How to measure your horse for a rug:
If you have a new horse or are just unsure which size rug your horse needs, using a tape measure (or a piece of string you can measure later) measure your horse from the centre of his chest, horizontally along his side finishing where you require the rug to finish. It is best to allow an extra 3” on top of this for turnouts in most cases, especially if the turnout has a neck cover. Stable rugs are usually correct at the measured size.
Rugs are sized in feet and inches, every 3”. If your horse is between sizes you are usually better to go up a size than down, unless the horse is narrow chested or petite. Ideally, an existing rug in the correct size can be measured all the way along the bottom edge to give the size required.
Rug size conversion chart:
Points to look for when fitting your horse rug:
How can I tell if my horses rug is too big or too small?
If the turnout or stable rug extends beyond the top of the tail (check when your horse has his head down too as often the rug will pull forward into the correct position when grazing, you can test this by asking the horse to lower using a treat), the rug is too big. If the rug does not reach the top of the tail, the rug is too small.
How should leg straps and surcingles be adjusted?
You should adjust leg straps and surcingles to allow a hands width between leg/belly and strap. If the leg straps and/or surcingles are not adjusted to allow a hand's width, your horse could get his legs caught in the straps if too long, or they may rub if too short.
How should the neck of the rug fit?
It is important to adjust the front straps on the rug to ensure that the top of the rug sits in front of the wither, not behind or it will pull back and an cause rubbing and sores on the shoulders, neck and withers. You should be able to easily get your hand down the front of the rug and it should be mobile enough to move forward and backwards over the horses coat, wither and shoulders. If the neck of the turnout or stable rug is too big, the rug will probably also hang off the back of the horse, which will place pressure on the shoulders and increase the possibility of rubbing and slippage.
My turnout rug says it is “Ripstop” but it has ripped, is it faulty?
Ripstop is the name used to describe the weave within the fabric of some turnout rugs and helps to contain rips. The distinctive ‘checkerboard’ pattern of Ripstop is actually a series of reinforced strands interspersed within standard weave fibres and these thicker, stronger areas (the borders of the ‘checkers’) help to prevent a rip from spreading once it starts. Ripstop fabric on a horse rug does not guarantee that the fabric will not rip at all. Importantly, the stronger areas are actually designed to rip should your horse gets caught or stuck in any way which is imperative to his safety.
What is meant is waterproof and breathable in turnout rugs?
This is the ability of your Rug to protect your horse from the elements – particularly rain - while at the same time, keeping your horse comfortable by allowing sweat and perspiration to ‘wick’ away and pass through the Rug’s fabric to the outside air. Breathability can be effected by a number of factors, more expensive rugs will have a far greater ability to breathe than cheaper ones due to the more technical nature of the fabrics used. Most breathable rugs achieve breath ability using a special ‘hydrophilic’ (water-loving) coating to the underside of the material. This coating prevents water droplets from passing through it from the outside inward, but uses the temperature differences between the horse and the air to allow perspiration molecules to travel through the fabric and evaporate, leaving your horse dry. Waterproof refers to the material used in the production of the rug only, as all rugs contain stiching and fastenings which it is not always possible to tape and make 100% waterproof. We always advise a spare rug be available in case of prolonged extreme weather conditions.
How many rugs do I need?
Ideally, you should always have 2 turnout rugs for your horse, these can be different weights as thicker rugs can be layered underneath if necessary for the short term. Turnout rugs will often need longer than a few hours to dry, or could be ripped or damaged by the horse and need repairing so a spare is often a necessity. If your horse is stabled, you will need stable rugs as well are turnouts, and ideally you need a range of warmths. An ideal sample horse wardrobe would be:
This combination will allow you to cover all weather and temperatures with the use of layering if necessary, travelling and cooling your horse down and keeping him warm after exercise.
How to care for your horses rugs:
A horses’ rug is like any clothing article and should be hung to dry in a well ventilated, dry area if it is removed when it is still wet or damp. Occasionally, in prolonged and heavy rain, some moisture penetration may occur particularly in the sewn areas of the rug. This is not significant and due to the positioning of the stitching (particularly on seamless rugs) will not affect the rug's performance and is not a fault in any way.
How do I clean my horses rugs and should I reproof them?
Your rug should be cleaned before storage with cold water and a very soft broom or similar (do not scrub). Specially manufactured cleaning solutions such as Nikwax may be used but no detergents or other products as they will attract water onto the rug when in use and will destroy the water repellancy. Rugs must be totally dry and aired before being stored to avoid any mould or rotting of the stitching. It is often advantageous to reproof your rug once a year if necessary.
We wash, reproof and repairs rugs on site. We also offer a free collection and delivery service in the North East area. Please phone for details on 01434 601889.
To measure your dog, please measure from the scruff of the neck in a
straight line along the back of the dog to the base of the tail. Dog rug sizes are measure in cm.