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Bucas Freedom turnout: first look


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  • Bucas Freedom turnout first look

    Score

    9/10
    • Style:
      10/10
    • Fit:
      8/10
    • Ease of use:
      10/10
    • Value:
      7/10

    Pros

    • High quality material
    • Easy to use
    • Classic design
    • Great fit if sized down

    Cons

    • Smaller fit so important to size up
    • No leg straps
    • No neck attachment

    Manufacturer:

    Bucas

    Price as reviewed:

    £104.00

    Bucas Freedom turnout

    The Bucas Freedom turnout in navy blue had a high quality Rip-stop 600D outer shell which looked to be waterproof while still being highly breathable and lightweight turnout for when the weather warms up during the autumn months.

    It is priced at £104 and this didn’t seem a bad price considering how high quality the material was, though it is on the higher end of the price scale. This rug had 150g of fill but there are eight other options to choose from. Three styles are now available in the Freedom turnout: Classic Cut, High Neck and Full Neck, with the Full Neck Medium and the Full Neck Extra coming with 150g of insulation on the neck piece.

    I’m a big fan of simple, functional rugs and the basic design of this turnout was classic and traditional, without any fussy mod-cons that can make the rug difficult to put on or take off, especially when working with cold hands on a chilly winter morning.

    Bucas Freedom turnout

    This rug came in a 6ft size and I actually tried this on a four-year-old mare who stands at just a shade under 14hh. She is a native mare but is quite immature. She usually wears a 5ft 9 rug but this rug fitted her perfectly, suggesting the sizing runs a little small.

    Bucas confirmed this on their website: “We consider the fit of the Bucas Freedom turnout to be a ‘slim fit’ as it is the only rug from the Bucas range that does not have shoulder darts. For this reason, narrow horses or thoroughbred type horses would take their normal size but horses that are ‘cob-ish’ or have a wide distance from the whither to the front of the chest might find this fit a little snug.”

    The neck fitting was particularly good and overall the rug fitted this Fell pony mare like a glove, negating any concerns over rubbing. I would happily leave my pony out in this rug all day without any worries about it slipping back and causing discomfort.

    I wouldn’t recommend this rug to an owner of a chunky 6ft horse, but would suggest it would fit a finer 6ft, and would possibly fit a 5ft 9in pony, but again not one that was overly heavy in stamp.

    Bucas Freedom turnout

    Bucas Freedom turnout

    The front fastening was super-easy to use; it was a single strap fastened with velcro and a buckle. This was very handy and functional, however I was a little concerned that over time the velcro section could get clogged up with mud and dirt, which might make it harder to fasten. Time will tell. Two straps at the front could possibly make the rug more durable, but if you don’t have particularly muddy fields this is unlikely to be an issue.

    There aren’t any leg straps on this rug, which could be an issue if the horse rolled in the field. However, there is a fillet string that would go someway in ensuring the rug stayed in place.

    Bucas Freedom turnout

    The rug is very well darted at the back and it fit this pony’s rump perfectly. The tail flap was an excellent length and the depth of the rug was also really adequate.

    Finally, it had a lovely finish and the overall look was high quality and professional.

    Verdict

    Initial thoughts – a classic, quality and functional turnout rug at a good price considering it would be expected to last a long time. However, sizing could be an issue as it runs small.

    View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk or rideawaystore.com

    What is a first look review?

    These are our first impressions of a piece of kit or clothing based on spending some time with it. We will have had our hands on it and given it a really thorough going over before trying it on ourselves or our horses and using it. The information we can give you after this first look will give you some sense of what it’s like to use, even if it’s only an initial view. As soon as we’ve given it a more thorough test, we will update the review with a full scoring and additional thoughts.

    Who tested these rugs?

    Alex Robinson joined H&H in January 2018 as showing editor and features assistant. She graduated from University of Leeds in 2016 and has freelanced for specialist equestrian magazines, including The Native Pony Magazine and has contributed to the National Pony Society annual journal for the past few years.

    Born and raised in the Lake District, Alex has grown up on the show scene. She has qualified and competed ponies at the Royal International, Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and Olympia and has extensive knowledge of current issues in the showing world and the horses, ponies and riders who compete. She has a rare insight into the sector that comes with riding amongst the best at top level. She has produced a variety of rides to the highest level and has a passion for bringing on youngsters through the ranks. She has several ponies, mainly natives of all types, on the yard and rides most days each week before work.

    At H&H Alex is responsible for the all aspects of showing coverage and is continuing to cement its place as the leading publication for both reports and current showing news. When not writing, she will be found competing her own ponies on the county show circuit.


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