When it comes to blankets, there’s more than meets the eye. There are an assortment of ways that blankets can be cut to fit the horse and allow for the fabric to keep the horse warm while staying breathable and flexible. Since the early 1900’s, the traditional/taper cut has been the most popular. In the early 2000’s, the european cut became the style of choice among equestrians. While many equestrians were happy to pick their preference between the two cuts, Kensington Protective Products knew there was a way to be more innovative with providing horses the comfort, warmth, and flexibility they need in their blankets. After three years of rigorous testing, Kensington Protective Products introduced the Surefit cut in 2013. The Surefit cut is a hybrid of the traditional and european cuts, offering the best of both worlds, as it is form fitting while offering total freedom of movement and maintaining the warmth that horses need to stay comfortable in colder climates.
In the 1980’s, the equestrian industry was small, much smaller than it is now. Many companies used whatever fabrics they could get their hands on, which lended to the traditional and european style cuts not always providing the greatest fit, flexibility, and warmth for the horses. Typically the fabric of choice were overages or flawed fabrics tossed aside from other mainstream industries. This norm led to the traditional barn colors being rooted in the basic black, navy or hunter, which were the easiest fabrics to find.
Fly sheets were also something that was not commonplace during that time. It was Kensington Protective Products that discovered the Textilene fabric and introduced the first Canvas Turnout Blanket to the equine industry. The Textilene fabric had been primarily used in the outdoor patio industry, and was something never before used in the equine industry. Despite the fabrics practical purpose for outdoor furniture, Alan Gatto, the former owner of Kensington Protective Products, knew that a fabric that provides UV protection, was highly air permeable, non-heat transferring, mildew resistant, and extremely durable was the perfect fabric for the equestrian industry. At the time, Kensington Protective Products was only creating winter sheets, due to none of the fabrics being light enough to withstand summer temperatures without creating sweat and discomfort for the horse. Thus, the Protective Sheet, a fly sheet, was born, and quickly equestrians realized that comfort for their horse did not have to be seasonal.
Like in any industry, businesses are quick to keep up with the competition and provide comparable goods and services. Which meant that Kensington Protective Products would not only have to provide one of the best products on the market, they would also need to make it stand out. After a trip to Europe, they had just the solution: plaid. The made the sheets in fabrics that were new to the equestrian industry, would maintain an elegant look while staying extremely durable. Eventually, Kensington Protective Products was able to lead the charge in adding an assortment of colors and cuts to their blankets, making themselves an industry leader in every possible way.
Fortunately, the equestrian industry has made leaps and bounds in technology and availability of high quality fabrics. The idea of our horses getting castoff fabrics for their blankets is unfathomable and we expect every product we purchase to have high expectations for their durability and quality. To keep up with the times, Kensington Protective Products has prided themselves on their ability to reinvent themselves every few years with new fabrics and materials that improve the comfort of the horse and convenience for the rider. If a need is not being met, they fix it and continuously work to raise the standard in equestrian textile manufacturing.
Bonus: Kensington Protective Products offers a lifetime guarantee on all their products. Which, if your horses are anything like mine, that’s a major win.