Here at The Saddlery Shop, an award-winning retailer, we don’t advocate over-rugging!

Whatever the weather, in an ideal world, we believe that we would not need to rug our horses. This ideal world includes suitable shelter, not just a hedge, that provides proper protection from the elements and is a safe haven for your horse. Our ideal world scenario also includes suitable quantities of forage (whether that’s good quality grazing or ad lib hay, as this forage acts as an internal heating system to provide warmth via digestion); and turn out that encourages movement.

But many horses are turned out in rugs. A good example of a horse needing a rug is the sensitive, thin skinned Thoroughbred that may feel the cold if rain is persistent, the temperature has dropped, or the equine is clipped.

In general, if the temperature is between 5-25 degrees Celsius, the horse or pony can comfortably maintain their body temperature without feeling hot or cold. However, persistent rain can quickly leave a horse feeling cold and miserable.

Top tips-

  • Rug only when you need to.

  • Provide ad lib hay if pasture is limited or insufficient.

  • If you are rugging a horse or pony for cleanliness, eg to keep him clean so you can ride, go for the lightest weight turnout rug that is suitable. Zero-fill horse rugs are ideal.