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  • April 27, 2022 23 min read


    Introduction: What are Horse Rugs?

    When To Use Horse Rugs?

    1. Horse is old and weak
    • Breed
    • Body condition score
    • Shelter
    • Coat condition
    • Weather
    1. To help keep a short coat.
    2. To reduce grooming time.
    3. Flies and insects are a problem.
    4. Horse eats too much.

    History of Horse Rug Use

    Different Types of Horse Rugs

    • Summer rugs - cotton, mesh/fly, hybrid, flag, 
    • Turnout Rugs - canvas, synthetic
    • Stable Rugs
    • Travel Rugs
    • Cooler & Fleece Rugs
    • Anti-Sweat Rugs
    • Sweet Itch rugs
    • Competition Rugs
    • Exercise & Therapy Rugs
    • Underrugs - Moleskin and Woolen
    • Neckrugs and Hoods




    Horse Management: Guide for Rugging in Warm and Cool Months

    • The comfort zone
    • Weather
    • Clipping
    • Bathing
    • Exercise
    • How To Prevent Over-Rugging
    • How To Wash Your Horse Rugs
    • Remove Dirt and Grass
    • Prepare Water Mixed with Soap
    • Use the Washing Machine
    • Hang It Outside To Dry
    • Hire a Professional Horse Rug Cleaner. 
    • Buying Advice : How To Choose the Best Horse Rug
    • Conclusion: Think Before Your Rug!


    Introduction: What are Horse Rugs?

    I love my horses; they are a part of my family, which is why I want them to be comfortable and happy 100% of the time. I have owned horses for over 25 years, yet I still question myself every day about how I should rug my horse, if at all. I began researching this article because I wanted to find out once and for all what the right way to rug is!

    Luckily, I DID find the answer and I want to share it with you.

    The answer as usual is a little complex so let’s break it down into 3 parts:

    How do horses stay cool or warm - thermoregulation? 

    When and why we should rug?

    And finally, what are the different rug types and which is right to use?

    Horse rugs (also called “horse blankets”) are a kind of animal covering that helps a horse regulate temperature for different weather conditions. While they’re mostly used for insulation, many types of horse rugs today are created for protective and comfort purposes. 

    Horse rugs are sized to fit a horse’s body. They’re fitted comfortably so that the horse can move freely without any limitations or discomfort. Horse rugs are often fitted from the horse’s chest to rump and may have belly straps to keep them fitted correctly. High quality horse rugs are durable and long-lasting meaning they can withstand daily use and are often tear-proof. 

    Horse Management: Guide for Rugging in Warm and Cool Months

    Horses regulate temperature just like all mammals do. Their internal body temperature measures around 38 degrees celsius and they have the innate ability to maintain this body temperature. This ability is called thermoregulation. 

    However, during harsh weather conditions and specific circumstances, a horse can find it difficult to stay warm or keep cool. Rugging affects a horse’s natural ability to thermoregulate. This is why it’s very important to pay attention to your horse’s temperature before even considering rugging.  There are many factors that contribute to your horse’s change in temperature and your ideal rugging choices. Knowing when to rug and how many layers to put on is crucial to ensure they are comfortable.  

    The comfort zone

    Before we can answer the question ‘what type of rug should I be using for my horse’, we need to understand a bit about how horses keep themselves at a comfortable temperature, year round.

    When it comes to temperature, everyone has a comfort zone and horses are no different. The “comfort zone” that I am referring to is the thermoneutral zone (TNZ) - the external temperature range in which a horse (or human) can regulate its core body temperature.

    For a horse, the TNZ is 5C to 25C. This means that a horse will be able to be maintain a comfortable body temperature when the outside temperature is between 5C and 25C.

    Human’s have a much tighter TNZ of between 25C - 30C! This means that just because you feel cold, doesn’t mean your horse does too!

    I want to stress that the TNZ really is a comfort zone. What I mean by this is that a horse doesn’t really have to do much to maintain its core body temperature when the outside temperature is between the ranges of 5C and 25C. Also, if the temperature is below 5C or above 25C this doesn’t mean the horse need to be rugged. It means they have to work to maintain their core temperature.

    If the temperature falls below 5C, the horse can warm itself by exercising, finding shelter from bad weather and eat more. You may also notice that a horse’s hair will stand on end, which insulates a horse by trapping a layer of air within the coat - think horse goose bumps!

    If the temperature rises above 25C your horse can cool itself by sweating, drinking more water, moving to shade and may even eat less.

    If a horse can’t effectively warm or cool itself, then there is a very real possibility that the horse may require veterinary attention. But, luckily for us horses are good at regulating temperature.


    Another important factor to be considered is your horse’s coat. Generally, horses have their own biological thermal insulation which is their winter coat. A horse coat is covered in natural grease which repels water and keeps the skin dry. 

    Most unclipped horses grow thick winter coats enough to warm them in the chilly winter months even when temperatures drop below zero.  If your horse is fully clipped then that means you’ve stripped it away of its natural thermal layer and water-repellent coat, therefore it’s only right that you replace it with a source of warmth such as a thick horse rug.

    When To Use Horse Rugs?

    So when should we rug a horse? There are a number of factors, such as:

    • Body Condition Score
    • Age
    • Breed
    • Shelter
    • Coat Condition
    • Weather 


    that should be taken into consideration when deciding to rug a horse, and each of these factors is explored in more detail below.

    Body Condition Score

    This reflects a horse’s fat deposition: 1 is poor and 9 is extremely fat.

    If your horse is 4-5 then they may not need to be all. In fact, if you leave an overweight horse in their birthday suit throughout winter, then you will encourage weight loss, as they will need to use their fat stores to generate energy to keep them warm. This is a great way to reduce the risk of your horse foundering, as when the spring grass comes through, they won’t be holding too much excess weight.

    On the other hand, if your horse has a score of 4-5 or below, then you may need to give them a helping hand and rug them in the cooler weather. This is because they don’t have the fat stores to help keep them warm when the temperature drops.


    In Australia, we experience a broad range of weather patterns. One second it is monsoonal rain, and then hot sunshine...four seasons in one day comes to mind when I think about our weather! But one thing is for sure, our summers can get hot, hot, hot! For this reason, it is advisable to not rug your horse at all. As discussed in part one, horses need to sweat to cool their bodies down. If they have a rug on, this natural process is impeded, and the horse cannot effectively cool down, which can lead to overheating.

    What’s more, if a horse has a rug on, and it is sweating, the sweat may also cause skin infections. But I hear you say, “what about the flies?!”. Yes it is true that the Aussie flies are absolutely awful and sometimes protection is warranted to combat those nasty bites. In this situation, choose your rug carefully (see part three), as some rugs may be hotter than others (have you ever worn polyester!). You may also like to consider putting your horse out at night, when it is cooler and those biting insects have gone to bed!

    On the other hand, while Australian winters can be reasonably mild, your horse may need a rug. If your horse is paddocked during the day and has no access to shelter, on the days where it is raining excessively, it may be wise to rug. The reason for this is because rain will cause the hair to flatten, so the horse will not be able to raise its’ hair to keep warm.

    Add to this possible wind chill due to the bad weather, and the horse can very quickly get cold.


    Horses that are paddocked, should be able to access suitable shelter to keep them dry in winter, and provide shade in summer. Ideally, the shelter should be 3 sided for best protection. Dense tree and shrub areas are also good coverings for both summer and winter.

    If your horse has access to shelter, then it is able to keep dry, so will be able to cope with the rain and wind. However, don’t be so quick to bring your horse into the stable and assume it will be warm. Remember, the easiest way for a horse to get warm is to exercise, and out in the paddock it can RUN. When it is brought into a stable, it is unable to move around sufficiently, and may not be able to generate enough heat to warm itself.


    When deciding whether to rug a horse, you will need to consider its age. Young horses and senior horses generally have less body fat, so will lose heat at a quicker rate compared to a horse with a higher body fat content. Senior horses may also have health issues, which will impact on their ability to generate sufficient heat to keep warm.


    The breed of horse plays a role in determining its tolerance to the cold weather. Heavier horses will generally withstand the cold better than finer breeds. Also, some breeds of horse, such as thoroughbreds and standardbreds have a thinner coat and skin, so may have less cold tolerance than other breeds.

    Coat Condition

    As touched on above, some horses have thinner coats and skin and as such may need to be rugged in the cooler months. The same is true for horses that are clipped. If you do decide to clip your horse, be aware that it will need assistance in keeping warm and dry.

    Individual Requirements

    Like humans, horses are individuals and no one knows their horse better than you! If you feel the need to rug your horse, then do it. Just make sure that your horse is comfortable, and that you have taken into account the factors that are described above! If you’re still unsure, I would recommend talking to your vet - they are a walking search engine with a wealth of information and will be able to help you!

    Now you should have a better understanding of what to consider when deciding on how best to rug your horse. In part 3 we will take a look at the different rug types on the market and what each is designed to do.

    To rug or not to rug? that is the question. Aside from cold protection in winter, horse rugs are used for a number of reasons. Many people rug their horses out of convenience, others do it for necessity. Consequently, not all horses need rugs. In fact, many ponies and horses can live without a rug all year. Horses who have lived a natural outdoor life and have lots of shelter in the wild don’t need blankets. These horses often have long winter coats that provide protection from the elements. In this section, we’re going to learn the basics of horse rugging. The following are common reasons why owners rug their horses:

    1. To help keep a short coat.

    A horse’s coat changes throughout the season. During the hotter seasons, the coat thins out so the horse can keep cool. It then grows longer and thicker leading up to the start of winter, to provide insulation from the cold. The insulation can prove to be too much for some horses that are used in high energy disciplines such as jumping, which can result in the horse experiencing discomfort due to the demanding work. Some horse owners choose to clip their horses’ coats short to alleviate the discomfort and then use rugs to help the horses stay warm when they are resting. If you have a working horse, rugging is a good solution to sweat and cool down issues. And if you’re determined not to let his coat grow until the chilly months, rugging your horse at the start of autumn will most likely help him maintain a short coat. 

    1. To reduce grooming time.

    For grooming purposes, horse rugs are used to keep the horse’s coat dry and clean. No matter what you do, you can’t keep a horse from having fun in the mud.  Rugging is a good way of keeping your horse’s coat  fresh and always ready for a ride even when he’s been outside all day.  Horses that are rugged usually have coats that look flatter, shinier, and smoother compared to an unrugged horse. 

    1. Flies and insects are a problem.

    Flies and biting insects are very common during summer and rugging is a great solution to this problem. There are various lightweight blankets made especially for the summer weather. These covers help ward off flies and provide the added benefit of preventing the horse’s coat from bleaching. Take note that they’re lightweight so they won’t necessarily make your horse oversweat plus they’re easy to wash too. For best protection, use your summer horse rugs with other covers such as legs covers, a neck cover or go for a full hood. 

    1. Horse eats too much. 

    Did you know that horses eat a lot during winter to generate body heat? In order to reduce their appetite, many experts suggest rugging. Aside from minimizing feeding bills, rugging gives your horse an easy way to warm themselves without having to eat more.

    History of Horse Rug Use

    Did you know that horse rugs were first used by the Native Americans? Horse rugs have evolved considerably from its humble beginnings. Before it was utilized for aesthetics and horse care, horse rugs were used to keep the rider warm during the winter season.  Other times, horse rugs were used for traditional and spiritual ceremonies. 

    Horse rugs were considered a valuable object. They were used by other tribes to barter possessions. In fact, Spanish merchants often bartered horse rugs for saddles. The first horse rugs were made from wool cloth. They were also hand woven and dyed with mixtures of plants and vegetables. The process of making them was difficult as the wool had to cleaned and spun before it could be woven. They didn’t last that long compared to today’s horse rugs.

    Traditional horse blankets are still available to this day as many native american tribes continue to hand weave these rugs. One of the most popular from their collection is the ‘Navajo blanket’ which is a beautiful horse blanket styled with fringed ends and vibrant earth colors.  

    Different Types of Horse Rugs 

    Knowing when to rug a horse can be confusing, but once you finally get comfortable with that, knowing what type of rug to put on your horse is a … another whole different ball game. There are so many rugs that are available in today’s market, and sometimes it isn’t too clear when, why or how we should use a certain rug. So, the aim of this article is to discuss the most common types of rugs that are available for your horse, and how and when these rugs should be used. 

    Horse rugs come in a variety of designs and colors. There are also different types of horse rugs for every purpose. Price range of horse rugs starts around $50 with the expensive ones pricing over $400. While not everyone can benefit from them, it’s worth knowing when and how to use them. Find out the different type of horse rugs in the list below: 

    Summer Rugs 

    Summer rugs have various uses, from keeping flies and biting insects off a horse to stopping a horse from becoming sunbleached. As these rugs can be easily washed, they can be used under winter rugs, helping keep these heavy rugs clean! There are many summer rugs on offer in the Australian market, including cotton, mesh, hybrid and flag rugs.

    • Cotton

    Cotton rugs are by far one of the most popular rugs due to their versatility and high breathability. As the name suggests, cotton rugs are made up of mostly cotton (about 60%), however manufacturers do tend to put some synthetic fibres (polyester) throughout the mix. The reason for this is to make the rug stronger, but also to reduce the cost, as pure cotton can be quite expensive. For this reason, it is important to look at the polyester/cotton content of the rug, as a higher polyester content can make the rug quite hot for horses in extreme summer temperatures and will also increase the static electricity - ouch! Cotton rugs can be used throughout the year; they make great summer rugs, offering insect protection and reducing sun-bleaching, and can be used under heavier winter rugs, which can aid in keeping these rugs clean. Cotton rugs are also quite durable; they can last for a long time and can be easily mended, if need be.

    • Mesh/Fly rugs

    Mesh rugs are a relatively new rug to the market. This type of rug can either be extremely lightweight or quite heavy, similar to shadeclothe. The nature of this rug allows air to flow through it, which in theory will help keep the horse cooler. However, these rugs are made entirely out of polyester, which is not a breathable fibre, so in extreme heat, these rugs will make your horse sweat. Due to the mesh fabric, these rugs will dry out fast, so if your horse is caught out in a summer shower, rest assured that this rug will dry out faster compared to a cotton sheet. The durability on this rug however can be low; due to the nature of the fabric it can easily get caught and rip. I have know a few horses to have ripped these rugs to shreds! These rugs don’t tend to be as good at keeping the insects away (given that they can bite through the mesh quite easily) and offer less sun protection than the cotton sheets. 

    • Hybrid

    A hybrid rug is essentially a cross between a cotton sheet and mesh rug. Generally, the top half of the rug (so from the horse’s back to lower part of their belly) will be made from a cotton/polyester blend, and the lower half of the rug will be made out of mesh. The idea behind this rug is to increase the airflow to the horse, by having the mesh inserts, whilst the cotton sheet on top increases the breathability. This rug is great for sun and insect protection. I find that it is also a lot stronger than just the plain mesh rugs, and also a lot cooler, given the breathability of the cotton. It also has better insect and sun protection than just the plain mesh rugs.

    • Flag

    Flag rugs are similar to cotton sheets, in that they are made from a cotton and polyester blend. However, flag rugs feature an extremely lightweight fabric (around 150 - 190gsm) with a loose open weave (think cheesecloth). So, as a rug it is extremely cool, allowing lots of breathability and air flow, but it is not very durable. In fact, if your horse loves to roll, play with other horses, itch or scratch, you should stay away from a flag rug, because they will just tear and fall apart. On a positive note, flag rugs are really well suited to hot summer days, as they are cool, offer good insect and sun protection. 

    Winter Rugs

    There are a range of winter rugs out on the market and all have a different use! When considering which winter rug to use, it is important to understand the denier and gsm measurements. The denier refers to the thickness of the thread used to manufacture the rug. The higher the denier the thicker the thread, which means that the rug will be stronger, so more durable, but it will also be a lot heavier and more expensive. Generally, you will be able to get away with a 600 denier rug as this will be gentler on the hip pocket but will also stand the test of time. If your horse is notorious for destroying their rug, then you may want to spend some extra dollars and invest in a higher denier count, which may last you a little longer! Winter rugs will also have a gram measurement, which refers to the weight of the polyfil that is in the rug. The polyfil acts as insulation and it is what keeps the horse warm. The higher the polyfil count, the warmer the rug. Think of the doona on your bed, a heavier doona is warmer than a lighter one! When choosing a winter rug you should take into account the denier and also the gram measurement. The table below will help you choose the type of rug you need for your horse. 

    • Turnout Rugs 

    If your horse is paddocked outside, or if they are turned out for a period of time over the winter months, then you may want to consider using a turnout rug. A turnout rug will help protect your horse against the wind, cold and rain and will help to keep them warm and dry. There are mainly two types of turnout rugs available; synthetic waterproof and canvas. 

    Synthetic waterproof rugs, as the name suggests, help keep your horse dry in wet weather. Whilst no rug is 100% waterproof, synthetic waterproof rugs come pretty close! These rugs generally contain a chemically treated membrane, which sits underneath the denier, to prevent water passing through the fibres. You will also notice that manufacturers advertise these rugs as being breathable, and that is because the rugs are designed to allow air to flow through the fibres of the rug. Synthetic waterproof rugs are also available in different deniers and polyfil, which means that you can choose the strength of the rug for your horse and also how warm you require your rug to be. 

    Canvas rugs are also another option of turnout rug. Canvas rugs are generally made from a cotton/polyester blend, but each manufacturer is different. The more cotton a canvas rug has in it the more breathable it will be, but it won’t necessarily be as strong as a polyester canvas rug (also note that the more polyester a rug has in it, the hotter it will be). Canvas rugs also come in different weaves and weights. The heavier the canvas, the more likely it is to withstand rain, and the stronger it will be. Also, when buying a canvas look for a core spun weave, as this is a tighter weave which will aid in the rug’s water resistance, strength and breathability. Unlike the synthetic waterproof rugs however, canvas rugs are not waterproof, in that they will withstand extended periods of rain! At best, canvas rugs are only showerproof. The extent to which a canvas is waterproof, will also depend on how the canvas is treated. There are two main treatments of waterproofing; immersion and wax coated. The immersion method, whereby the canvas is submerged in a waterproofing agent, is superior to the wax coated method (where the canvas is sprayed with a wax coating), as it has better water resistance and the waterproofing agent will last for a lot longer. 

    Canvas rugs also offer another option of being lined (with a wool lining) or unlined. If there is any chance of heavy rain or even extended periods of rain, it is imperative that the horse either have a lined canvas rug or a woolen rug underneath the canvas. As described above, canvas rugs are at best only showerproof, so when the rug becomes saturated, water will transfer to the horse. However, a wool lining or rug between the horse and the canvas will help keep the horse drier for longer, as the wool will repel moisture, keeping the horse dry, and when the rain stops, the horse’s body temperature will start drying the woolen rug/lining. 

    So which rug? Canvas rugs are definitely stronger than their synthetic partners, and offer better breathability due to the higher cotton content. However, if you require your rug to be virtually waterproof, you can’t go past a synthetic turnout rug.

    Stable Rugs 

    Stable rugs are those rugs that are designed to be used undercover in the stable. These rugs are not waterproof, and cannot be used in outside weather conditions. Stable rugs come in different deniers and weights, and once again, the higher the denier the stronger the rug and the higher the weight, the warmer the rug!

    Exercise Rugs -exercise rugs and sheets and cooler rugs, therapy rugs

    Exercise rugs are rugs that are designed to go on your horse either whilst exercising or straight after (cooler rugs). A new type of rug, a therapy rug is also available to put on your horse after work outs to aid in muscle release.

    • Exercise Rugs

    Exercise rugs and sheets, are those rugs that you use on your horse whilst exercising. They sit under and are secured by the saddle, and have no polyfill. They are often made from a cotton/polyester blend and are strong and lightweight (often 600 denier). Some exercise sheets are also showerproof. Exercise rugs are good for workouts in the cold as they will aid in keeping your horse warm and dry, so are really beneficial for clipped or thin skinned horses. Also, many of these rugs feature a reflective strip, so when out trail riding you can be seen!

    • Cooler Rugs

    As the name suggests, these rugs are to be used after the horse has been ridden, and aids in cooling your horse down, but at the same time reducing chill. These rugs often feature an open weave, which allows for maximum airflow and breathability. Cooler rugs are designed to be used on horses that are sweaty or hot, as they aid in getting the horse cool, whilst providing a layer to prevent wind chill.

    • Therapy Rugs

    Therapy rugs are a new rug that has come out in recent years. The rug is designed for stable use only and features strips of therapeutic magnets which are placed strategically within the rug. The idea is, is that the magnets provide a positive magnetic field over the horse’s muscles, which can aid in pain relief, increased circulation and improved circulation.


    Underrugs are rugs that are used underneath a turnout or a stable rug. There are two types of underugs, namely a moleskin and a woolen.

    • Moleskin

    Moleskin rugs are made from a 100% cotton fabric and feature a brushed underside. This feature allows for extra warmth and also aids in keeping the horse’s coat flat and sleek. Being made from 100% cotton means that this rug offers superior breathability, but it will lack strength, so it isn’t suited to a horse that likes to rips it’s rugs, and is only best suited to be an under rug. The moleskin rug can be used under show rugs and stable rugs to add extra warmth. They can also be used under canvas rugs, however a word of warning, if it rains, this rug will not aid in keeping moisture off the horse - in fact it will do the exact opposite!

    • Woolen

    Woolen rugs are made from a high wool fibre blend, which offers warmth and breathability to the horse. These rugs can be used as stable rugs, or under canvas rugs in the field; which will aid in keeping the horse warm and dry in wet weather. When using woolen rugs it is important to check the manufacturers blend, as there are some rugs on the market that have a very low wool fibre content, which will ultimately affect the rugs breathability.

    Neck Rugs - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    Now that we have covered the different types of rugs, let’s look at neck rugs. There are a range of neck rug options available on the market - hoods, detachable neck and combos. 

    Hood rugs are designed to go over the head of the horse, with holes for the ears and the eyes. The main benefit of these rugs is that they won’t slip down the horse’s neck and gather mid neck, which can cause discomfort for the horse. However, the biggest drawback, and in my opinion a deal breaker, of these neck rugs is their ability to get caught. I have seen countless horses get the “hood” part of the rug (often around the eye area) caught in stables, and some injuries result. Also, the straps that connect the hood to the rug can also become caught, which may result in injury for the horse or a ripped rug! 

    Detachable neck rugs are designed to cover only the neck of the horse, and will stop at the ears. They sometimes will feature a strap which can be connected to a halter or flyviel to prevent the rug from slipping down the neck. The rug is also detachable, which means that it has straps and is attached to the main rug of the horse. Once again, the downside of this rug is that it can slip down the horse’s neck and bunch, causing discomfort and the straps that attach to the body rug of the horse can become caught. 

    A combo is a neckrug that is permanently attached to the body rug. Like a detachable neck rug, the neck rug stops at the ears of the horse. The main benefit of this rug is that it does not have straps that connect to the body rug, which in my opinion makes this rug a safer choice, and also reduces the chance of it being destroyed or ripped. If the neck rug is slipping down the horse’s neck, it may be that the rug is not fitted correctly on the horse (i.e rug is too small or the actual fit is incorrect). 

    How To Prevent Over-Rugging

    Watch out for signs of discomfort after blanketing your horse. The thing is horses can self-regulate when they’re too cold or hot but it’s much more difficult doing the latter. Horses can’t talk and tell you what they are feeling but they can show it through actions. 

    If your horse is feeling hot, he’s going to try to cool himself down. Behaviours such as sweating and feeling extra thirsty are common in horses that are over-rugged. They will also seek shelter from direct sunlight and in extreme cases have labored breathing as their blood vessels become dilated. 

    Are there ways to know if you over-rugged your horse? Owners sometimes feel their horse skin to check for warmth however this may not give an accurate reading. 

    How To Wash Your Horse Rugs

    Horse rugs are big, heavy, and often difficult to clean. Most people don’t know how to properly wash their rugs. If you want your rug to last a long time and remain in good condition, then read on. In this section, we’re going to discuss how to properly wash and care for your horse rugs.

    Remove Dirt and Grass.Lay the rug over a fence so you can have a good access to it in every corner. Lightly beat it with a clean broom to remove unwanted dirt prior washing. You can use an old horse brush to remove grass and other sticking elements on the rug. Then, turn the rug over and do the same process to remove sweat and hair. 

    Prepare Water Mixed with Soap. Fill up a large bin with water and use a non-detergent soap or solution. Detergent can peel off the layer so it’s best not to use them. Place the rug inside the bin and beat it with a clean broom. Lay it once again on the floor and use the brush to scrub it from top to bottom. 

    Use the Washing Machine.  Don't  forget to look into the product’s manual for instructions so you don’t damage the rug during the process. Most lightweight rugs are machine washable. Remove any straps and add a small amount of disinfectant to reduce odor and bacteria.

    Hang it outside. Once you’re done with washing hang the rug on a sturdy washing line,  pole or clean fence under the sun. Ensure that the rug doesn’t touch the floor. Only use the rug after it’s completely dry.  

    Hire a Professional Horse Rug Cleaner. If you don’t have the time to do the washing, there are professional horse rug cleaners out there willing to give you assistance for a price. Some of these professionals, even do minor repair if required. 

    Buying Advice : How To Choose the Best Horse Rug

    There are lots of things to consider when buying a horse rug. If you’ve just bought your first horse and have read about the many benefits of rugging, then this guide is for you. From cozy stable rugs to fly sheets,  here are things to keep in mind before choosing the most ideal rug for your horse. 

    1. If you’re shopping online, taking proper measurements of your horse is very important. Horses are measured from the front of their chest to their hind legs. Once measured, choose the best measurements from the products detail list. 
    2. The type of rug you should buy depends primary on the season. A horse’s coat can adapt as the seasons change. In a natural state, a horse’s coat will grow longer in winter and thinner during summer. With varying day and night temperatures in Australia, you want to invest in a rug that will make your horse extra comfortable.
    3. Consider your horse’s environment too. Does he have shelter, forage, or perhaps a condition that make him quite sensitive to the cold? He will need a warmer and thicker rug depending on his environment.
    4. If you have a pony or an elder horse, he will need a warmer rug than a well-conditioned healthy equine.  
    5. Your horse shape can limit your rugging choices. Horses that are rounder or have a deeper girth will need a bigger and a deeper rug to cover his body well. 
    6. You’ll also want to consider your horse breeds. Experts say that thoroughbreds are more prone to cold than native breeds who are more adapted to almost all weather conditions. 
    7. Always choose rugs that fits your horse well to prevent rubbing and injury. 
    8. Remember that every horse is different. The number, the thickness, and the size of rug can vary from one equine to another. 
    9. When buying rugs, look for a product with a high denier outer. They are more durable and harder to tear. 
    10. Rug injury are common among horses with badly fitted rugs. A rug is a good fit if it allows your horse to move freely. If your horse’s size is between the measurements, it’s better to go for the one that’s slightly big instead of the smaller piece. Small sized rugs can restrict movement and cause rubbing. 
    11. If you’re going to rug your horse for the first time, opt for a lighter rug and increase the weight as needed as soon as he gets used to it. 
    12. Choose a rug that fits with your horse’s individual needs. Make sure it’s suitable for his weight, breed, environment, and physical needs. 
    13. Repair damaged horse rugs immediately. Leaking rugs can cause rain scald. 

    Conclusion: Think Before Your Rug!

    Rugging provides warmth and protection for your horses who spend a lot of time outdoors. Proper rugging can keep them relaxed and comfortable even when they’re turned out during winter. Here at Oakford Stockfeeds, we appreciate people who value their horse’s comfort and wellbeing. Looking for the right horse rug to ensure your horse is warm, comfy and healthy?  Visit our shop to see our collection of the best horse rugs. 


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