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Rugging... Your thoughts?

This is a discussion on Rugging... Your thoughts? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        10-30-2010, 08:24 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    I never rug my horse. I see so many horses in my barn with their blankets pulled over there heads, or sweating buckets under their blankets. It gets pretty cold here but I have never seen him show signs that he is to cold. Why go through all the hassle when mother nature gives them a nice winter coat.
         
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        10-31-2010, 01:05 AM
      #12
    Super Moderator
    Shakenbake,

    I am curious what the weather is like in your area. Sadly, I have never been to Australia (gotta do that one of these days soon) But my understanding is that though it gets cold for a few hours during the night in winter in your area, it isn't so cold during the day, even in midwinter. So, if it's cold for only a few hours, it isn't the end of the world if they feel coldness for a few hours.

    We don't rug our horses at all where they are kept. They are out 24/7 with only a runin for shelter from the wind and rain. I used to worry about them and think how cold they must be. Then when I'd go see them in the morning, they would just be standing around as usual , even with snow on there fetlocks or rumps. They weren't shivering. It's amazing how sturdy they are.
    Howver, I know some breedsd don't handle the cold well, or will go through a transition time.
    I find it surprising that folks in Australia over rug their horses . I have this stereotype in my mind of Aussies as being really rugged folks who require their animals to be equally as rugged and disdain fancy-schmancy horse stuff.

    P.S. I went for a vigourous trail ride of 3 plus hours up and down, trot and canter and gallop and the horses are all covered with long hair now. Of course they sweated, but that's how they cool off and they were fine with a quick towelling and a short cool down walk , into the trailer and home. Mind you, it wasn't THAT cold out (about 48 f)
         
        10-31-2010, 01:16 AM
      #13
    Foal
    TinyLily,

    Well where I am now the summers are hot (40 degs C) and winter is generally coldish (down to minus 5 deg C). We had one morning of sleet/snow but this didn't collect and just melted away straight away. In my area the winds do pick up though and in winter can be very chilly, but then my block and paddocks have natural shade and also hills and rocks which break the wind.

    Hehehe Aussies Rugged folks... Yep stereotype... There certainly are rugged folk who require rugged horses and some that will leave horses in a large paddock only with no particular care other than the basics (feet, teeth etc), but then there is the other extreme who will have their horses in Stables most of the day if not all day, in layers of different rugs including hoods, boots, tail bags and all, with every piece of tack you could imagine... So it's quite varied.

    I don't need rugged horses, don't do long journeys or farm work etc... They are pleasure horses really. I only bought the first on in Feb and in an effort to be a good horse owner thought I needed many many rugs... My own studies have suggested that alla natural is the way to go...
         
        10-31-2010, 01:31 AM
      #14
    Weanling
    I know lots of horses that are rugged 24/7, and I hate it! Especially during the summer months. I would much rather just let a horse be a horse. I will rug my girl the night before a show, as I don't have access to a stable, and mostly during the night over the colder months. Other than that she's nude and maintains a lovely, shiny, short soft coat over the summer.
         
        10-31-2010, 06:05 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    I blanket 90% of the year. If we're not showing we're body clipped and out fox hunting or trail riding, so there's reason to have a sheet or blanket on.
    Most of the year it's either cold and rainy or both so she needs something to keep warm and dry. In the off chance it's not too cold or wet, and we don't have an event, sure I'll let her run around in her horsie nudies!

    But even in the summer most of the time she'll either have a fly sheet for super hot days, or a cotton sheet to keep the dirty off.

    If we weren't always out and about, I wouldn't blanket as much but yes I would still blanket when it rains and snows and I would still put her white cotton reflective fly sheet when it's over 95 in the summer.
         
        10-31-2010, 06:22 AM
      #16
    Banned
    I rug for my convenience, not because my horses need protection from the weather. My horses live out 24/7, with free access to their stalls. They would be fine, healthy and happy without rugs.

    However, keeping them rugged does ****** their coat growth somewhat and keeps their coats clean. Last year I started rugging them at first frost, and put rugs on whenever it was below freezing at night. Since they were only in light work last winter, I did not clip and was able to keep their coats at a managable level.

    For me, the inconvenience of having to pull rugs on and off on days when it's warm during the day but below freezing at night is much less than the inconvenience of trying to groom a full winter coat or shedding one out come spring. I am debating whether or not to do the same thing this year, or to go ahead and clip. That's a similar calculation of convenience - will I be riding enough that the convenience of having them clipped will out weigh the inconveniece of extra rugging?
         
        10-31-2010, 07:53 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    I guess I rug for similar convenience reasons as well. I clip b/c cooling out a full winter coat can take longer than the ride that caused it, plus drying a wet horse enough to ride in the winter is a hugetime suck. When it's an included service my barn provides (weekdays only), am & pm blanket switches on the weekends is far more convenient, than all the additional time I would have to spend just drying her.
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        11-01-2010, 04:41 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    I rugged the first year I got my horse, like you I thought I needed to blanket him to be a good owner. Then I did some reading and haven't blanketed him since. I do have a medium weight that I have in case he gets sick but i've found that he gets so hairy that he sweats under a rug.

    I considered blanketing this year for convenience but I know his pasture buddies would have that thing off him in a matter of minutes. If he gets wet or comes in wet at night i'll go along and dry him off, I have a cooler that I stick on him to wick away the worst of the moisture. I tend to try and get him so he can fluff up his hair on his own again and then he's fine.

    He's half mustang so he's a sturdy type of horse, plus if he loses weight because it's cold good on him, he could do with shedding a few pounds :)
         
        11-01-2010, 04:57 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    I blanketed Starlite the first year pretty much because I had to - bad boarding situation, she wasn't being fed much and was left out in the rain/freezing weather without shelter, when we brought her in we got yelled at. So really...it was best for her in that situation. Last year I blanketed her because I thought I'd be riding quite a bit - I didn't, and when I did I didn't ride her hard. This year, she goes naked and I must say it is ALOT less stress of having to worry about going up to the barn and getting her blanket on or off if it's cold or warm. I love her not being blanketed! Plus alot of people say it's better for them.

    I was going to sell her blanket but you never know, so I'm keeping it...at home, so when I'm at the barn thinking "brrr I'm freezing!!" I won't be like "oh I bet Starlite's cold let me get her blanket!" LOL - it's my reminder that she is a horse and not a baby! Even though she is my baby... :)
         
        11-01-2010, 04:58 PM
      #20
    Showing
    None of my horses get blanketed, under any weather conditions, regardless of age. They have enough room to roam and tons of thickets and trees to hide under in harsh weather conditions, not to mention 24/7 access to good forage. So for them, it's all naked, all the time, from my weanlings to my 27 year old retiree. Never had an instance of hypothermia or illness because of it either.

    I think the big thing is that people anthropomorphize horses and believe that they need all the luxuries that we like to have; a blanket when it's cold, food that really isn't healthy, etc. Hence why so many people blanket their horses from fall all the way into spring and overfeed them with horsey 'junk' food. If you are showing and need to keep the winter fuzzies to a minimum or the horse is clipped, that is okay but most normal folks that just ride for fun or work don't need to blanket their horses barring some extenuating health issue that deems it necessary.
         

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