A horse turnout rug will combat the cold winter weather and keep him clean and moisture free. These rugs are used when the horse is out to pasture.
Varying amounts of protection are provided by the many weights available. Several colors are found and the rugs are made of a waterproof material such as nylon.
Several conditions necessitate the use of these blankets. Horses who have been ill and experienced a loss of weight will need one. If your horse has been moved to a colder part of the country from a warmer area a rug should be used. If age has left your horse underweight and with a thinning coat you should consider a rug. Inclement weather involving wind and rain should signal the use of a rug for any horse.
Rugs come in several different weights. The heaviest have over 300 grams of padding. A medium weight rug has about 150-300 grams. Rugs of less than 150 grams are considered light in weight. Some horse rugs have no filling at all and are used for protection from the rain in the summer. The newer lightweight synthetic materials are easier to wear but still offer protection from the rain.
At times there can be problems with the rug fabric catching on a sharp object and damaging the fabric. A new material called “ripstop” has largely alleviated this situation.
When selecting an outdoor rug look for one with pleats near the shoulder to allow the rug to stretch with the horse’s movements. The front of the blanket should completely cover the animal’s chest. The rug should have straps in the front to keep the chest enclosed. Rear leg straps will keep the horse turnout rug snug around his backside. There should be crossover straps under the belly.
Quality horse rugs should not require re-waterproofing after time. They should be porous enough to allow breath ability perspiration to evaporate. A potential problem can occur with water leakage when the manufacturer places a seam in the top of the blanket. Look for one with no top seam.
These canvas rugs come in green most often. Occasionally you will find them in blue, black, or brown.
The synthetic rugs come in many different colors to suit the owner’s taste. Some additional accessories that might be of interest would be shoulder vests and anti-rub vests. They are made of a protective material for the shoulder and chest area. The heavier rugs will no longer rub and chaff the horse’s coat when using these accessories.
Turnout rugs can be bought that have these feature built into the rug for the horse’s benefit.
A little planning will allow you to select the most appropriate rug for your pet.