Kitting Your Horse out for Winter

Although few of us like to think about the looming prospect of another long winter and the long, dark nights, cold weather and mud that go with it, it is sensible to plan ahead and make sure you and your horse are properly prepared.

Chique and LilyWinter goes hand in hand with sufficient rugging up of your horse, to ensure they stay warm and dry through this predominantly cold and wet season.

Here we look at some great winter rugs for a range of horses, from From light weight rugs to keep the rain off the more sturdy types to heavy weight combo styles to keep the thinner skinned horse warm and cosy, there is something for everyone.

There are so many rugs available today, from rain sheets to quilts, coolers to heavy weights and fleeces to fly sheets, all in different styles and prices it often creates a minefield when selecting the correct ones for your horse. Human interaction with horses including trimming, clipping, bathing and grooming can reduce a horse’s natural ability to regulate his own body temperature depending on the environmental conditions. A fully clipped thoroughbred that struggles to keep weight on is going to need to be more ‘rugged up’ than a well conditioned, hardy native pony in a full coat. Therefore he must carefully consider what your horse needs and remember whilst it is important not to let your horse get cold in miserable weather it is also necessary to ensure that he is not over rugged either, as this is not only uncomfortable for him, it can lead to sweating skin rashes, rubbing and in extreme cases sores and abscesses

It is essential to make sure that your horse’s rug fits properly. It should have a soft, padded area on the withers to prevent soreness and the rug should fit snuggly but not too tight. A thin, lycra stretch bib can be used underneath to help prevent rubbing. A rug should be fully breathable and allow to the horse full freedom of movement. Be sure to change your horse’s rug regularly and check for any damages that should be attended to straight away. When the weather gets very cold and wet, layering is often a better solution than using one very heavy rug. When turned out, horses tend to stay dryer, rug dry quicker and the horse is more protected.

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