If the weather suddenly turns and your horse needs a rug for additional warmth and protection, then it’s essential to have the correct fit. Too tight would be uncomfortable, and too big would cause it to slip, either way, you’re destined for a grumpy horse. So whether you’re in the market for a new rug, you’re not sure which type of rug you need or you simply want a few pointers on how to measure your horse for a rug, we’ll guide you though with all you need to know to achieve the perfect fit.
Types of horse rugs
So you know you need a horse rug, but how do you know which type you need? With so many things to consider, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing. So it’s worth mentioning that seasonality, functionality, the ever changing weather, and reason for buying are all contributing factors when deciding, so let's take a look at the different types of horse rugs . . .
Turnout Rugs - As horse owners, we know that outdoor life is essential to a healthy horse, and so is the right rug. This is where turnout rugs come in. Designed to withstand the outdoor elements while keeping your horse clean and dry, a turnout rug offers warmth and protection thanks to it’s waterproof components. For the spring and summer months we recommend a lightweight turnout rug, then for the colder months we recommend a heavyweight rug. Both of which are available in a choice of fabrics and fillings, so you can be sure you’re choosing the right level of cover for your horse.
Stable Rugs - With the unpredictable ways of the British weather, it’s always good to be one step ahead, so say hello to a stable rug! Intended for indoor use, they are quilted for added warmth but they are not waterproof so if you need to venture out of the stable, then don’t forget to change rugs.
Travel Rugs - Designed with comfort in mind, these rugs offer lightweight protection against dust, flies and other irritations while travelling. Providing cover from the withers down, you can rest assured your horse is fully protected while on the road. Don’t travel often, but need a travel rug? Don’t worry, you could always use a fleece, cooler rug or fly rug instead due to it’s similar lightweight properties.
Fly Rugs - You know yourself how annoying those pesky flies can be during the summer months, so it’s only fair to protect your equestrian friend from the same. Fields can be a magnet for unwanted bugs, so a fly rug will soon become your go to choice for summer turnouts. Available to buy in 3 sections for the body, neck and head, your horse will be fully protected and able to enjoy the great outdoors.
Cooler Rugs - Breathable, functional and practical, a cooler rug is a must when helping your horse to cool down after exercise. Specially designed to soak up any moisture, a cooler rug enables your horse to cool down gradually, preventing any chills while he’s drying off. Made from microfibre fleecing or lightweight polyester, a cooler rug offers maximum sweat absorption.
How to measure a horse for a horse rug?
So now we know the types of rugs that are out there, let's talk about how to get the perfect fit, by following these simple steps.
Step 1 - Ensure your horse is calm and co-operative, and you have your tape measure to hand. We recommend using imperial measurements and a soft tape measure as opposed to a metal one to avoid any injuries or kinks in the measurements.
Step 2 - Measure the horse from the centre of the chest (where you’d expect the top buckle to sit), all the way along to the furthest part of the horse, just before the tail (where you’d expect the rug to finish). We recommend measuring both sides a few times to cater for movement. Don’t measure all the way around the horse as this will add extra inches that will ultimately result in a rug that is too big and may slip around causing discomfort to your horse.
Step 3 - Make a note of the measurements and don’t forget to factor in the fact that rugs are measured in 3 inch intervals, so a 6’ 1” measurement would require a 6’ 3’’ rug, not a 6’ 0’’.
Top Tip - Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed. Either to assist with the tape measure or to keep the horse calm, after all this may be a strange experience for them, and no one needs a startled horse while trying to take measurements!
Common measuring mistakes
There’s nothing worse than waiting for your new purchase to arrive only to find it doesn’t fit, so to avoid any disappointment, we’ve compiled a list of what not to do . . .
Keep in mind that a winter rug carries additional padding as opposed to a fly rug which is lighter, so if your horse is borderline, it may be worth going up or down a size to factor this in.
Don’t take previous measurements as gospel. Your horse’s measurements may change over time, so it’s always worth getting an up to date measurement before purchasing your next rug.
Always remember that brand sizes may differ. As with clothes for ourselves, a horse’s size may fluctuate from brand to brand so if in doubt contact them directly for confirmation.
As always if you have any further questions regarding how to measure a horse for a rug, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly team are always on hand with expert advice to guide you through your next purchase. And don’t forget, show us your stable style by using #tackville for a chance to be featured on our social media.