Shires Winter Turnout Rugs

Shires Guide to Turnout Rugs
If you’re always checking the weather forecast and feeling confused by all the rugs available, we’re here to help. Find out how to select a suitable rug and check out our latest turnout rug range.

What to consider when selecting a rug:

When choosing a weight of turnout rug, there are a number of factors to consider:

  • Condition – if your horse has piled on a few extra pounds over summer, use the colder weather to help them safely lose weight.
  • Type – a thoroughbred with a fine coat will feel the cold more than a native pony. Older horses or those that struggle to keep weight on are more likely to need a rug.
  • Clipped/Unclipped – horses who are fully clipped will probably need a heavier weight rug than their friends who are unclipped or just have a bib clip.
  • Access to shelter/forage – eating throughout the day will help generate heat. Being able to shelter from the wind and rain will also keep your horse warm.
  • Temperature – see our chart below to help choose the right rug for the weather. Remember to keep in mind the factors above too when selecting a rug – you may need to go up or down in rug weight depending on your horse.

turnout rug temperature guide

Did you know? Horses have a wider thermoneutral zone than humans. The thermoneutral zone is the temperature range where no energy is required to increase or decrease body temperature. A horse’s thermoneutral zone is between 0 and 25°C, whereas a human’s is between 20 and 30°C. This means that even if you’re feeling chilly, your horse might not be.

Not sure if your horse has the right rug on? Simply place your hand behind the withers under their rug. Cold? Consider upping the weight of their rug. Hot or damp? Think about using something a little lighter.

With everyone else on the yard putting on heavyweight turnouts it’s easy to feel pressured into doing the same. Remember that everyone’s horse has different needs, so your unclipped Highland pony will probably be quite happy being turned out without a rug, or just a light weight. Select a rug based on how your horse copes with the weather.

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