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When should horses be rugged?

This is a discussion on When should horses be rugged? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • What temperature should it be to leave a clipped horse un rugged
  • What temperatures should stabled horses be rugged

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    04-18-2013, 02:29 PM
  #11
Foal
My horse gets clipped in the fall and starts getting blanketed after that, usually at around 10C. He stays blanketed through the winter and it stops when it's consistently 5C or higher in the spring. If he was not clipped I would not blanket until it was much, much colder. I also use Back on Track sheets for his back and stable sheets to keep his coat clean sometimes in the warm weather.
     
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    04-18-2013, 04:33 PM
  #12
Sis
Foal
I have never blanketed my horses, and I live in the northeast US. Our winters get snowy, wet, and fairly cold (down to like -15 degrees F), and my horses stay outside without shelter, and are always fine. We used to keep them in a pasture with a run-in shelter available, but they never, ever used it, even when I put the hay in there. So now they just live out in the weather, and they don't mind at all! Sometimes I'm amazed at what they can stand without freezing!

Three of my six horses are Thoroughbreds, and they happen to get the thickest, fluffiest winter coats out of all of them! I don't think that the breed matters...if you leave a horse to deal with the weather and let his natural warming capabilities kick in (and don't keep him inside, blanket him, or otherwise baby him), he will be much better off. Horses are made to adapt to weather, and protecting them from it only screws up their natural body functions.
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    04-18-2013, 04:43 PM
  #13
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I think, from what I've read here, that the cultural pressure to rug the horse is much stronger in Australia than in the US. Maybe in the UK it's stronger, too.
I mean, that it's done becuase everyone's doing it.

Obviously, some horses might need a rug. Clipped, ill, very old, or sometimes thoroughbreds don't grow much of a coat. I am sure there are other instances where the horse needs a rug. (that is always a funny image to me, since "rug" means a small carpet on the floor, to me)

But, to assume the horse needs it as a given is unnecessary. Like others said, they stay much warmer than we do. The digestive process of breaking down the hay will literally produce warmth, so make sure they have food to much through when it's cold.
Don't brush them when they are wet or you'll break the waterbarrier of the clumping outer hairs, and you'll bring the water down into the dry under layer.

That's all I can think of.
I know lots of people in the UK that don't blanket horses but there are lots that do. I can think of a few reasons - as well as because its 'the norm', winters over there tend to be much milder so people are inclined to ride all year long at the same pace so those horses/ponies get clipped, its a small country so easy access to lots of indoor shows through the winter or hunting, lots of rain = lots of mud and way less available land for grazing so people have to stable horses to protect what land they do have and a stabled horse is more likely to get clipped or blanketed when it does go out, all that mud also sticks so putting a lightweight blanket on a horse makes for much easier grooming - there is nothing more disheartening than rushing to your horse after work or school with just a few hours to grab a ride and do all your other chores thenyou then have to spend most of that time scraping 3 inches of wet mud off it to even put a saddle on!!!
     
    04-18-2013, 09:24 PM
  #14
Started
We never rug/blanket in Wyoming unless it's sick during very cold weather. Doesn't matter the breed, the discipline, etc.
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    04-19-2013, 12:12 AM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovexlaugh    
Okay, so this question has always bothered me. How often should horses be rugged? How cold is "cold enough" to rug? I live in Australia, in quite a hot climate. The coldest it gets is about 7 degrees celcius in Winter. Every horse owner I've spoken to has different opinions: some people don't rug at all, some people rug every night. Just wondering what everyone else does?

What state are you in? The temp varies so much from state to state... what is fine in QLD prob wouldn't be fine in Tas.

I am in Perth and I have 2 "hot" horses. They have been naked all summer and are still out naked in the paddock 24/7 now. It's been getting down to about 17-18 degrees at night but is still humid, so if I put a rain sheet on them, they would be sweaty as by morning.

I tend not to rug a lot compared to others over here. Both mine are fine in a med fill Weatherbeeta Orican(? I think - names have changed... Anyway it's now called the Weatherbeeta Original 600D Combo) and a cotton underneath all winter. They both have a hunter clip. If I lived furthere north or further south, I would reasses depending on the temperatures and how well they were coping.

I have friends who have their horses in cottons and 2 woollen rugs even though they are stabled at nights.
     
    04-19-2013, 05:03 AM
  #16
Foal
I live in Northern NSW, and its pretty warm! I always assumed rugging wasn't necessary unless the horse was clipped or had a special condition requiring it to be rugged. Thanks for all your opinions, I'm still learning :)
     

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