Thursday, August 18, 2011

Product Review: Amigo Mio Fly Sheet

 We've been using our Amigo Mio for nearly a whole summer now. I purchased it at EquusNow on sale for less that $60. Horseware Ireland's website lists it for $73 and says:

"Horseware® Amigo® Mio Flysheet with attached hood. Soft knitted polyester, patented front Leg Arches™ for freedom of forward movement and two criss-cross belly surcingles make this ultra breathable flysheet a favorite at a price anyone can afford! "

Being the bottom of the line that Horseware offers, I suppose it's a case of "you get what you pay for" but I am not dissatisfied. It seems to be doing it's job, but I think it has design flaws.

Here it is fresh out of the package:

My only previous experience with a fly sheet was a Kensington style sheet with harder, stiffer plasticky mesh I bought at a tent sale for $10. It was full of holes after one summer and gave him lovely patches of broken hair, including the top of his tail.

Sizing: The sheet had ample coverage. Junior usually wears a 78. I thought it was a bit roomy at first. It comes in 3" increments. 

Hardware: Is only nickel plated so the buckles are chipped and rusted after only a few months.

Velcro Closures: There's a reason you don't launder velcro with your Zocks, right? WHY did they use velcro when the fabric itself snags relentlessly on it!?! In just normal wearing, there are snags and pulls all over the areas of velcro, and anywhere else the "male" side of the velcro touches. So even when you fold it up to hang on the blanket bar it gets stuck to itself.

Neck Cover: Is not removable, which I like because he can't lose it. It seems built for REALLY thick necks, though and I'm not sure if that is on purpose or not. Junior has a thin neck comparatively. 

Fabric/Construction: Considering that my horse is tough on clothing it seems to be doing fairly well... probably shouldn't have said that outloud. In addition to the velcro damage, there are a few tears in various locations on the body.  If velcro can snag the fabric I can't be surprised turnout buddies and fences can tear it, but a few could be stress/strain on the fabric. The binding and straps appear to be holding up well, but one of the belly straps has torn the fabric, and the lining at front closure has pulled away from the stitching line, which seems to be stress rather than abrasion. The lining is not a strong enough weave to stand up to the stress of turnout.

Maintenance: I have washed it once in my standard home machine.  I saw no damage or change in the materials after washing in cold (twice) with a scentless detergent (I usually use Schneider's Blanket Wash but I'm running low) and it dried very quickly on my deck. It is not as shiny as it was and didn't wash up "like new" but it was cleaner and smelled better.

Overall: I think it does the job it was intended to do, but will probably only last a few seasons. The damage to the fabric and the few tears do not yet prevent the sheet from protecting the horse, but could eventually.  For the first time, Junior is not covered in hives and though many of the other horses  have exhibited welts from the horse flies, Junior's only had one small one on his neck below where the cover ends. He was also put on Smart Bug-Off this year, so that probably helps, too.

Recommendations: If you need an affordable sheet, your horse is kind to it's clothing, and you don't mind cosmetic damage, this might be a good buy for you.

Velcro damage to fabric:

Hole in Shoulder, hip, and stress at belly strap.


  1. Is there Velcro on the neck cover only? It does seem weird that they designed it that way when the fabric snags. Lilly has a very similar fly sheet, the Rambo Quarter Horse Protector, but it doesn't have the neck piece unless you buy it on its own. Lilly is really easy on clothes, but her fly sheet has held up really well too and I'm a big fan of the Horseware Ireland products.

  2. glad to see yours is holding up. A friend of mine bought one last summer after my recommendation of Amigo blankets and hers was torn the very first day. When she sent it back they simply stitched up the same one and sent it back to her.

    I also don't like how the sheet hangs down around their barrel, giving the flies a perfect barrier from a swatting tail.

  3. @in2paints: Two straps on the neck cover are velcro and there's some velcro reinforcing the front buckle closure. I can remove the thing over his head and leave it all closed, but the staff opens it all to remove it and that's a safer way so I don't ask them to change. It's tricky getting it off with it velcroed and I'd rather have snagged fabric than a panicked horse with a blanket stuck over his head. The risk is mine but I wouldn't ask a staff member to take that on.

    @horsemom: I never thought about that, but it's designed without rear leg straps so the horse can swat his belly between his legs without interference - it said something about that on the package. I haven't noticed any bite evidence down there and he doesn't swish much when he's out so maybe it does okay. I'm pretty sure if Junior had a rough playmate right now it'd be in worse shape but he's in a pretty quiet group now so that helps.

  4. I have a state line tack fly sheet that is holding up really well that I picked up used. BUt its too large and ends up falling into his shoulder and rubbing. Its only a 78 too which is weird. But Im thinking of replacing it for next year. Honestly, Im glad you posted this - I know NOT to get it. It would most likely get destroyed in the pasture and I hate what it did with the velcro.