need to prove it was the blanket's fault for failing. And I don't even like Smartpak so I get nothing from saying this.
    Thankfully, my horses are gentle on their blankets. I have one that was Dijon's and is now Nilla's that's 4 years old and I've never even washed it once. It's filthy, but it's still in 1 piece and waterproof. I have probably just jinxed myself in even writing about it.

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    1. I know, I just have 3 to replace, and the Amigo buckles are the only ones he hasn't broken yet and the Smartpak blankets have snaps instead of the weird clip things. But I guess if they replace them I might as well. I love smartpak. Just know I'll spend my life shipping back and forth and getting new blankets....a bad good thing, haha

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    2. As a side note, I think all the current SmartPak brand blankets are on sale right now...and if they aren't, they go on frequent sale every time they discount all their SmartPak lines. Which is fairly often.

      I've been a Rambo girl all the way, but I've been heavily eying the SP line for my next horse. I have a hard time ignoring the free replacement policy, like woah.

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  11. Have you looked at the Used Horse Blankets sale page on FB? Not really answering your questions on repairs as everyone already did that really well, but maybe you can find a few cheapies to sacrifice until you can get some more good ones.

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    1. I didn't even know that existed, but I should've guessed! I will look there!!

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  13. I'm going to second the nylon thread. Are these the kind that is made to repair boat covers before. It's a very very strong. I believe they also make an adhesive catching prey, that can be sprayed around edges to keep everything sealed up tight.

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  14. I'm going to second the nylon thread. I have also used the type of thread that is used to patch boat covers. It is very strong. I believe there is also an adhesive spray that can be used to seal up edges and keep things watertight. I hope this helps!

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  15. another repair option is to literally bring the blanket into a crafts or fabric type store (do you have Joanns where you are?) and ask the people working at the fabric counter. most of them are very accomplished and will probably be able to point you in the right direction for DIY materials. good luck!

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  16. You actually can sew blankets with regular thread, but you need a special needle. I would recommend a denim needle (on a machine... oh please let's not talk about doing it by hand). I would just do it back and forth about 5 times and make good knots at the end, and cross over the sewn sections to reduce tension. And then -- for extra good fun -- I would glue on a camping patch. You can buy tent repair kits relatively cheaply (I think I got one for about $6 at Ace Hardware? so probably cheaper on Amazon) and paste that over the entire repair. The glue is designed to hold through rain, and it will make sure that spot on your blanket is waterproof again, and will help the stitching hold. Just another option. But if you have access to a machine, I would 100000% do it this way, because the idea of hand sewing a blanket with dental floss makes me want to cry.

    As for communicating with barn employees... if it's our barn manager, I text her. If it's our mucker/feeder, nobody communicates with him but the BO because he basically blows anyone else off unless there is CLEARLY something happening (like, please don't dump that trash can full of bottles and cans in the wheelbarrow right now, my horse is literally about to kill himself and if you do it he will go right over the edge DOES seem to get across)

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  17. My horse no longer has neighbors to help him destroy blankets. I consider myself very lucky to have this situation

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  18. I always learn so much from your what do posts!! You've gotten a lot of great suggestions. I hope they help. :D I'm amazed at how destructive he is with his blankets! Maybe he should be hired out to the blanket makers for testing their products haha!

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