Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A quick guide to buying your horses rug

Whether you are looking to invest in a rug to keep your horse warm during the cold winter months, or to protect your horse from irritating fly bites during summer – it is important that you buy not only the right rug for your needs but also one that fits your horse properly.

The effectiveness of a horse’s rug can be diminished if it is ill fitting, so to ensure that the rug you are buying fits properly it is important to measure your horse in the correct way. To do this use a tape measure to record the measurement from the centre of the breast to the furthest point of your horse’s buttocks.

Traditional horse rug sizing works at 3 inch intervals, so for example the next size up from 4’6” would be 4’9” and so on. If you find that your horse does not fit exactly to one of these sizes, always ensure that you buy a rug that is too large rather than too small. This is because with some styles of rugs, for example the turnout rug, if they are too short then they will not provide the necessary protection that the rug is designed for. Alongside medical expenses, horse insurance and general upkeep, purchasing a rug is a cost that you must be ready for as a horse owner, so it’s worth making sure you choose the right style for your needs.

The fleece rug is certainly worth considering due to its adaptable nature. The rugs’ versatility, thanks to its warm and breathable nature, means that it can be used as a stable rug, travel rug or a substitute for an under rug. As an under rug it can be used under other, heavier types of rug, to stop rug rub or irritation to the horse. As a fleece rug is breathable, it can also be used as a cooling rug, soaking up sweat from the coat after a horse has exercised to allow the horse to cool down slowly.

The turnout rug has two main uses. Firstly it will keep your horse warm in winter (you can buy varying thicknesses of turnout rug, so if you want it purely to keep your horse warm, consider buying a heavyweight version) and secondly it will keep your horse dry and clean when in the field.
 
In conclusion, the most important thing to remember when buying a rug is to make sure it is the correct size and fit for your horse. As you will have seen from the above advice, you may also need to invest in a variety of different thicknesses and styles so that you have the right rug, or combination of rugs, for every occasion
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