Horse Rugs – your questions answered!

Horse Rugs – your questions answered!

There are so many questions we regularly receive about how and when to rug your horses. 

Here’s just a few examples of these questions;

  • Can I over rug my horse?
  • What material should my horse rug be?
  • What weight should my horse rug be?
  • Do horses need rugs in rain?

If you’d like answers to these questions – read on!

The variety of rugs may feel a bit overwhelming, but the most important first step is to get to know your horse. Just like people, horses are all different. Horses are similar to humans - as you know, some humans feel the heat terribly and cannot stand weather over 20 degrees!  However, others may be acclimatised to very hot weather, for example living somewhere like Darwin in the Northern Territory, and would feel the cold if the temperature dropped below 25 degrees celsius. This means getting to know your horse and how they react in different temperatures is a great place to start.

Can I over rug my horse?

Firstly let’s look at rugs for horses in cold climates.  Logic suggests, layering your horse with cosy warm rugs is a must in the cold weather - but beware, that could be a mistake.  Over-rugging could cause heat stress in your horse.

The reason for this is that horses have a resting body temperature 37.5 – 38.5 degrees celsius.  It is much easier for a horse to warm up, than to cool down. Something to keep in mind - horses do a great job of regulating their own body temperature.

What material should my horse rug be?

There is also the question of whether to choose synthetic material, cotton/canvas or natural fibre for your horse rug.

Synthetic material is great to use in cold weather because it tends to trap in body warmth.  Be mindful however, if you leave a synthetic rug with fill in it on your horse when the sun is out, and he is moving around a lot in the paddock it could cause him to sweat a lot and become dehydrated.  If your horse is in the paddock during a winter sunny day we would suggest a cotton or unlined canvas rug/combo.

What weight should my horse rug be?

To help you decide which weight of horse rug is appropriate – whether they’re in the stable or paddock, here’s a general guide:

Temperature

Stabled

Paddock

Example from our range

20+ degrees

Light cotton, shade cloth or mesh

Light cotton, shadecloth or mesh

Pvc Shadecloth

Sunshade

10oz cotton  eg Sunny

12- 20 degrees

Canvas with light lining

Unlined canvas

Simpson lined
Simpson unlined
Bluedog#2 lined  
Bluedog unlined  Highlander unlined

6 – 12 degrees

Under rug – eg wool/jute

Top rug unlined canvas or synthetic with no fill

 Lined canvas

Alpine  
Stradbroke
Simpson unlined
Blue dog unlined Highlander unlined  Simpson lined
Bluedog #2 lined

0 – 5 degrees

Under rug/combo eg wool

Top rug 100 – 200gram fill quilted combo or fully wool lined canvas combo

Fully lined canvas or

100 – 200gram fill quilted combo

Alpine  
Highlander Quilted
Midi    
Perisher  
Husky

0 degrees and below

Woollen combo

300gram fill 1680 denier combo

Under rug – wool combo 200-300 gram fill top combo or fully lined canvas

Alpine woollen  
Arctic
Highlander quilted   Perisher

Do horses need rugs in rain?

If it’s raining, and if the temperature is below 20 degrees and your horse is out in the paddock - be sure to use a waterproof horse rug and change it often.

A great waterproof option from our range is  Simpson lined, Blue Dog Lined, Highlander Quilted, or any synthetic rugs with fill in them.  Just be very careful if you are rugging with a synthetic rug make sure it is cold enough to leave on your horse.  Sometimes sweat may be mistaken for the rug leaking rain.

We know there’s lots of options, and even with this guide you might still want more assistance – don’t worry, we are here to help! Feel free to call or message us if you’re unsure about anything, and our horse rug experts will be able to help!

Call us on 07 4613 5599 or message us through Facebook or Instagram.

Happy horse-riding!