Horse Rugging Guide

Horse Rugging Guide

So far, we have had a pretty mild winter, fingers crossed it continues. However there have been the odd few colder nights, with temperatures dropping on the minus figures. Last night the temperature was 9 degrees but as I sit here tonight writing this it’s -4! That’s some difference.

I feel like I’ve been constantly swapping rugs but it’s worth it. Both horses are unclipped and woolly so only the old boy has a rug on, but I still think it’s so important to let the horses feel the sun on their backs, so I take it off almost every day when it’s dry, even if a little chilly.

Rugging your horses can be confusing as there are so many factors to consider:

  • Breed
  • Weight
  • Climate / wind / rain
  • Work load
  • Type of coat
  • Available forage

Indi is an exceptionally good do-er and until now has been on her holidays, so she’s been without a rug, but now she’s coming back in to work I’ll clip her and rug her. Smarty is 27 and a TB so needs a bit more protection from the elements. On cold or wet nights, I stable them and now the grass has stopped growing I always make sure they have ad- lib hay in the field which helps them keep warm. Remember that just because you’re cold, it doesn’t mean that they are too.

It can be so hard to get it right so here’s a quick and easy guide to help:

TempStabled, ClippedStabled, UnclippedTurned Out, ClippedTurned Out, Unclipped
Above 15°cLight weight (100g) or zero fillNothing or zero fillNothing or light weight (100g) or zero fill if wet & windyNothing
5-10°cMedium weight (250g)Light weight (150g)Light weight (150g) with neck coverNothing or light weight (100g)
0-4°cHeavy weight (300g)Medium weight (200g)Medium weight (200g) with neck coverNothing or light/ medium weight (150-250g)
-10-0°cHeavy weight (300-400g) with neck coverMedium weight (200-300g) with linerHeavy weight (300-400g) with neck cover & linerLight or medium weight (150-300g) with neck cover
Below -10°cHeavy weight (300-500g) with neck cover plus linerMedium or heavy weight (300-400g) with neck coverHeavy weight (300-500g) plus liner and/or under blanket & hoodHeavy weight (300-500g) plus neck cover

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