Helix and Optimo Stable Sheets: Innovations from Horseware Ireland

January 10, 2013
by Annie Penfield

Helix and Optimo Stable Sheets: Innovations from Horseware Ireland. Keeping your Horse Cool, Clean, and Comfortable

helix stable sheet

"But it's not a stable sheet," my rep laughed.

"But it's great." I said, "Stuff doesn't stick to it and it's warmer than an Irish knit but with the moisture management system, it wicks moisture."

"If you like it that much, you might like it even more for what it was actually designed for: a cooler." He replied.

I was speaking of my Helix Cooler by Horseware Ireland. Designed as a cooler, I had often reached for it over my fleece coolers, particularly when leaving a horse in a stall because the smooth surface prevented shavings from adhering to it. Because it seemed to function well as both a stable sheet and a cooler, I used it for traveling to shows as well.

Horseware Ireland's Helix uses an advanced fabric construction to wick moisture and disperse it across a wide surface area. Unlike fleece coolers, there is no layer of moisture settling on the top of the sheet. Although fleece is an improvement over wool because it wicks the moisture away from the body, and like wool, keeps the body warm, but the fast drying fabric dries which seems to aid the drying of the horse's coat as well.

I have put the Helix on cool but wringing wet with sweat horses and been happy at the drying properties of the blanket.  Because of these features, I have preferred to use this as a travel rug, because often four horses in a trailer can heat up the small quarters of the trailer. Then the sheet keeps off dust when travelling but also keeps wicks sweat and alleviates muscle tightness because the body stays warm while drying. And I have used it as a layer under the blanket.

Apparently others found this sheet versatile. Horseware Ireland now markets it as three in one: travel blanket, cooler and stable sheet. The sheet also conforms well to the body with Horseware's patented design of leg arches.

There is a low budget alternative to the Helix from Horseware Ireland: it's the  Amigo® Stable sheet. The Amigo version also uses an advanced fabric construction to wick moisture and disperse it across a wide surface area and stays in place due to cross surcingles.

HW AW10 rugs
This is the Optimo Turnout with center pivotal dart.

And I did get a stable blanket. I was leaving the sheet on every night and because my horses have big shoulders, I felt that it might be tight with the two traditional front closures and I wanted something with the v-closure that would allow for more freedom for the shoulder. Not that they are moving much in their stalls but I didn't want it to rub.

What I chose was the Optimo Stable Sheet. The Optimo sports a whole new design: New innovative articulated pivotal dart system with split technology located in the center of the sheet. The horse's body, front and back, are constructed differently and move differently. The only way to resolve the majority of fitting problems is to have two different garments combined as one. Using Split Technology, the front of the blanket is free to pivot, extend, turn and float with the shoulder while the back of the blanket will sit firmly in position. Designed as a stable sheet, the outer layer is more durable, and therefore probably a more suitable choice for overnight.

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