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:

Temp Stabled, Clipped Stabled, Unclipped Turned Out, Clipped Turned Out, Unclipped
Above 15°c Light weight (100g) or zero fill Nothing or zero fill Nothing or light weight (100g) or zero fill if wet & windy Nothing
5-10°c Medium weight (250g) Light weight (150g) Light weight (150g) with neck cover Nothing or light weight (100g)
0-4°c Heavy weight (300g) Medium weight (200g) Medium weight (200g) with neck cover Nothing or light/ medium weight (150-250g)
-10-0°c Heavy weight (300-400g) with neck cover Medium weight (200-300g) with liner Heavy weight (300-400g) with neck cover & liner Light or medium weight (150-300g) with neck cover
Below -10°c Heavy weight (300-500g) with neck cover plus liner Medium or heavy weight (300-400g) with neck cover Heavy weight (300-500g) plus liner and/or under blanket & hood Heavy weight (300-500g) plus neck cover

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