When the weather becomes colder and we start to wrap ourselves up in coats and gloves for our daily stable management duties, we feel the need to also rug our horses. The below table provides a guide of what rug to use and when in relation to the outside temperature.
|Temperature||15 degrees or warmer||10 – 15 degrees||5 – 10 degrees||0 – 4 degrees||Minus 10 – 0 degrees||Minus 10 degrees or colder|
|Stabled clipped horse||No fill rug for example a summer sheet||Light weight stable rug 100g||Medium Weight stable rug 250g||Heavy weight stable rug 300g||Heavy weight stable rug 400g with a neck cover||Heavy weight stable rug with a liner 500g and neck cover|
|Stabled unclipped horse||No rug needed||No rug needed||Light weight stable rug 150g||Medium weight stable 200g rug||Medium weight 300g stable rug with liner||Medium weight stable rug with a neck cover 400g|
|Turned out unclipped horse||No rug needed||No rug needed||Either no rug or a light weight turnout 100g rug||Light weight turnout rug 150g||Light weight 200g turnout rug with a neck cover||Heavy weight New Zealand turnout rug 500g with a neck cover|
|Turned out clipped horse||No rug needed||No fill turnout rug if it is raining or windy||Light weight 150g turnout rug plus neck cover||Medium weigh 200g turnout rug with a neck cover||Heavy weight 500g New Zealand turnout rug with a neck cover||Heavy weight 500g New Zealand turnout rug with a liner and neck cover|
There are many factors that us as horse owners need to take into condensation before over or under rugging the horses. These include:-
- The weather – look at the weather forecast (and out the window) and decide if it’s a still calm warm day then the horses do not need a rug. However, if it is wet, cold and windy then it is more than likely that the horses will need a waterproof layer. The windchill factor can also significantly change the outside temperature and make a sunny day feel very cold.
- The condition of the horse – a horse is good condition is less likely to need a rug than a horse that is underweight or on poor condition.
- The type and breed of the horse – an unclipped turned out Shetland pony is less likely to feel the cold compared with a thoroughbred ex-racehorse who has a much finer coat.
- The age of the horse – an older horse is likely to feel the cold. You will also want to keep an older horse in good condition, eating and holding their weight – not having to use energy to keep warm.
- The health of the horse – a horse in good health will need less rugs than a horse that is unwell.
- Is the horse clipped ? – as shown in the above table a clipped horse will need a rug more than an unclipped horse
- The horse’ daily routine – routine is a vital part horses health and wellbeing. A horse that is stabled and not able to move around as much to keep warm will need a rug compared with a horse that is turned out and can exercise to keep warm.
Remember to keep yourself warm, healthy and safe through the cold weather months.