To Rug or Not To Rug - What Do You Think

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To Rug or Not To Rug - What Do You Think

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    05-17-2009, 05:50 AM
To Rug or Not To Rug - What Do You Think

A horse I have had on lease has been returned. He is a 18 year old thoroughbred. He has come home very thin and with no muscle.

My original plan was to clip him as he has a very long coat (hairs 4 - 5 inches long) and rug him, but now, I don't know what to do.

Do I still clip him and rug, or do I leave his coat on and not rug? The temps have dropped the last couple of nights to 10deg C (which for us is cold) and from here will drop into single figures as low as 2 or 3 deg C, with days around 25 deg C.

Daughter has bought a canvas rug with woolen lining and is quite warm (which would be fine if he was clipped), just not sure if he will be too hot, or the extra warmth will help him conserve energy and put on weight quicker.

He won't be ridden now, for a few weeks whilst I try to get him back on track - his feet are quite bad with shelly hoof, I've just pulled his shoes off and trimmed him up, he can run around bare foot for a few months, I want to get some MSM and Glucosamine into him too before I do too much.

Just not sure what to do. What do you reckon??
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    05-17-2009, 10:42 AM
Green Broke
If he isn't going to be worked for awhile, I would just leave him be. He will probably be happier, and it will be less work for you! YEA! Lol
    05-18-2009, 07:07 AM
Thanks, I can't believe I actually posted such a silly question. Must have been more upset by his condition than I thought.

I mean, it isn't hard to work it out is it?

Silly me, sorry guys.
    05-18-2009, 08:22 PM
Green Broke
No! It was acctually a perfectly legitament question!
    05-18-2009, 09:40 PM
Personally, if he is quite thin, I would rug him. I know we don't have any feed at the moment, not sure about queensland, but if he is struggling then extra warmth will help him keep his groceries.

Plus, there have been wuite a few warm days but very cold nights with chill winds... So he probably won't have the type of winter coat he should yet. I know ours don't, ours are all in doona's already because of the freezing wind, and they are still fluffy.

Also, are you going to be riding him during winter? If so, and he is out of work, he will probably sweat a bunch, especially with such a thick coat. If you are going to ride, I would err on the side of caution and clip and rug. If he is already thin and he gets a chill because he is sweaty with no rug... Unhappy horse!

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