The actual rug season begins in autumn, when temperatures drop significantly or when horses are shorn and need protection from wind and weather by means of a horse rug. However, rain can happen any time of year and sensitive horses can catch a chill even in summer. Some people simply want to keep their horse dry when it's raining. A light turnout rug for horses is an investment aby time of year. In winter, it keeps your horse dry and warm in snow or sleet and can prevent colds and other illnesses caused by the wet and cold weather. In spring and autumn, it is ideal as a transitional rug to compensate for possible downpours, unpleasant temperature fluctuations and the odd downpour. Even in summer, a heavy downpour can be quite unpleasant for your horse. A turnout rug can save you a lot of work and time when it comes to drying out if it's pouring down just before a show or riding lesson. A rain rug is therefore really versatile. And fortunately, nowadays there really is the perfect rain rug for every season.
As you know from our range, the variety of lightweight turnout rug is incredibly large. Whether you are looking for a lightweight turnout rug in pony size or one that is up to 165 cm long, we have the perfect rug for every horse. Gussets, cross surcingles, double breast closures, tail straps, simple closures, disc closures - you will find all variations and designs in our light turnout rug collection. Whether you want your horse to be able to wear its rain rug for a long time, for example overnight, or to be able to put it on quickly and easily, we have the right rug for you. The materials are also diverse, with different fabrics, different water columns and different manufacturers. The same applies to the filling, from the classic 0g rain rug to heavier turnout rugs with 400g filling. Take a look at our range and choose from great brands such as Horseware, Bucas and Kentucky Horsewear, as well as our own brand.
The classic rain rug
The classic cut with cross surcingles, without neck piece and witha choice of fillings. The fillings range from 0g and 50g (often called Lite) to the heavy 300g to 400g fillings, which are considered medium to heavyweight rugs. Popular styles include the Horseware Mio rain rugs, Kentucky Horseware All Weather, or All Weather Hurricane.
The high-neck rain rug
Like a classic high-neck rug, the high-neck rain sheet is cut higher at the withers. This does not only relieve the withers from pressure points and chafing, but also prevents water from running into the rug at the neck. For turnout rugs in particular, the high-neck cut is practical and worth considering. Alternatively, you can use a rain rug with a neck piece. Rain rugs with neck pieces are available with different fillings, just like the respective rain rug itself. Popular styles include the Horseware Rhino rug or the Bucas Irish Turnout Highneck rain rug.
Light turnout rugs with a hood
Light turnout rugs with horse hoods differ mainly in whether the hood is integrated or detachable. A rain rug with an integrated neck piece can only be used with the neck piece. The rug extends from the neck to the tail and is normally fastened under the belly, at the chest and at the neck. If you have a rain rug with a detachable hood, you can (as the name suggests) use the rug with or without the neck piece. Popular styles include the Horseware Amigo Bravo 12, Horseware Amigo Hero, Bucas Sun Shower, or Bucas Smartex Rain.
The lining system
Some manufacturers such as Horseware or Bucas have a so-called liner system for their rain rugs or turnout rugs. This means you can put a lining underneath the waterproof turnout rug. This is not waterproof, but often has breathable and moisture-wicking properties for high wearing comfort. Liners usually vary in their filling between 100g and 400g. This means you can easily adjust the thickness of your rug to suit the outside temperature and only need a waterproof rain cover.
Summer Rain Rugs & Fly Rain Rugs
In summer, when temperatures are warm, you don't usually need a turnout rug. Most of the time a fly rug is used. Nevertheless, showers or downpours can also occur in summer and your horse will then be standing outside with a wet fly rug. For such cases you can choose from products such as the Bucas Buzz-Off Rain or the Horseware Rambo Summer Series.
The right filling for your lightweight turnout rug
As with humans, there are horses that get cold faster and those that are less sensitive to the cold. This plays a big role in choosing the right rain rug, in addition to the outside temperature. Of course, a shorn horse needs a thicker rug than a horse with a healthy winter coat. Another factor to consider is whether the horse will be standing with the rug outside or only in the stable, because the stable is obviously much warmer. Basically, light turnout rugs without a filling or with a 50g filling are suitable for warmer days, while a 400g turnout rug only belongs on a shorn horse or a horse that gets cold quickly in our latitudes. It is best to check regularly whether the horse is sweating under the rug. Alternatively, there are sensors that can detect the temperature under the rug.
During the summer, healthy horses who only go out to pasture for a few hours at a time do not usually need a turnout rug. Sick or very sensitive horses can be covered with an unlined rug. Open stable horses are normally very robust and can usually get out of the rain if it gets too much for them. Spring and autumn are a different matter. While rain alone does not affect healthy horses, the combination of rain, cold weather and wind makes rain unpleasant for the animals and ultimately dangerous to their health. In this case, a rain sheet or lightweight turnout rug is appropriate, even if the horse only spends a few hours in the meadow or paddock. The turnout rug should be lightly lined.
A lightweight horse rain rug should waterproof and breathable. If you wash the rug too often, it may no longer be waterproof. You can then treat it with a waterproofing spray. In extreme cases, you will have to replace the rug with a new one. A rug that is not waterproof will soak up rain and lie on the horse like a weight. This is not only extremely unpleasant for the animal, but will also no longer protect the horse against the elements.
The right turnout rug for your horse depends on how it is kept and how much time it spends outdoors. If your horse only spends a few hours outside at a time, a lightly lined rug should be fine. For sensitive animals or those with health problems, styles with a neck piece are recommended. This should be enough to protect your horse from the elements during the period from spring to autumn. In winter, you should switch to a waterproof heavyweight turnout rug, unless your horse has an extremely thick winter coat.
It is also important that the rug has sufficient moisture-wicking properties. Only then can the horse's sweat evaporate properly. Horses kept in boxes tend to run and romp in the meadow or paddock. Of course, they sweat when they do this. This sweat should be allowed to evaporate, rather than remain on the horse's skin, which is unpleasant for the animal.
Horses in open stables are constantly in contact with other animals. This quickly leads to scuffles or the horses playing with each other. As nice as this is for the animals, waterproof turnout rugs can unfortunately wear out quickly in the process. The turnout rug should therefore be as robust as possible. It is also important that the rug sits properly on the horse, with minimal slipping or shifting. The correct fit is ensured by adjustable double chest straps, cross straps on the belly as well as belly and tail straps.
Since open stable horses usually spend a lot of time outdoors, the rug should have a high waterproof rating. The higher the rating, the more rain or snow the rug will keep out. A turnout rug with a light fleece lining is usually ideal. It keeps the horse warm during cold winds, yet allows sweat to evaporate freely. For winter, heavier winter turnout rugs with thicker filling or lining are available.