Thinking of buying your horse a new winter turnout rug? Find out what you need to look for and check out our top tips
A turnout rug should provide your horse with protection from the elements while offering comfort and freedom of movement. But with so many on the market it’s hard to know where to start.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
A decent depth
To ensure he stays warm and dry, buy a rug that covers the sides of your horse’s belly and fits snugly underneath. Looking from the side, none of the belly should be visible, but the rug shouldn’t be so long that the horse risks standing on it when he gets up from rolling.
Most rugs have cross-surcingles under the belly and leg straps. Some rugs come with a fillet string, which makes fitting quicker. While they may not offer the security of legs straps, modern designs with fillet strings shouldn’t slip. Look for good quality fastenings that are easy and quick to secure.
Gussets and pleats
Some rugs have pleats or gussets in the shoulder area to allow the horse to move freely. They can be a useful feature to consider if your horse has a wide chest. Rugs that are too tight may rub the shoulders and cause discomfort. Always ensure there is ample room in this area.
Turnout rugs with a neck cover attached (usually described as a combo), or a separate neck that clips on, are great for warmth but may rub the mane. Avoid this by choosing one that is a generous fit and has a satin lining. Keeping the mane clean and using conditioner will help.
Top turnout rug tips
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