Winter Horse Rugs – Are They Needed?
It’s time to pull out your winter horse rugs! Or is it?
Winter has started to poke its head up here in the south-east corner of QLD! While we rarely see the types of freezing temperatures as our friends in south-west QLD, NSW & Victoria do, there are occasions where your horse would appreciate a snuggly rug overnight.
The question a lot of you are wondering is – how do you work out if rugging them is beneficial?
Here are some tips on how to work out if you should rug your horse or not.
What breed is your horse?
Most breeds, especially ponies, grow thick coats during winter that protect them well. More refined breeds such as pure Arabians, Thoroughbreds and warmbloods are susceptible to feeling the cold more. If you have one of these breeds who have a naturally thin coat all year round, then rugging is a good option.
What’s the weather like?
Is it cold but dry, or constantly wet and muddy, or even snowing? If the last two, then it is a good idea to rug them just to help protect them from the wet and cold.
How frequently is your horse worked?
Is your horse is ridden every day or competes frequently? Answer yes, then you will want to reduce the amount of fluffy coat that your horse can produce. Rugging is a way of limiting hair growth, but it must be done regularly. If the horse is only ridden every so often then it could be better to allow them to grow out their coat. Remember to take extra time to dry them off when you do work them.
Does your horse lose condition easily?
Do you have a horse that drops condition quickly and requires hard feeding all year round? Then rugging is definitely a good choice. This means he won’t burn energy and fat trying to keep himself warm.
What rugs do you have available?
If you only have a heavy thickness winter rug, then you probably only want to use it when it is really wet and cold and miserable overnight. If you have a range of different rugs for the seasons, then a lighter rug overnight is a good option. A lighter rug can also be left on during the day if needed.
Are you able to remove the rug during the daytime when it’s warmer?
If you’re unable to regularly rug and unrug your horse depending on the temperature, then it could be an idea to not rug them. Horses can also overheat quite easily with a winter rug on during average daytime temperatures here in QLD, so for their comfort, being left unrugged can be better for your horse.
We hope this has given you some guidance on whether to rug your horse this winter season. We have a great variety of winter horse rugs available on sale at the moment that can cover most weather options, so why not check it out? You’ll need to get in quick as popular sizes are selling fast!