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If you are shopping for a horse rug you will be faced with a vast array of rugs for all eventualities!
Turnout rugs are to keep the horse or pony dry and warm, and help protect it from harsh weather conditions; stable rugs are used for horses that are clipped and living indoors in a stable, while there are also horse rugs for specific tasks, like fly rugs that help prevent horses from becoming irritated by midges, summer sheets that keep the working horse clean, and cooler rugs that aid cooling after exercise.
With different types of horse rug on the market and so many manufacturers producing rugs for horses and ponies, there are also many types of features, fixtures and fittings becoming available now.
Robust materials - look out for high-tenacity nylon outers, to help prevent rips.
Wrap-around designs that offer larger expanses of material at the chest, for larger horses.
Liners sold separately, so you can mix and match the weights.
Quick release front clips instead of buckles - saves time when fingers are cold.
Elasticated shoulder gussets for a better fit when the horse or pony is moving.
Large tail flaps on the horse rug for extra warmth and protection.
Turned-back necks, or comfortable areas of fleece at the withers, to prevent rubbing.
Neck covers with fleecy poll protection.
The choice of hind leg straps or a filet string, to keep the horse rug securely in place.
Anti-rub lining at the shoulders to help maintain the appearance of the horse’s coat.
High visibility binding options, for visibility on dark nights.
Wicking functionality in case the horse becomes hot in the field. These are also useful if you need to rug up when the horse is still damp after exercise.
Neck darts to reduce pressure at the point of shoulder.
‘Stainaway’ type coatings on the horse rug to reduce cleaning requirements.
Strong buckles - stainless steel is popular.
Various types of clips on the horse rugs, from clips that fasten in place with pressure, like the carabiner ‘coupling link’ style, to the ‘trigger snap’ styles that require a section of the clip to be pushed with the thumb or finger. Touch and close (Velcro) is also used.
Lining along the mane area of the horse rug, to help reduce rubbing.
Machine washable stable rugs, to save on professional cleaning.
Extra deep sizes of horse rug from wither to belly, for larger horses.
Bright and unusual colours and patterns, to help distinguish your own rugs and perhaps their individual weights, and also to distinguish your rugs from others at the yard.