To rug or not to rug?

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To rug or not to rug?

This is a discussion on To rug or not to rug? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    07-08-2012, 11:11 PM
To rug or not to rug?

So I have just come back from town to find that it is raining and will continue to be raining for some time. My TB is in paddock 24/7 and at the moment we have no stable for him (a new one is being built). I have a rug for him, but he hardly needs it as we get most of our rain during summer and those times are extremely hot and muggy, so rugging him to protect him from the rain usually does more harm then good, plus the rain cools him down!

However it looks like we are going to have a wet WINTER. It's currently 23C (73F) and we have a forecast for possible storms this afternoon and tomorrow. The storms predicted aren't excepted to be big, just a bit of wind, rain and thunder (however that could change). Usually I wouldn't be worried about rugging him, because this weather is usually summer weather and he has plenty of trees etc the provide shelter, however because it's a little cooler I was wondering if I should rug him just in case?

Thank you for your help :)
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    07-09-2012, 12:29 AM
23 degrees! You lucky duck, I'm in SA and we're sitting at about 15 on a 'warm' day, with the rain, wind etc.
At 23 degrees, the most I would put on him is a light rainsheet with a cotton or mesh lining or he'll get hot underneath and may end up with a skin irritation.
Conrad And Freddie likes this.
    07-09-2012, 01:00 AM
Thank you Kayty! And it's pretty cool for up here, not our coldest day, but deffinantly our wettest. Oh gosh I'm lucky I'm not there! My knee and hips can't do the cold!

My only problem now is that he is too scared to leave the paddock. Fred HATES wind (odd, but it makes him very skittish, I think because of the smells) and the combination of light wind and rain makes it near impossible to lead him safely, so I can't get him out of the paddock to dry him and rug him. I was out there for about an hour, but I couldn't even get half way to the gate. I asked my dad to help, but he refused because he doesn't want to get wet and catch a cold -.- *FRUSTRATED*
    07-09-2012, 01:20 AM
I wouldn't worry too much, as long as he is not shivering and has some shelter he will be fine. You can give him more meadow hay to keep his gut moving, hence keeping him warm, as well.
Conrad And Freddie likes this.
    07-09-2012, 01:24 AM
Thank you, I will do that :) I just tried to get him again, but with no luck. He is acting like a crazy Loony Toon. I think its because a stallion has been put down the road and the wind is coming from that way and carrying his scent? Either way I can't get him out right now, but he has plenty of trees to hide under and there are breaks in the rain where we get a slight temperature and humidity rise. Gotta love the tropics :/
    07-09-2012, 01:28 AM
You're both lucky, it's a miserable 8C here in Sydney

(and all those northern hemisphere people must be laughing their butts off at our wimpy winters lol)

Yeah I'd just up his roughage, and I would just groom him lots to stimulate the oil glands in his coat, and avoid washing him. My friend's horse, Star, is oily as I was as a teenager lol, the water just runs off her.
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Conrad And Freddie likes this.
    07-09-2012, 01:34 AM
Oh my gosh. I couldn't do 8C! I'm planning on going to EQUITANA this year and I hear its still cold in Melbourne even in spring/summer, Im rugged up in uggies and blankets at 23c lol!

At the moment he is a nut case and I can't get too close to him to groom him (he is REALLY skittish, I think he must smell something "horse eating"), but I could see that the water hasn't gone too deep into his coat, it looks like its running off pretty well. I have just given him some hay for him to munch on, but he seems to be enjoying the grass lol :) Thank you very much for your help
EvilHorseOfDoom likes this.
    07-09-2012, 01:39 AM
I wouldn't groom too much through winter with an unrugged horse, especially if they're already wet. You'll push the water down to the skin, and once the skin is wet then you get a cold horse. Leaving him fuzzy and muddy is ideal ;)
    07-09-2012, 01:57 AM
Originally Posted by Kayty    
I wouldn't groom too much through winter with an unrugged horse, especially if they're already wet. You'll push the water down to the skin, and once the skin is wet then you get a cold horse. Leaving him fuzzy and muddy is ideal ;)
Oh, not with an already wet horse! No, I meant when dry, just keep up daily grooming (I used a really soft rubber curry with Brock that doesn't remove hair but massages nicely, will try and find a link to one) to help the sebacious glands.
    07-09-2012, 03:11 AM
So it has just started raining again and it doesn't look like it's going to stop until late tonight and the temperatures are going to drop. What do I do?! I can't get him out of the paddock and I don't want my bubba to freeze D:

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