Tag Archive: horse rugs

  1. How to measure for a horse rug

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    A great fit is crucial to ensure your horse’s comfort and well being—a poorly fitting one could let in the cold, or cause rubbing and sores. However, as with women’s clothing (don’t get me started), horse rugs can vary greatly even though they come in “standard” sizes. So before you start to measure rugs, make a note of one that you know fits your horse well and go for rugs of a similar shape and style.

    How to measure for a horse rug

    Rugs generally come in sizes 4ft to 7ft 6in, going up in 3in increments — they are usually measured in feet and inches, and the measurement is taken from the centre of the horse’s chest around his shoulder to the point of his buttock. Use a soft tape measure and, for best results, get someone to help you to make sure you keep the tape in a straight line.

    To double-check your measurements, spread a well-fitting rug out on the floor, or flat over a table, and measure from the front of the chest clips to the bottom of the rug (not including the tail flap).

    As a guide, here’s the Derby House horse rug size chart:
    Horse rug sizes

    How to check the fit of a new horse rug

    When you get your new rug home, it is best to check that it fits your horse properly. You can do this without marking the rug (in case you have to to return it) by spreading a cotton bedsheet over your horse before putting on the rug — the sheet is fine enough not to affect the fit but will keep the rug clean.

    Put the rug well forward on to the horse’s back then slide it towards his tail until the front seam rests in front of his withers. If there is no neck seam, ensure the rug follows the contours of the horse’s neck and shoulders. If the seam between the tail flap and the rug falls below the top of his tail, it is too big.

    The rug needs to be tight enough to stay in place while still allowing movement, and you want to make sure it does not rub. All the straps designed to hold the rug in place are adjustable.

    Find the right rug for your horse

    Have a look at Derby House’s new horse rug collection.

  2. Find the right rug for your horse

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    There is a dizzying array of horse rugs on the market, so how many do you need, what are they all for, and how do you choose the best ones for your horse?

    The main categories are turnout rugs, stable rugs, summer sheets and fly rugs, fleece rugs and exercise sheets. Then are various add-ons, such as hoods, eye savers and shoulder guards, plus travelling rugs and show sheets.

    Choose the right rug for your horse

    What your horse will actually need will depend on his type, how he is kept and where he is kept. A thin-skinned Thoroughbred, for example, will require more rugging than a hardy native pony, and temperatures in the UK can vary greatly. Clipping, age and weight of your horse can also make a difference.

    Turnout rugs, fly rugs, coolers and fleeces

    Turnout rugs protect your horse from the elements. If he spends a lot of time outdoors, you will need more than one — a lightweight one for spring and a heavier one for when the weather gets colder. A fly rug, designed to protect him from biting insects, can double as a lightweight turnout rug and you can always add another on top for more warmth.

    Then you have to consider whether you need standard or high-necked rugs — the latter are suitable if your horse has a prominent wither or is prone to rubbing. You can also get combination rugs, which have an attached neck that reaches up to his ears for more coverage. Fleece layers can add extra warmth, while coolers are quick-drying and wick away moisture to keep him comfortable.

    Stable rugs

    Stable rugs are intended to keep your horse cosy when indoors, but can also be used for cooling down hot and wet horses, as they also wick the moisture away from his body. They are breathable, for his comfort, but not waterproof. Again, you can double them up for colder weather, or add a blanket beneath.

    Exercise sheets

    Exercise sheets will keep your horse warm and dry while you are schooling. They can also be used as travel rugs, which keep your horse clean en route to shows, or if you have a bigger budget, you can buy a proper travel rug to look extra smart on the showground.

    Find out how to measure your horse for a rug

    Have a look at Derby House’s new horse rug collection.