Repairing horse rugs

Horse care is expensive, and we all know that the equipment and gear we have to buy for our equines normally comes with a hefty price tag. This is why there is little more frustrating than our equine friends coming in from the field with ripped, torn horse rugs!

After a tough day at work, arriving at the yard in prevailing wind and rain to find that your horse or pony’s best friend has decided to shred your own equine’s rug can lead even the most level-headed horse owner to want to shove the offending item straight in the bin; but stop and think - save money - don’t bin it, repair it!

Repairing and maintaining horse rugs is a good way for horse owners to save money. You can take your rugs to a professional who will charge you to repair and clean your rugs and usually these types of services are available through most large tack and feed shops. However this in itself can prove a significant ongoing cost for horse owners, particularly if their four-legged friend is a serial rug shredder; so why not have a go at repairing your horse rug yourself?

Here are our five top tips!

The first step to repairing any horse rug is to ensure it is clean and dry so it is easy to see where it is torn or damaged, and the rug is practical to handle. You will need the following equipment; a patch of waterproof rug material, strong sewing thread, needle, scissors, pins and waterproof fabric glue or rug re-proofer.

  • Place the rug on a flat surface and locate the tears in the rug.

  • Choose a turnout rug which is beyond repair and choose this one to sacrifice for creating patches. Then cut the rug and make repair patches to the correct size for your rug and make sure you leave at least 2cm overlap on each side of the patch.

  • Pin the repair patch over the torn section and using your needle and thread, sew along the edges of the patch, removing the pins as you go. Start your sewing on the underneath of the torn canvas so that your starting knots don’t show on the outside of the rug. Pull the stitches tight but not so tight that the material bunches up. Finally, tie off the thread securely to end the stitching.

  • Carefully apply the glue to the stitching and leave to dry. This helps to prevent leakage through the stitching.

  • Trim any excess patch material if necessary.

Remember that prevention is better than cure and in order to try and limit the risk of your horse or pony’s rugs been torn and damaged, remove any wire fencing. It may be wise to buy un-branded or cheaper horse rugs- especially if your horse or his field-mates are ‘rug destroyers’ -and when washing your rug, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Saddlery Shop stock a large collection of rug cleaning, reproofing and spare part supplies. We understand the need to make sure that all your horse riding equipment is kept in the best quality state, which is why we offer you affordable solutions to care for your equestrian needs. We offer spare straps, filet strings and Velcro cleaner as well as rug washing products!