We are really lucky in this day and age, we have a lot of different types of materials we can use and a lot of them are breathable. Only approximately 20 years ago, we were still using the jute rugs with rollers and new materials were just coming on to the market.
We have a wide variety of ‘turnout’ rugs which have taken the place of the old ‘New-Zealand’ which were made of canvas and waterproofed. Now, we can have various types of turnout with different neck covers and different weights for various seasons.
Above you can see a ‘well used’ turnout rug from Weatherbeeta rugs. These are deep in the body and have a tail flap which helps in bad weather. I have found that this type of rug very useful with larger horses that have a lot of turnout. They are breathable and dry easily in heavy storms.
Most turnout rugs come in light, medium and heavy versions so you can use them for different weather conditions at different times of the year. You can also get rugs with and without necks, which can keep the horses mane dry as well.
Stable rugs are a lot lighter and easier to fit these days with cross over belly straps, unlike the old jute rug with the roller and under blanket. Also, made of lighter fibers you can get under rugs that are styled with the stable rugs to fit under the stable rug and stay put. Mind you there is always one horse in a yard that manages to get out of their rugs without any help from us!.
Above you can see a good fitting, well used stable rug which is a good thickness for winter, but light and breathable so not to encourage sweating from the horse. You can get rugs with our without necks on them. Some people prefer the rugs without a neck as your horse can rub it’s mane out when moving about over night.
Summer sheets are really good when you are trying to keep the coat clean and tidy in summer, but also underneath your stable rugs, as you can have two summer sheets and alternate them when they need washing and they keep the stable rugs cleaner.
Summer Sheets, are cotton and keep the horses coat clean and lay the coat if the horse is kept in a stable at night during the summer months. Depending on the weather some people travel their horses in summer sheets, this can depend on the particular horse as well and if they sweat up when traveling.
Scrim sheets seem to have taken the place of sweat rugs. When I was younger we used to have a ‘string-vest’ type of rug which is a sweat rug. Now a lot of companies have brought in scrim sheets, which are a fine light weight rug that has small holes in the fabric and allows the horse to dry off.
These more modern rugs can also be thatched with straw if necessary like the old sweat rugs if your horse gets too wet and needs to be dried out. To do this you add straw under the scrim sheet and this will help take the moisture off the horses coat and allow them to dry out.
Exercise rugs can be used on days when you are riding out in bad weather. These help clipped horses stay dry especially if they have to have a rug put back on, on their arrival back at the yard.
As you can see the exercise rug above is attached to the back of the saddle. You can get rugs that also go under the saddle and over the horse and rider. With all the different materials available today, there are several styles and types of exercise rugs. You can also get them for different types of weather and so you can be seen in darker weather conditions as below.
As you can see this rug fits under the saddle and Gemma, our model, has florescent leg wraps as well, so you can see her in all weather conditions when riding out on the road.
There are Thermatex Rugs rugs as well. These rugs are a great multi-purpose rug which are great at taking sweat off the horse in autumn and spring conditions. I will look for a picture of this type of rug and will add it to the blog soon.
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