While looking to design your horse their own custom garment, you may have noticed that we offer coolers (also called Dress Sheets) in various fabrics, as well as The Anti-Sweat Sheet. What's the difference between a cooler and an anti-sweat sheet? Do you use them in different situations? And is one fabric better than another?
We get asked the above questions (or variations of it) on a fairly regular basis. The confusion is very understandable, as both a cooler and an anti-sweat perform similar functions.The main difference between these two garments is the situations in which they are used.
To be put simply, a cooler is used during old weather to keep your horse's muscles warm. These sheets are designed to wick moisture from a wet horse's coat while also trapping heat against his body so he doesn't catch a chill while he dries. Coolers are great for using on unclipped horses in the wintertime after a workout as it takes more time for the longer hair to dry. Coolers are also great to throw over your horse in the winter while he is in the crossties waiting to be rode, as it helps to warm up the muscles.
Coolers typically come in either fleece or wool fabrics,in a variety of different weights. Wool is the warmest of the two fabrics, and typically better at wicking moisture than fleece, but it it is not as easy to care for as the fleece alternative. Wool coolers need to be washed using a special wool detergent that won't strip the natural oils found in the wool. They also cannot be thrown in the dryer.
Fleece is a more economical and easy to care for alternative to wool. It has good moisture wicking properties and can be found in a range of quality and weights. When shopping around for fleece products, be sure to select an anti-pill fleece, such as our Polartec Dress Sheet. This means the fabric will stay looking newer and not get those annoying tiny balls where the fabric rubs together. If you have ever purchased fleece products that weren't anti-pill you will understand what I am talking about!
Anti-sweat sheets are used to wick moisture, similar to coolers, but they are generally used during the warmer months and climates as the fabrics do not have much insulating value. Anti-sweats are great for drying off a sweaty horse after summer workouts, before turning him out. They are also great for drying a horse off after it has had a bath. One detail that sets The Anti-Sweat Sheet apart from Coolers, are the dual surcingles that make it acceptable for turnout. Since horses seem to enjoy rolling when turned out wet, this is a great way to ensure your clean horse stays cleaner for longer.
The classic anti-sweat sheet, the Irish Knit, is usually made of 100 percent cotton and had large ventilating holes. These anti-sweat sheets shrunk significantly after washing, and did not hold up very well. Irish knits or other similar cotton based anti-sweats are still on the market, but have declined in popularity. New fabrics, such as our technical Diamond Knit, have been developed that solve the shrinking and durability issues cotton based anti-sweat sheets presented.
So, while coolers and anti-sweat sheets both are used to wick moisture away from the horse, one is used during cooler weather, while the other is used primarily during warmer months. We hope this post has clarified any confusion. Feel free to comment below with questions or stories related to coolers and anti-sweats!
Be sure to use coupon code BLOG for 10% off of your custom cooler or Anti-Sweat Sheet