If you’re a seasoned horse owner, then you’ll probably know exactly what you need, but for many, it can be quite a confusing item to purchase. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to the different types of horse rug, so you know just what to buy for your steed.


When it comes to buying a horse rug, you may initially think it’s a case of choosing the right size, picking a design you like, and away you go. However, in reality it is a little more complicated than that, and there are in fact several different types of horse rugs, all of which have a different purpose.


Turnout rugs


The most commonly used type of horse rugs are turnouts, which are used for a variety of purposes, including keeping your horse clean, warm and dry. Turnout rugs are very versatile and come in various thicknesses and weights, offering different levels of warmth, as a plethora of styles and designs, including with and without necks.


See our full selection of turnout rugs.


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Fly sheets


Fly sheets and rugs are primarily used in the summer to protect your horse from pesky insects and bugs, which are much more prevalent in warmer weather. Flies can be a real nuisance for your horse (as they can be for us), but they can actually be quite dangerous and can cause infections and spread disease, which is why a fly sheet is an important purchase.


Fly rugs are thin and lightweight so not to overheat your horse, and most also come with UV protection to guard them against the Sun’s rays. You can also buy fly masks, hoods and veils to keep bugs away from your horse’s eyes and ears, which can be particularly problematic.


Take a look at our full range of fly sheets to keep your horse happier during the summer months.


Stable rugs


As the name suggests, stable rugs are to be used when your horse is in the stable to keep them warm. They’re padded or quilted but are not waterproof, which is why they’re not really suitable for outdoor use. However, if your horse is out in the field in particularly cold weather, you can layer a stable rug under a turnout.


Stable rugs come in a range of thicknesses, or weights, so you can fit a different rug depending on the temperature. Many stable rugs are also breathable, meaning they allow moistures and sweat to escape away from the horse’s body (this is known as wicking).


See our great selection of stable rugs.


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Rug Liners and under rugs


You can make your existing rugs more versatile by laying up in the colder weather using rug liners and under rugs, without the need to purchase a new heavier-weight rug. Thinner liners can also be washed in a domestic washing machine, keeping your stable rugs and horse cleaner. Depending on your rug some can easily be attached underneath rugs and secure once fastened making them a great added extra to your horse’s wardrobe.


View our wide selection of liners.


Coolers & fleece rugs

Cooler rugs and fleece rugs are primarily used after exercise to prevent the horse from cooling down too quickly, which can be dangerous. They are made from breathable fabric which allows sweat and moisture on the horse’s coat to escape, helping them cool down at a safer rate. Coolers and fleece rugs can be used under a stable rug or turnout to help them cool down or just as an extra layer on colder days.


View our range of coolers and fleece rugs.


Exercise sheets & walker rugs


Exercise sheets and rugs, as you might have guessed, are used to keep the horse warm and dry when exercising in colder, wet weather, and again they’re breathable to wick away moisture. They offer a wider range of movement for the horse than other rugs so they’re not restricted when exercising, and come in varying fabrics/designs depending on requirement.


Some exercise sheets fit under the saddle, while others have a section cut out to fit over the saddle.


Walker rugs are similar to exercise sheets, helping to keep your horse warm when on a horse walker, but are usually more in the style of a normal rug, fastening at the front and under the belly. They are just more cut away at the shoulder to allow for movement.


Take a look at our wide range of exercise and competitions sheets.


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Different weights of horse rug


As we’ve mentioned, there are various different thicknesses and weights of horse rug – lightweight, medium weight and heavyweight.


Lightweight horse rugs are used in warmer weather and are usually 0-150g fill, while medium weight rugs go from around 200-300g. Heavyweight horse rugs are upwards of 300g fill and are used when the temperature really drops so your horse stays warm. The heavier the rug, the more the horse’s movement will be inhibited, so bear that in mind to the situation they are in.


It makes sense to have one of each weight so that you can swap it out as the weather changes. You can find out more on buying rugs on our handy buying guide: How to select a rug for your horse


You can shop our full range of rugs for horses, or if you have any questions about which horse rug is right for your horse, please get in touch.