To Rug or Not to Rug? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-30-2009, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
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To Rug or Not to Rug?

What are your opinions on rugging horses? Why do you rug your horse? Is your horse rugged all year around, or just during the winter, or just during the night? Do you believe in the idea that "the horses in the wild are fine without rugs, mine will be fine?"
Or is it a cosmetic thing, if you're a big competitor, to keep their coat short and shiny?
So what do you think? The all-natural no-rugging or rugging? And for what reasons?
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-30-2009, 07:17 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Queensland, Australia.
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This is what happens to my horse, he is rugged all through the year in a summer rug and it will not be taken off unless he is being exersized or groomed. Although on a lovely sunny day I will take it off for the day.

The reason he is rugged is because he gets rain scald, and he wears a water proof rug. Also it keeps his coat in good condition. I guess it depends on the breed as well, also Chinga does not get much of his winter coat so it keeps him warm.

I would like to start showing him later on so this is helping with his coat, keeping it in good condition. Although thats just what I do with my horse, and plenty of people will do differant things with their horses for differant reasons.


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post #3 of 18 Old 05-30-2009, 07:52 AM
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I don't rug any of my horses. The only sensible reasons that I can think of to rug your horse is if you are showing and require a shiny, short coat or if your horse is outside year round and you rug in the winter because they are very harsh. Also, if you clip in the fall or spring when the weather is still deciding whether to be cold or warm.
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-30-2009, 09:45 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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I live in Manitoba, Canada where winter temperatures can easily hit -40C and for the most part, we never blanket. In our herd of 7, my Arab mare is the only one who gets the blanket tossed on when winter really hits, just because she grows an absolutely pathetic winter coat. The rest grow enormous poofy coats, and we make sure they're chunky going into winter. We've never had a horse come out of winter yet that wasn't even chunkier then when they went in. They're kept outdoors year round, but in a herd for huddle warmth. They're kept on free fed hay all winter, grass in summer.

However, we're not show riders. I prefer to keep my horses as naturally as possible. A lot of people need to blanket show animals due to clipping them and leaving them unequipped to deal with the elements, or like in my case, my mare just doesn't properly equip herself for winter.

We don't even OWN any summer type sheets. They'd just get destroyed in the trees anyway

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #5 of 18 Old 05-31-2009, 09:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
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I rug.

1. My horses are worked in winter. If they qsweat, which they often do, then they need to be able to cool off enough that they don't get chills when I put them back into the paddock. Rugging keeps their coat short, which makes this easier. I have body clipped my main horse, and strip clipped my pony and a freinds pony to further help them in cooling and drying out after work in winter. It's a health concern.

2. Helps protect from bites/kicks from the other horses.

3. Canberra winters! It can be warm during the day and then that icy wind comes up that they can't get away from. A rug breaks the wind and really helps them keep warm.

4. laslt,y it is a little bit about looks. I compete all year round, so having a decent coat is important to me. I don't have stables, so rugging and clipping are the only ways I can achieve it.

If I had a horse that was a pasture ornament, I wouldn't rug all the time, but throw a canvas on for those cold Canberra nights.

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post #6 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 03:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
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I rug my horse as he has almost NO winter coat, and he won't grow one even if I don't rug him, so in his case he definately needs one, but I agree that not all of them need it.
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Childers Queensland Australia
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hope this will help u.....or not lol

I believe that rugging horses is over rated the horse has a warm back his/her tummy is cold rugging wrecks their way to keep them selfs warm none of my horses have ever seen a rug,From what I know in Australia it's mainly for cosmetics maybe where it snows and they are kept in a stable with a heavy rug on look at my mare angel this is her winter coat it is so woolly

Crystal paint QH ASH Arab mare. Angel bay Brumby mare, Clyde bay clydie cross gelding, Gerry white welshie gelding.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 06:59 AM
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We rug the horses we are riding. Being in Nth Qld we only really ride/compete in the winter as it is too hot/wet in the summer, so off come their long coats.

The others go without unless it comes up really cold and wet and then I might rug the oldies (which is most of them now)

Only As Old As You Feel - Sometimes I Feel VERY Old
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 11:55 AM
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I rug my horse because he grows almost no winter coat. I also blanket because I ride consistently through the winter and need my horse to cool down quickly after a ride. Plus, it also keeps the horse clean which is nice when you're running late for a lesson.

If I had a horse that grew a decent winter coat and I didn't ride a lot I would definately not blanket him/her. Maybe throw a sheet on when it's freezing cold or raining a lot but that would be it.
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
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From what I know in Australia it's mainly for cosmetics maybe where it snows and they are kept in a stable with a heavy rug on look at my mare angel this is her winter coat it is so woolly
Anglesgrace, see how she is sweaty all through her coat? It makes it really hard for them to dry, and in turn means that they are very susceptable to chill winds and can quite easily get things like pneumonia.

I rug in winter so that my horses can dry out quickly after work and not have a chance of getting sick. The number one reason I rug is for better health. The very LAST reason I rug is for cosmetics.

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