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pchick 08-28-2012 08:11 PM

Horses permanently rugged
I need support to raise awareness of this problem.
I am concerned about horses being rugged for extended periods of time. Especially into the summer months in central Qld.
As a horse owner, I am aware of the problem which causes; pressure sores from rugs rubbing, restriction of normal movement, preventing exercise and inability to roll to shed dead skin.
Horses lose the ability to control their temperature by natural methods which includes their ability to cool themselves through the sweating process.
I have observed a horse, which was coated at the beginning of winter and left coated permanently.
This horse has been caught in a fence and left there all day until it tried to free itself and received horrific cuts from barbed wire. It is unable to move past a slow timid walk in its coat. I am sure this is due to painful rubbing. It is now around 24 degrees and the horse is sweltering in its coat. I have to observe this poor animal suffering daily. Please help with awareness to this problem. I have contacted RSPCA Qld and they have said this is not abuse. I beg to differ in this instance.

tinyliny 08-28-2012 10:35 PM

I think it's great that you are bringing this topic up. I have never been to Aus. but heard that rugging there is done with "overkill". I support not rugging at all, unless really necessary. Obviously, a horse that has been clipped to be ridden indoors for the winter must be rugged in a cold climate. But, left with their natural hair, and fed sufficient hay, most horses can manage some really cold temps without any blanket/rug.

As winter is approaching in the Northern Hemi. , this topic will come up here in the next few months.

Army wife 08-29-2012 03:40 AM

People keep horses blanketed all year round? We blanket ours in the winter. Gets cold, and the mud is a PAIN to brush out when you wanna ride. But as soon as spring hits, they only get blanketed at night if it's gonna be in the 30's or below.

EvilHorseOfDoom 08-29-2012 04:05 AM

Oh gosh, pchick I am so with you!! So many over-rugged horses here in Australia. Especially hack show ponies - layers and layers of rugs, plus a skinny hood, as they sit sweltering in a barn in summer with no breeze to speak of. The poor things would rub up against everything and look utterly miserable. There were a few people muttering about it but it seemed so accepted by most. "*snooty voice* 35C? Oh, perhaps we'll only use the cotton rug and the lycra slinky rug today! Take the polar fleece off!" AGH!!

My horse gets one medium doona rug in winter out in his paddock - more to help keep the elements off than anything. Where he is, it gets down close to freezing in the early hours of the morning. He had a very light cotton rug for May and August/September when he was stabled, but I didn't use the doona rug til it was getting down below 10C at night (June/July) and didn't keep it on in the day unless it was very cold. Because I didn't rug til late in the year he developed a lovely winter coat (shiny too - but I wouldn't mind if he were fluffy!).

Australia, wake up and go and see what sort of weather it takes for northern Europeans to put rugs on a pony! And stop clipping in winter unless you're actually working them hard, horses look nice with a natural coat! Grrr.

Saranda 08-29-2012 04:20 AM

Just a couple of wake-up pictures. :)

These are horses from the herd my gelding is a part of. They live in Latvia (Eastern Europe), and the day the pictures were taken it was below -25 by Celsium. It often gets below -30 by Celsium during nights, not even speaking of windchill. The herd lives outside 24/7 (there are shelters available, but they don't use them) and noone is ever rugged. I only have one blanket - a thin fleece one - for walking off, but it is never left on the horse for longer than half an hour. The temperatures I hear are common for horses to be rugged in Australia are what we get in summers and early falls. And, guess what, the horses are more than comfortable in the elements with their natural coats and fantastic termoregulation abilities. :)

EvilHorseOfDoom 08-29-2012 04:25 AM

But...but...Saranda...they're HAIRY! Horrors!


loosie 08-29-2012 04:26 AM

288 Attachment(s)
Hear hear!:evil::evil: I'm in Vic & it's bad enough here, but I can't imagine horses ever really needing to be rugged at all in Qld anyway! Have turned up to a clients one hot day to find the 'lazy'(never moves past a slow walk in the paddock) horse lathered in sweat only to find it wasn't due to a big workout, but having FOUR rugs on!! Lost that client because I couldn't bite my tongue about it!

....But God forbid Saranda, that anyone should be so negligent as to keep horses like.... horses!:-P

Saranda 08-29-2012 04:27 AM

They sure are. My gelding turns into a fluffy chocolate teddybear muffin during winters and, when they shed, horsehair is EVERYWHERE. My lungs including. Totally worth it. :D

EvilHorseOfDoom 08-29-2012 04:27 AM

Hairy horses are happier and more huggable. FACT.

Army wife 08-29-2012 04:35 AM

How, oh how did they ever survive in the wild!!!! AAHHHHH!!!!!!! Besides, even a thin blanket will keep thick, fuzzy hair slicked down for shows and things. Geesh, too much human intervention!!!

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