Rider Review: Professionals Choice Fly Sheet

When I started leasing Murray I was determined¬†not to be the type of person who keeps her horse rugged up from head to toe in the Summer. ¬†I mean, it’s Summer! It’s beautiful! ¬†I know it’s hot and it’s California but sunshine! Shade! Cool breeze! ¬†I’m not vain, I don’t care about sun bleaching (and my horse is turned out at night anyway and I always curry the sweat off!!)!

Murray, of course, was determined to prove me wrong by promptly getting hives from fly bites and looking cranky about it.  So I went on Tack Trader on Facebook and saw a screaming deal for a fly sheet ($35 shipped) and bought it.  I shoulda known better.

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The one and only time Murray wore his new fly sheet he got all four feet tangled within five minutes.

So I went in search of a new fly sheet. ¬†Given Murray’s clear ability as a destructomaton, I knew I would need something a little more hardy than the soft-and-silky variety, and I wanted a good fit that would help avoid such debacles. ¬†My local tack store (Tack Warehouse) was kind enough to let me take a couple home and try them on. ¬†Enter the Professional’s Choice fly sheet.

Professionals Choice - Professional's Choice Fly Sheet

MSRP: $120 + tax
What I paid: ~$110

I walked into Tack Warehouse with very specific requirements, and made a nuisance of myself touching every sheet they had until I found what I wanted (Brenda and Holly are so understanding!). ¬†After going through several sheets with the staff, I found the Professional’s Choice one which had me intrigued. ¬†The fabric is lightweight but sturdy and breathable. ¬†I ran around the store in it — it wasn’t shabby. ¬†It’s made of a very¬†pale blue-and-black nylon mesh with gusseted shoulders, two belly surcingles, and leg wraps. ¬†The front closures are buckles and snaps, which I greatly appreciate (adjustability¬†and ease of use?! Yes please!) and there is a little fleece patch along the wither.

Not only do I love the construction, I love the color and weight of the fabric. ¬†While I pretend I don’t care about sun bleaching, I kinda do, and Professional’s Choice includes UV protection in the fabric! ¬†This is awesome even when your pony doesn’t have sweat stains. ¬†Plus, dark horses absorb more heat and therefore get hotter — a light sheet is important to me to help Murray regulate his temperature. ¬†Also, I didn’t realise this until I read the product description just now, but the fabric is also designed to be wrinkle and stain resistant, which I can also say is true. ¬†Despite Murray’s penchant for lying in pee at shows, the sheet is pretty clean.

2014-07-12 10.05.32Dressage is tiring, guys!!

Fit-wise, my only concern was the way the sheet sits back on Murray’s wither and shoulder. ¬†It looked like it might better fit a horse with a slightly wider front end, but despite my concerns Murray didn’t get any rubs from the sheet. ¬†So I wouldn’t be concerned if your horse does have a slightly wider front end, as this is bound to fit fairly well. ¬†I did end up sizing down to a 76″ sheet (Murray is between a 76″ and 78″) and I think it fits really well, so that’s an option for narrower horses.

I also know this fly sheet works, because Murray has always gotten some fly or mosquito or whatever bites when we’ve stayed overnight at Camelot Equestrian Park. ¬†I’m not exactly sure what it is, but they don’t seem to bug him toooo much. ¬†Anyway, when he wore his sheet overnight there was a clear delineation where the bites ended — on his neck, but not onto his shoulder, which the sheet was covering.

I did pay a little more than I originally wanted to for this sheet, because it really did seem like the best option available to me, and I like to torture myself by thinking about how many uses anything I buy gets and how much its “cost per use” is. ¬†Though I did only use this sheet about 45 times last Summer (coming in at a little more than $2.40 per use), I don’t regret spending the money on it, and would (and have!) recommended it to others! ¬†The sheet is pristine this year (after Murray wore it in turn out repeatedly and didn’t destroy it like that other one!) and I anticipate getting a good deal of use out of it this year as well. ¬†I’ll tell you how much I amortized it down to after another Summer’s worth of use!

Overall Rating

Price: 3/5 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† (I’m a cheap bitch, what can I say)
Fit:
 4/5                       (I may harbor some lingering concerns about the shoulder)
Breathe-ability: 5/5  (better than many sillkier shieets!)
Durability: 4/5          (so far!)
Efficacy: 5/5              (it keeps the flies off his skin, not sure what else I could want)