Our Guide To Horse Rugs

Posted by wormers-direct on 23rd Jun 2023

Our Guide To Horse Rugs

With Summer just around the corner (although the sun seems to be hiding!), rugs for your horse may well be the last thing on your mind. However, this is the time of year when you can pick up some really great bargains in preparation for next winter, or upgrade that fly rug you forgot to get washed last year! We know rugging horses can be a complete minefield, so we have put together this handy rug guide that includes not only the best rugs, but some extra tips too.

Mark Todd Ultra Combo Fly Rug

Picking a rug for your horse

So firstly, it is important to think about whether or not your horse actually needs a rug. For example, if you own a fluffy native with a thick coat, you probably won’t need any rugs (or maybe something very lightweight if you live in an area that gets snow in winter). There are a few factors to consider when choosing a rug for your horse:

  1. Size - horse rugs are measured in feet, and go up in 3” increments. The measurement is taken from the centre of the chest, along the horse’s side, and ends where you expect the rug to finish. Getting the size right is important, as pressure points, rubs and sores can occur if a rug fits poorly.
  1. Type - usually it is quite clear which rug you need, depending on whether your horse is turned out in the field or stabled. If you need a rug for outdoor use, you will need a waterproof turnout rug, or if you require an indoor rug, a stable rug is a better choice.
  1. Weight - this is where it can start to get a bit more technical. Every rug has a ‘weight’ on it, measured in grams. A 0g rug has no fill (lining) and is just used as a layer to keep the horse dry. A lightweight rug is 50g, a medium weight is 100-250g, and a heavyweight is over 250g.
  1. Style - there are lots of different options when it comes to style, the main ones being whether the rug has a neck or not, and whether this is detachable. If you are planning on clipping your horse in winter, then a full neck will keep them nice and protected.

Then of course there is the cost to consider too. With so many different brands and price points, it really is a personal choice. Cheaper rugs don’t often mean a lower quality of fabric, but some of the more expensive rugs such as Jumpers Horse Line do have more innovative features. Regardless of how much you are looking to spend, firstly measure your horse, choose the type and weight of rug you need, and go from there.

JHL Essential Heavyweight Combo Turnout Rug

Fleeces, Cooler & Exercise Sheets

As well as the traditional stable & turnout rugs, there are also fleeces, coolers and exercise sheets to choose from too. Fleeces are really great in-between seasons, so in Spring or Autumn when you need an extra layer under a turnout or stable rug. They are also great at wicking away moisture, so ideal if your horse gets a bit sweaty during a schooling session.

Rhinegold 'Elite' Fleece Rug

Coolers are the perfect rug when you want to dry your horse quickly, particularly if your horse has just had a wash but you want to put their rug on. They are usually made from lightweight polyester, which is renowned for its wicking properties.

Rhinegold Premium Tech ‘Celltex’ Cooler Rug

Finally, we have exercise sheets which are perfect for keeping fully clipped horses warm & dry whilst they are being exercised. These wrap around your horse’s saddle, and cover their hindquarters, keeping their muscles nice and warm. Exercise sheets are also a great rug to pop on your horse in-between classes at a competition, helping to keep them warm and dry. There are waterproof riding sheets, as well as fleece, hi-vis exercise sheets and even horse walker sheets to choose from too.

StormX Original Waterproof Exercise Sheet

If you would like any further help or advice on choosing the best rug for your horse, please contact our expert team on 01423 806627.