Owning a pet means that we have the responsibility of ensuring that they are safe, comfortable, and provided for no matter what, and keeping a horse is no different. If you keep horses, it is likely that you’ve seen a few horse rugs in your lifetime.
Sometimes, choosing the right rug to suit your horse can seem daunting with a variety of different weights available but it doesn’t have to be. From lightweight to heavy horse rugs, there is something to suit all needs. Choosing the wrong rug, whether in weight or fit, can lead to your horse becoming irritated.
Here are a few signs that your horse may be uncomfortable.
Heavyweight rugs are necessary if your horse spends a lot of time outdoors, especially in the winter. They have a range of benefits including providing a high level of insulation when the weather drops below zero, or when your horse is stabled and can’t move about to keep warm. They can also help to regulate cooling after exercise, to ensure your horse doesn’t become too cold too quickly.
Heavyweight rugs improve cleanliness and create a barrier that keeps dust and debris from their coats. One problem with heavyweight rugs is that they tend to work very quickly. This means that horses run the risk of overheating. You can tell if your horse is overheating as it will begin to sweat or show fatigue. For this reason, it is best to only use a heavyweight rug in low temperatures.
Equally, your horse becoming too cold could become a problem if the correct rug is not used. If your horse is clipped, a cold day in a field can leave them feeling very chilly. A mid-weight or heavyweight blanket can be used in the colder months.
You can tell if your rug is not providing enough warmth for your horse as it may begin to shiver. This can lead to your horse burning more calories and therefore losing weight over a longer period. If you notice your horse is shivering, that is their way of telling you, they need a heavier rug!
Chafing and Rubbing
When choosing your horse’s rug, you should make sure that your measurements are correct. A poorly fitting rug can result in your horse becoming uncomfortable. If the rug is too small, this can cause rubbing and chafing. This can be very painful for the horse. Your rug should be a perfect fit to allow your horse free movement and provide an efficient layer of insulation and protection.
Keeping your rugs clean is essential. Horses can accumulate a lot of dirt and dust from the field and stable and over time, a lot of this can build up in their rug on the inside as well as the outside. Brushing dirt from the rugs and taking the time to wash them regularly will help to prevent skin conditions from developing that can cause your horse discomfort.