Product Review: Horseware Rambo Optimo Rug

Harry and Liath modelling their Horseware Rambo Optimo Rugs
I suppose my horses could be described as .... "plus size". They're all (bar Setanta!) quite chunky with broad chests and deep necks so trying to find well-fitting rugs can be a struggle. Most of the rugs on the market are designed for the average built horse, so when squeezed into them, heavier horses end up with bald spots on their shoulders and having chunks of their mane rubbed out.

The Horseware Rambo Optimo is a total game changer and is a dream come true for chunky horses. Although it's not specifically designed for the larger horse, they are incredibly generous with their sizing. So generous in fact, that I'd recommend ordering a size smaller than your horse normally wears (Liath is a 6'9 in every other Horseware rug but is a 6'6 in the Optimo and it still covers all of her hindquarters). 

My Optimo rug is going into its 5th winter and is still going strong, bar a few minor repairs that you'd expect from general wear and tear.  The outer material is made from 1000 denier ballistic nylon. I particularly like the front closure system which is made up of two velcro layers and then 2 metal clips, which offers more security than traditional front buckles. 

The Optimo also incorporates the Horseware liner system. This allows you to adjust the rugs warmth by simply swapping the liners. I bought a 0g fill turnout with a 200g and 400g liner, which enables me to more adjust the rug's warmth. I use the no fill turnout as a rainsheet in summer while the liners  turn it into a medium and heavyweight rug in winter. As an added bonus, the liners can be washed at home rather than having to be professionally cleaned. I now only have one rug to be washed and reproofed rather than three!

The only downside is the Optimo is heavier than a normal rug. Liath and Harry lived out full-time last winter and wore these the entire time and neither of them had rub marks, sore withers and their mane was kept completely intact. So while heavier than similar rugs, it didn't cause any problems; possibly due to how well they fit. 

These rugs retail for about €275 for the 0g outer rug, with liners being about €50-65 depending on the weight. These rugs do occasionally appear on sale so it's worth keeping an eye out. 

I highly recommend these rugs to anyone who struggles with rugs that are too tight around the chest and shoulder area and for those whose horses have thick necks or those lose part of their mane each winter. These rugs are phenomenal, well fitting and are long-lasting. They're worth every penny! 


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