So... to rug or not to rug? ^>^ - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-29-2020, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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So... to rug or not to rug? ^>^

Long time no see... its been 7 weeks since our move!!!!!! My goodness has the weather changed fast O.O I haven't had a chance to update my journal but I'm having the time of my life....

I wouldn't really think about rugging at this time of year and coz she's a healthy 10 year old of good weight... But she was fully clipped not long before our move and the fuzz she has now I don't feel can keep up with the fast changing weather. We had a similar cold spell last week that I left her naked for and she didn't appreciate it much lol. But she was already soaked and I didn't wanna rug her wet. It's not even about weight.. she just seemed a bit miserable. Some of the oldies there were shaking you could practically hear their knees cracking (they were rugged when their owners arrived). But boy it was WINDY!

Upcoming weather:

- seriously wet and heavy downpour for the next week
- gusts around 17-29mph
- 10-15 celsius (50f - 59f converted on google!)

Note:

- current "summer" field lacks good cover for windy conditions but has pretty good cover for sun/rain
- winter field moving to soon though has lots of huge trees so will feel better there!


Was thinking that since temps are fine I'll just slap on a rain sheet? I'm just conflicted as this time last year she had a full coat and I didn't rug until much later. But the rain starts tomorrow and I want it on her dry....

... I'm totally not up at 2am wondering this while completely cracked on caffeine lol. Hope everyone is well!
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-29-2020, 08:59 PM
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I'll be honest and say I'm not big on rugs, so feel free to take whatever I say with a grain of salt.

I'd throw on a rain sheet, but try and keep things as light as possible. I really get antsy about even using rain sheets at this time of year just because weather can change so drastically. One minute it'll be cold and miserable, the next it'll be 20C and sunny... Then you drive past a field and see a few miserable horses blanketed in the heat with no cover from the sun.
Also just keep in mind that your decision depends on what you plan to do this coming winter. Rugs and clipping, or let her fur coat grow in? If it's the latter, you'll want to think about allowing her to be exposed to as much cold weather as possible without overdoing it. I like my horses to survive off their own hair as much as they can, so although I might give her a rain sheet this time, I'd personally be itching to take it off as soon as I can and let her body adjust naturally to slowly dwindling temps.
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-29-2020, 09:02 PM
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For me...use the rain sheet before she gets wet.
Its not "the wet"...
Its the wet with the wind that will make her miserable.
The temperatures by itself is not a issue, but combine it with 20 or more mph winds and the 50"s just dropped to nasty and get in your bones raw, cold.

Not everyone believes in sheets or blankets used on a horse no matter the weather...
You've already seen though the chilled to the bone effect of horses shivering to stay warm ...
I hate seeing that...
To me, you saw and not liked it so as you are present often, cover Katie so she is comfortable and you are content she is coping and comfortable.

Bottom line is you are not keeping the horse warm with insulation...
You are providing a wind break by using the sheet...
If it also keeps her dry in the process to me that is a bonus.
Do though watch carefully for her to not sweat and remove the sheet daily, brush and let the coat dry completely so less chance of rain rot from sweat, not being able to loft the coat to dry to the skin as needed..
I think it was walkin who has mentioned using a vitamin supplement and amount given as a preventative to stopping before it begins the skin infection/breakdown so many are not sure why it happens...but a deficiency.

Yes to a rain sheet...absolutely.
...
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-29-2020, 09:04 PM
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IMO a body clipped horse should wear a turnout blanket in the winter. They is those the ones meant to be worn outside with various thickness of insulating linings. Thin sheets just plaster down the hair coat that they have and so it does not insulate them.
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-30-2020, 05:56 AM
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I would always rug a clipped horse,but try to keep it as light a rug as poss,my new horse has a really thick coat atm because he has lived out for nearly 2 years with no rug,but now I'm bringing him in and riding him he's getting a full clip(he's also having it done for health reasons) so he will need a turnout and a stable rug.
Do whatever you feel comfortable doing,don't let other people influence your decisions, you know what's best for your horse because you know your horse best xx
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-30-2020, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. It's hard justifying it because right now it's a comfortable temp. But its gonna be worse than last weeks wet spell and it seriously was so cold with the wind it felt like ice.

I'll put a rain sheet on. Her hair barely has anything to fluff anyway so I figure as you put it that it being a wind break will be sufficient. This time next year she'll have a full coat again and back to nature's weatherpoofing!
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-30-2020, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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I live 4mins away and no trouble to check and change as needed either! She probably gets sick of the sight of me 😛
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-30-2020, 07:55 AM
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It's warmish here today at 21 C, but Harley is wearing a rainsheet because it will pour all day. Rusty is naked, as always. So I agree with everyone that at 10-15C with good wind and no shelter, a light rainsheet is warranted, especially on a clipped horse, though really, it all depends on the horse. If she appears miserable when soaking wet, then a thin rainsheet is a good idea. My Rusty couldn't care less about getting wet, so he stays au naturel. Harley, on the other hand, is very sensitive and will just hide out in the barn all day if he doesn't have his raincoat on. He is getting on with age, and has arthritis, so I indulge him.

I really feel that blanketing has to be adapted to each horse's needs/preferences. I try not to blanket for cold weather until it gets REALLY cold though, because I want them to grow a good coat (I know people will tell you the cold doesn't make their coats grow, it's the daylight hours, but having gone through winters when Harley was almost never blanketed, and winters when he was blanketed regularly, I beg to differ - he grows a much thicker coat when he is not blanketed). But once the real cold hits, he will live in various layers of blankets and liners all the time. For wet weather, I do cover him though, because if he gets soaked, he feels miserable. I think you know Katie enough to know her comfort level with the cold and wet. If the sun suddenly comes out, you can always bike over and take off her blanket!

I'm so glad to hear you're happy with this new arrangement!!!
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-30-2020, 08:15 AM
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P.S. I take it back about Harley needing a rainsheet today. After I posted, I looked out the window and had to do a double take. He does not have his rainsheet on anymore. I have never seen him do this before (I suspect Rusty may have played a part in this), but it is completely off him, all straps intact. I have no idea how that is possible. His bib (prevents rubs) was hanging off his neck. No rips in either.

I guess he doesn't need a rainsheet today after all...
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-30-2020, 08:23 AM
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In the UK winter weather is normally not very cold but can be very wet and windy.

No stick does well in those conditions and many times I have seen horses stood behind a hedge, backs up, heads down shaking uncontrollably because, despite a good winter coat, they are soaked to the skin. They will not move even to come to feed they are that miserable.

I light sheet will do not harm and keepmthe wet off their backs.
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