Horse Rug Buying Guide – How to select a rug for your horse
Ask any horse owner out there and they’ll tell you that keeping your horse a comfortable temperature and protected from the elements is incredibly important. One of the best ways of doing this is by buying a quality horse rug for your equine companion.
Believe it or not, there are actually quite a lot of considerations to take into account when it comes to investing in a new rug for your horse. If you have only recently started looking after horses, it can even become a little bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve decided to put together our horse rug buying guide; to help you find the perfect rug for your horse, stress free.
What is the difference between a turnout rug and a stable rug?
You’ll notice that when you browse the Country & Stable website for rugs, there are many options for you to choose from; these can be broken into two categories, rugs for out in the field and rugs for in the stable. Stable rugs, coolers, fleeces, sheets and therapy rugs are used within the stable, whilst fly rugs and turnout rugs are used out in the field. A liner can be added to some of these to create a heavier weighted option. Stable rugs and turnout rugs are similar, however there are some fundamental differences that it’s important to be aware of. Turnout rugs are waterproof and have a thicker outer denier, this stops them ripping on things in the field and wherever else your horse may roam. Stable rugs have a softer outer, and are not waterproof.
What size horse rug should I buy?
In Europe, horses are measured ‘withers to tail’ – this just means from the front of their chest to the back of their hind legs. Grab a soft tape measure, and be comfortable you’ve got an accurate recording before you start shopping online. It is worth getting a second opinion if you are not confident with your own measuring skills.
Once you have your measurements, all you have to do is match them with a horse rug size chart and you can be sure you’ll get the right size. See the below example:
Rug measurements can vary dependent on brand be sure to check the brand you are wanting to purchase for correct size.
It’s extremely important the rug fits right. An ill-fitting rug places strain on the material which in turn can cause tearing, rubbing and slippage which may possibly injure the horse. With a turnout rug this strain can result in water seeping into the rug and not being waterproof.
What difference does the weight of the product make?
Unsurprisingly, rugs come in different weights for different times of the year. In summer your best option will be fly rugs and rain sheets which are 0g to 100g. When the cold weather moves in and it starts to get chillier, most people tend to move on to the medium weight rugs which are between 200g and 250g. Throughout winter it’s generally best to go for the heavyweight rugs, which are between 300g and 400g. However, this does depend on your horse – like us humans, some will get colder than others.
How can I tell if I should put a rug on my horse?
With the above point made, we thought it’s best to let you know of some ways to check if your horse is cold. One good indicator is to tuck your hand into the horse’s rug, and feel behind the wither. If it feels chilly, he/she may need another layer. If it feels damp, he/she is probably too hot. Another thing to look out for is if your horse’s hair is starting to stand on end, this will normally happen when they start to get cold.
How often should I replace my horse rugs?
This is quite a common question that we are asked at Country & Stable on a regular basis, and the truth is there is no definitive answer. Some people will replace their horse rugs every year, other people choose to get theirs cleaned, reproofed and repaired at the end of a season. We’d always suggest that you keep a close eye on the condition of your horse rugs. If they start to let water through or have quite severe rips or tears in the material, it’s time to replace them as they just won’t do the right job for your horse. It’s a similar story for stable rugs, which might need replaced slightly more frequently. As they are worn in the stable, they more frequently pick up small rips and can soak up a lot of the horses’ leavings, which isn’t the most hygienic. Another point to note is older rugs start to loose their thermal ability with age meaning they won’t work to their full potential.
What horse rug are you going to buy?
We hope this information has helped you with your decision to invest in a horse rug. Here at Country & Stable we have a huge range from leading brands including Horseware, Weatherbeeta, Bucas and many more. If you still feel unsure, feel free to get in touch and ask our expert team who will be more than happy to help – chances are we will have used the rug you are asking about with our own horses!