Sooner or later, almost every horse owner reaches for a horse rug, especially to provide protection from the elements or insects. The choice of horse rugs is almost limitless. Why so many rugs? Well, first of all, different types of rugs can be categorised according to their use or weather conditions. From classics like sweat and rain blankets to special magnetic rugs, you are sure to find what you are looking for.
The cut of the rug often plays a major role in ensuring that it fits properly. Highneck rugs are cut higher at the withers to prevent water from running into the rug at the neck. The tail flap also protects the sensitive tail rump from water. Pleats in the shoulder area offer greater freedom of movement and are particularly suitable for rugs worn in the paddock. To ensure the rug stays in place, most rugs have cross straps. leg cords, or a belly strap. The rug is also buckled at the chest. Different manufacturers offer different options to prevent chafing. Some rugs also have an integrated or removable neck piece. Last but not least, the owner is spoilt for choice when it comes to the colour of the rug. In our wide range of horse rugs you will find our own brands as well as rugs from Bucas, Horseware, Eskadron, Back On Track and Kentucky Horseware,
Let's start with the classic cooler rug, also known as simply the cooler. It is usually a fleece rug, available with or without a neck piece. As the name suggests, a good cooler rug should help the horse to sweat off after the training session. A particularly high-quality variant is the wool cooler rug, with its natural advantages such as temperature regulation and antibacterial effect. Towel rugs made of terry cloth allow the horse to dry particularly quickly, not just after the work is done, but also after an extensive bath.
Rain Sheets or turnout rugs protect your horse from wind and weather. They are usually available in different densities. This indicates how waterproof the rug is. The higher the density, the more waterproof the rug. So if you are looking for a rug for particularly rainy days, you should choose a high density, but for light showers a lower density will do.
Most rain sheets have no filling or only a soft fleece lining. In winter or with clipped horses, it is often possible to have more than just a rain cover. There are different options here. Some rugs have a so-called liner system. Waterproof outdoor rugs can be combined with a liner, which can have different fillings. stable rugs or liners are often not waterproof. If you don't want to go for the 'layered look', you can alternatively opt for a lined winter rug.
In summer, there are a lot of insects around, and ideally you should protect your horse from them. fly rugs are best suited for this. These are usually made of close-meshed net fabric (also called mesh), which keeps the insects away. At the same time, however, the rug is permeable to air, so that heat build-up does not occur even in warm temperatures. Some fly sheets also offer UV protection. There are riding fly rugs with a cut-out for the saddle so that the horse is also well equipped against the flying pests on summer rides.
For particularly sensitive horses that suffer from summer eczema, there are special eczema rugs. These sweet itch rugs have an additional belly bib and a neck piece, and some even have an integrated fly mask to protect the sensitive belly seam and the mane crest from black flies.
These rugs cover your horse's kidneys and keep them warm. With the saddle cut-out, they are especially designed for riding, so that your horse remains well protected on cool days while riding. Riding rugs are available as simple fleece rugs or with water-repellent or waterproof materials. Similar to the riding rug is the horse walker rug. It covers the horse's back and kidneys and at the same time leaves enough space for movement due to a large shoulder cut-out.
The answer to this question depends on the type of horse rug you are talking about. There are sweat rugs, rain sheets, turnout rugs, stable rugs, winter rugs, kidney rugs and fly sheets. Each of these rugs has a special function, is made of a different material and therefore has a different weight.
With horse rugs, weight means the thickness of the lining, not the total weight of the rug. This would also depend on the size of the rug. The weight of the lining is given in grams per square metre. Unlined rain covers therefore have a weight of 0 g/m². Lightly lined rugs start at 50 g/m". Turnout, cooler and stable rugs are between 50 and 250 g/m". Winter rugs start at 300 g/m². They usually reach up to 600 g/m². However, there are also rugs for extreme temperatures that have fillings of up to 800 g/m².
In summer you only need a cooler rug and possibly a rain rug. In spring and autumn, a lightly lined turnout rug is appropriate, especially if your horse is clipped. The type of winter rug your horse needs depends on whether or not it's clipped and whether it's is kept in an open stable. A clipped horse in an open stable needs a winter rug with a thicker filling than an unshorn animal in a stall. At temperatures below 5°C you should cover a clipped horse with a winter rug with a filling of approx. 300 grams.
If the temperature drops significantly below 0°C, a thicker winter rug would be better. However, the winter rug should not be too thick or the horse will sweat under it. In European latitudes, winter rugs up to 600 g/m² are perfectly adequate. Even in winter, an unshorn horse needs a waterproof, windproof, lined rain rug rather than a winter rug. The cold alone does not bother the horse, but wind and rain do.
Every horse owner should have a cooler rug. If your horse is not clipped and is stabled indoors, this is usually sufficient. For a clipped horse and for animals in an open stable, however, you need more rugs. As practical as a clipped horse is on the one hand, it also gets cold quickly. Therefore, you should have several rugs of different thicknesses for such an animal.
It is especially important for open stables that the rugs are waterproof and breathable. Then you can usually leave them on the horse all day without hesitation. In spring and summer, a fly sheet can be useful for grazing. Horses suffering from summer eczema should definitely be protected by such a rug. If you often transport your horse in a trailer, a transport rug can be useful. For occasional transport, however, a sweat rug is also sufficient.
To find the right size rug, measure the length of your horse from the withers to the base of the tail. The lengths of horse rugs vary in 10 cm increments. Therefore, it is usually no problem to find a suitable horse rug. This only becomes problematic if your horse is particularly thin or extremely stout. With very thin horses, the neckline is usually too big. This causes the rug to slip down the back. A cut neck can solve the problem.
If your horse is very stout or if it is a stallion with an appropriate neck, the neckline is often too tight. This makes the rug very uncomfortable for the horse and it may try to pull it off. In this case, a chest expansion helps. This is a small piece of rug that is buckled in the chest area and increases the size of the neckline.
Horseflies can become a real nuisance on rides, in the paddock or in an open stable. The animals then become restless, beat their heads and kick. Fly sheets, preferably with a neck piece, protect the largest part of the horse's body from these pests. The fly sheet material is usually treated with an insect repellent spray. An additional fly mask protects the horse's head when out in the pasture or in an open stable.
However, you should remove the fly mask when riding out. In principle, you can leave the fly blanket on the horse when you go for a ride and buckle the saddle over it. This may look a bit strange, but it can be very useful for horses that are sensitive to insects.