Fixtures and fittings

Modern rugs for horses and ponies have a range of fantastic features, fastenings and fabrics.

Modern rugs for horses and ponies have a range of fantastic features, fastenings and fabrics, which include:

  1. Robust materials - look out for 1200d or higher ripstop outers, to help prevent rips.
  2. Front clips, T bars or buckles at the front closure of the rug.
  3. Neck covers with a smooth lining to help prevent rubbing.
  4. Anti-rub lining at least at the shoulders, ideally throughout the rug, to help maintain the coat’s appearance and prevent any bald patches
  5. Hi-vis binding options, for visibility on dark nights.
  6. Wicking functionality in case the horse becomes hot when expending steam in the field. These are also useful if you need to rug up when the horse or pony is still damp after exercise.
  7. ‘Stainaway’ type coatings to reduce cleaning requirements.
  8. Differing buckle and fastening hardware - stainless steel is popular and durable.
  9. Lining along the mane area, to help reduce rubbing.
  10. Machine washable stable rugs to save on professional cleaning.
  11. Extra deep sizes from wither to belly, for larger horses.
  12. 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.

Top tips for rugging

  • Use a progressive rugging system (light, then medium, then heavy) instead of going straight for the heavy.
  • If you are rugging for cleanliness, eg to keep the horse clean so you can ride, go for the lightest weight that is suitable if you want to maintain a thicker coat. Conversely, if your horse is working hard and you need to clip, ensure you rug well enough to stop the clip growing out too quickly.
  • Buy as good a rug as you can afford, as the better ones are cut to allow more freedom of movement, prevent rubbing and keep your horse warmer with less weight, and will ultimately last much longer if well cared for.
  • Keep spares, have at least two rugs in case of mishaps or very heavy rain that requires the usual rug to have extra drying time.
  • Look after your rugs and ensure hair and grease deposits are removed from the interior regularly to help prolong their life and prevent rubbing.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions to keep the rugs waterproof.

Bear in mind that when it comes to the fixtures and fittings of horse and pony rugs, different manufacturers do produce rugs of different qualities. The price you pay reflects this. You will see on more expensive horse rugs fittings and design features like quick release chest clips, lined wither pads, elasticated shoulder gussets, antibacterial linings and heavier-weight hardware. That is not to say however that cheaper rugs are not as good - they absolutely are, but you will just compromise somewhere if you buy a more cost effective rug, maybe in the depth of the rug at the horse or pony’s sides, or maybe in the durability of the hardware.


Keep spare rugs in case of mishaps or very heavy rain