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Guestblog Bucas: Using a neck piece and the Bucas leak test

By now, we've already experienced some rainy autumn days. When it's raining outside, a waterproof rug can protect your horse from getting soaking wet.

Sometimes people tend to forget that when using a rug, water can still find its way under the rug through the exposed neck, especially when it's raining cats and dogs. Water can drip along the neck and mane and come underneath the rug at the chest or withers area. But the solution to that problem is very simple: use a neck piece with your rug.
There's a matching neck piece (or Combi Neck) for almost every Bucas turnout rug available. Unless you have a turnout rug that comes with an attached neck piece, of course 😉 The neck piece can easily be attached to the rug at the intended attachment points, usually metal rings/hooks. You can see a neck piece as an umbrella or a hood for a horse. Compare it to yourself - if you're going on a walk or cycling with a rain jacket that doesn't have a hood, you'll very easily get rain running down your neck during an unexpected cloudburst. It's exactly the same thing for a horse.

If you're doubting whether the rug is maybe leaking, it's most important to first consider any water splashing from the ground. The horse will still be walking or even running through puddles and mud, so what sometimes seems to be leakage, might just be caused by your horse having a little too much fun in the filth. Besides, you also can't fully test a rug right underneath the seams and edges, as those are most commonly stitched. Even with taped seams, it's almost impossible to ever get the seams to be fully waterproof, but that doesn't have a negative effect for your horse either way.
The top part of the rug covers your horse fully and is made of waterproof material to keep your horse dry and cozy. With help of a leakage test, you can check if your rug is actually fully waterproof.

Leakage test

It's very easy to execute a leakage test. All that you need is a rug or neck piece, a bucket (or wheelbarrow) and of course water.
Put the rug over the bucket with the outer side facing upwards, press the rug into the bucket a bit so it forms a little dip and pour some water in that dip. This is an extreme test, as you're essentially turning the rug into a pool and it would never be quite as much out in natural circumstances. It's important that you're testing the leakage on a piece of the rug that's only solid fabric and not at the seams where it could more easily leak through.
Wait for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes you can check if the rug is waterproof. Get rid of the water on the rug and take the rug off the bucket. Needless to say, if the bucket has visible water drops in it, the rug is not waterproof. It's possible that the outer fabric of the rug feels wet or has turned darker. That's no problem though. The layer of coating that makes the rug waterproof is at the lower side of the fabric. Pick up the rug and feel on the lower side if it's all dry. If it is all dry, the rug is wterproof. If you're in doubt about the test outcome or had leakage despite the rug supposedly being waterproof, get in contact with your Bucas supplier for help, advice and support.

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