What is a Horse Rug for and Is It Needed?

Updated on December 13, 2022 | by Alex Smith

horse rugs

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced horse owner, finding the best rug for your horse can be a tough process. Knowing what a horse rug is and how it works will help you meet your horse’s needs better. Since horse rug was first made twenty years ago, designers have made many changes to the basic shapes, materials, and weights. 

The demand for horse rugs has grown by a huge amount because of new developments in materials and manufacturing. A wide selection of horse rugs is available to keep your horse dry and comfortable, no matter the weather. Shopping for horse rugs online in Australia will help ensure that you will have the finest rug for your horse.

Purpose of Horse Rug

A horse rug often called a horse blanket, keeps the horse warm and protects it from the weather. Horse rugs are long, narrow, and meant to be stretched over the back to cover the horse completely, including the head, neck, shoulders, chest, rump, and tips of the legs.

The front and sides of a rug are typically held together by a single strap, while two or more belly straps can secure the middle. Some rugs feature a closed front that must go over the head, and some may include leg straps to prevent slipping.

Types of Horse Rug

You will need more than one horse rug to get you through the year’s weather conditions and any changes in your competitions or travel plans. The right horse rug will insulate your horse’s body from the cold and the heat of the day to help maintain its health in all kinds of weather. Below are the different types of horse rugs that you can use.

Exercise Sheets

If you need to work your house in the cold or rain, use an exercise sheet (also known as a quarter sheet) to keep the horse comfortable and dry. These rugs usually extend from saddle front to back, covering the horse’s entire body. Different horses need various exercise rugs, so they come in waterproof and non-proof styles.

On a dry, cold day, a non-waterproof sheet crafted from fleece or wool will do the trick. Clipped horses are the most common users, and the rug can be used throughout the entire workout or just for a warm-up and cool-down. If you plan on horse riding in the rain, invest in an exercise rug with a water-repellent covering to keep the rain off your horse’s fur and skin.

Thin sheets are often used for both clipped and unclipped horses to keep them dry without making them too hot. When riding your horse on the road, you can make them more noticeable to bypassers by using exercise sheets. These can be helpful when light levels and visibility are low.

Stable Rugs

A stable rug is useful for clipped horses that owners keep indoors since it keeps the horse cozy while restrained and unable to work and creates heat. Horses that spend most of their time indoors all year can also benefit from lighter stable rugs.

Mesh Rugs

In the warmer months, when horses spend more time grazing outdoors. The mesh rugs will protect them from the annoying buzz of flies and midges.

Turnout Rugs

Turnout rugs can help keep your horse comfortable and dry in inclement weather. Before buying a turnout rug, consider your horse’s living and grazing conditions, trimming routine, weight, age, exercise level, protection, and warming needs.

Show Sheets

A show sheet, also known as a summer sheet, keeps a horse clean and adds minimal warmth. They are called “pre-show” or “event” rugs because they are often used to protect a freshly cleaned and groomed competition horse during transport. They are best used during the warmer months because of the minimal insulation the sheet provides.

Benefits of Horse Rug

Horses can use a horse rug at any time of the year, but it is especially important in the cooler months of fall and winter. Correct rugging is essential for horse maintenance for a few additional reasons. Here are just some of the many benefits why you should always have a rug available for your horse.

Keeps Your Horse Dry

Using a waterproof turnout rug can reduce your horse’s risk of getting sick from being caught in the rain.

Keeps Clipped Horses Warm

You’ll save time on cleaning and grooming if you put a rug in your horse; rugs will keep the majority of the dust and dirt off the body.

Reduces Grooming Time

Rugging a horse before the winter can reduce winter coat growth in unclipped horses. Your horse’s coat may stay shorter, sleeker, and easier to handle. 

Protects Older and Ill Horses

Extra rugging may be necessary throughout the year to keep an elderly or ill horse comfortable and healthy. 

Protects Horses from The Sun 

You can prevent sunburn and coat bleaching by keeping your horse covered with a thick enough rug or made of good quality material.

Horse Rug: Your Partner In Protection

As you love your horse as your companion in every activity you do with them, you should also consider their well-being. Different types of horse rugs will keep your horse healthy and safe from bugs, the weather, and pain or injury.