We all love and care for our horses and should do everything in our power to make sure that they are healthy and comfortable at all times. They can certainly be affected by the weather as well and we also need to be sure that they are cared for following healthy exercise, be they out to pasture or in a stable. Consider the variety of horse rugs available to you according to your situations and always make sure that you have taken into account both your demands on the animal and the conditions within which it lives.
In the majority of cases, horse rugs are intended for use when the animal is at rest. The two primary types of equestrian rugs are stable rugs and turnout rugs. As the name suggests, the former is useful in keeping the horse warm and comfortable in the stable and versions are available in a variety of different weights and thicknesses according to your location. You should establish your preference here. You can either select one stable rug in an appropriate weight or thickness, or, as may be preferable if you live in a climate that is quite variable, you could layer your equestrian rugs in an assortment of different thicknesses according to conditions.
Always make sure that your rugs are well fitting, covering the animal and fastened by using fillet strings and surcingles. Avoid encroaching on the most sensitive parts of its body and do make sure that the horse is comfortable before you leave.
Turnout rugs are designed for horses that are kept out in the field. It is even more critical to ensure warmth and protection when outdoors and you need to be very careful selecting the right products here. Turnout rugs are also designed to keep the beast dry and clean. Modern examples are created from a material that has not only waterproof properties, but is also relatively lightweight and has the ability to maintain the animal’s temperature. Pay particular attention to fitment with good crossover underbelly connections and straps to the chest or rear legs.
If you live in an area prone to particularly inclement weather, you should consider a heavier duty equestrian rug, such as the New Zealand rug, which has been designed to guard against wintry conditions. Remember that you can also layer lighter weight rugs beneath to reach the desired level of comfort.
Try and avoid leaving any particularly wet rugs on a horse where at all possible and make sure that you groom the horse to get rid of any lasting dampness, especially in cooler weather conditions. The horse can lose a lot of body heat when its coat is wet and matted as opposed to when dry and much more energy will be required to stay warm.
When a horse rug is not being used, it should be placed over a rug holder to dry out. These holders can be elevated or moved into an “open” position to allow for quick drying, before being folded back out of the way, storing your bulky rugs until you need them next.