A quality horse rug is an essential piece of equipment in the equestrian world. If you are fairly new to horse-care, you may not realise that there are a range of different horse rugs for various needs and times of the year.
With the weather turning colder as the winter starts to take hold, we look at the different types of horse rug and consider which design will best keep your horse comfortable whatever the temperature.
One of the most versatile and popular types of horse rug, the Turnout Rug is perfect for a horse to wear outside in most types of weather. Whether you are experiencing a mild or a harsh winter, a rug of this design will keep your horse warm and protected from the wind. A turnout rug will be made from a waterproof material, keeping your horse clean and dry when out in the field. There are also lighter designs of the turnout rug that are aimed towards the unpredictable, but generally warmer summer months. A JHL Essential Turnout Rug is a great lightweight option, that is fully adjustable and breathable.
A Cooler Rug is designed to deal with any moisture that your horse has following a bath or exercise. It will stop your horse from becoming cold and is also breathable, allowing your horse to dry naturally. The Masta Cooler Rug Wickmasta has wicking properties that will help to ensure your horse is dry and warm, whilst their exercised muscles cool down.
A Fly Sheet is essential for the summer months, when flies and other insects are most common. A rug such as this will prevent discomfort from insect bites, and will also offer some sun protection for lighter skinned horses. The ProTack Combo Fly Rug will cover your horse from head to tail and make their summer much more bearable.
A Rug Liner will help to prevent rubbing from a main rug. They will fit snugly around your horse’s body and stop the bigger rug from moving around and chaffing. In can also be used as an extra level of protection on a cold night, keeping any heat from the main rug close to your horse’s body. An example of this type of rug is the Masta Rug Liner Climatemasta.
A Stable Rug is designed to be worn indoors and generally not to be used outside. It will not be waterproof, but should be breathable to help disperse a horse's natural sweat. This style of rug, such as the ProTack Heavyweight Stable Rug, will often be quilted and thick, offering a high level of warmth and comfort during the colder months.
A Summer Sheet is aimed at keeping a horse clean and dry, rather than warm. Perfect for transporting your horse to a show, this style of rug will keep dust and dirt at bay, leaving your horse’s coat shiny and groomed. It will also offer a thin layer of protection when worn overnight, should there be a light breeze or chill in the air. The Masta Summer Sheet Avante ticks all of these boxes!
This style of rug will keep your horse dry and protected from the wind and rain during exercise and when they are being ridden. This will be a breathable rug, which will cover your horse's body underneath the saddle from the front to the rear. It will offer some warmth, but is not primarily designed to keep your horse at a particular temperature. An exercise sheet such as the Equisafety Mercury Exercise Rug will also help to prevent rubbing from the saddle and offer hi-visibility on darker days.
A Fleece Rug is one of the most versatile designs, as it can be used as a substitute cooler sheet, as a stable rug or as a liner to a lighter, waterproof rug that doesn’t tend to provide warmth. A JHL Fleece Rug is perfect for all of these uses, being both breathable and warm.
Investing in a small selection of horse rugs will help to protect your horse throughout the year, whatever the weather and whatever the purpose. A high quality rug will go a long way, lasting throughout your horse’s life to keep them dry and comfortable.