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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello :D


I'm a complete noob when it comes to rugs, so I wanted to ask a couple questions about it! Sorry if some of these have obvious answers.


1) Does it affect the horse's coat condition? I know rugging stops other horses from biting the coat out, but does it affect the length or make it easier or harder to get diseases?

2) Is rugging year-round bad? I've heard mixed things. The reason I wanted to keep some sort of rug on is because he's always in a paddock with lots of other horses, he tends to get patches of hair that are ripped out.

3) Do neck rugs rub the mane out? My parents said that that's why our old horses have half their mane gone. But when I googled it, most people said that it didn't. Does it just depend on what sort of neck rug they are wearing?

4) How does rug fitting work? The way we did it was just measuring how tall Ninja was and then looking at the chart thing that said how big of a rug they should have for their height. Are there any other factors? Is it like with saddles where their back shape effects the fit?

5) How close should the straps fit? I feel like the ones around his back legs are quite tight? I'm not sure if it's just because the other horse's rugs are too loose though. Is there a method to see? Like you have 4 fingers in the throatlash?

6) Are there any materials that rugs are made of that are better than others? Someone said that nylon-lined rugs are good, so I'm just curious if the materials affect the rug's quality significantly.


No pressure to answer all of them (or any of them :D) I know there's a tonne! It's not an urgent topic either! If you do answer any though, thank you in advance :))
 

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We all were new to rugs/blanketing at one time or another...you learn by asking and you learn by doing and making some mistakes along the way too..
So, I will answer right in your post so hopefully easier to follow...:smile:

1) Does it affect the horse's coat condition? I know rugging stops other horses from biting the coat out, but does it affect the length or make it easier or harder to get diseases?
In my experience with the types of blankets I use often the coat improves in condition as it is "polished" smooth by blanket lining materials.
Because you add a layer of "protection" the horse does not work as hard to make the coat as long nor as thick as a horse left uncovered and unprotected from the elements.
Diseases of the skin come from a horse needing to be brushed, groomed and not put away wet, dirty and covered with no air flow to the skin.
Diseases of the skin are also from a deficit of something needed in their diet, mineral or vitamin usually is the culprit I've found.

2) Is rugging year-round bad? I've heard mixed things. The reason I wanted to keep some sort of rug on is because he's always in a paddock with lots of other horses, he tends to get patches of hair that are ripped out.
I don't rug continually year-round myself...many do though.
If you have a show horse who needs to present in a particular look at all times, then rugging is very common.
From heavy blankets to lightweight sheets, including fly sheets there is protection of skin from other horses biting to some extent.
You need to buy quality rugs of various warmth factors with high denier count number as the higher that number the more abuse the material will take before rips, tears, holes appear, but no blanket material is going to hold up forever against teeth abusing it.

3) Do neck rugs rub the mane out? My parents said that that's why our old horses have half their mane gone. But when I googled it, most people said that it didn't. Does it just depend on what sort of neck rug they are wearing?
A neck cover if fitted properly does not move very much so no, in my experience the mane is not ripped out because it is covered.
The mane rubs out because the horse rubs their mane out from itchyness, something bothering it making it crazy.
Just like rugs come different warmth factor/level so do neck covers from super warm to no insulation and just a light material {some call them a slinky}

4) How does rug fitting work? The way we did it was just measuring how tall Ninja was and then looking at the chart thing that said how big of a rug they should have for their height. Are there any other factors? Is it like with saddles where their back shape effects the fit?
Fitting is a art for some...
There are differences in shape, the actual build of a horse from stocky, thick to a thinner, leaner and more lanky a build can and often in better quality blankets is built in to the pattern used when making the blanket.
Most blanket manufacturers have charts with directions on how to measure and fit that model of blanket.
I also fit my blankets so my horses have their full barrel {ribs} covered...some blankets will give you a "drop" number...this is how long the side is from center back over the ribcage to the bottom of the blanket edge.
On a horse that is broad and has a wide ribcage it can and does make a difference how much is covered or not.
I have found that " www.sstack.com " has one of the most extensive selections in different cuts for different breeds, insulating factors, material denier combinations and color choices of anyone. A wonderful tutorial on the website is available to read and better understand what terminology means in blanketing of horses.

5) How close should the straps fit? I feel like the ones around his back legs are quite tight? I'm not sure if it's just because the other horse's rugs are too loose though. Is there a method to see? Like you have 4 fingers in the throatlash?
Many different thoughts on this...
Personally, I use elastic leg straps on all my blankets/sheets.
I adjust them that they are 1/2 way above the hock and the top of the hind leg.
I criss-cross my rear leg straps and add a twist to them so they do not lay against the leg but are more suspended around the leg if that makes sense.
So, left to right, right to left and loop through...think tying a pair of shoelaces...
I've never had a horse get hung up in their blanket straps ever.
The underbelly straps my blankets are made to also cross...
Regardless, when attached I can slide my hand easily between strap and belly just grazing my hand against their fur coat. So, guessing probably 3" below the belly...enough space the blanket can move and not strap tighten when they lay down to rest, not so much they can catch a hoof.
My belly surcingles are solid webbing but there is a bit of elastic at the end attached to the blanket for "give" if needed.
Front straps...I like my blankets to overlap and fully cover the chest well, then I adjust to snug fit..my blankets have snap clips on them so once adjusted you just need to do the quick snaps to open or close not buckle them every time on or off.

6) Are there any materials that rugs are made of that are better than others? Someone said that nylon-lined rugs are good, so I'm just curious if the materials affect the rug's quality significantly.
All my current blankets are nylon lined...it helps to polish the hair/coat.
I have had blankets that were flannel material lined and pile lined which can add more insulating values but also can rub off a coat from friction of blanket movement it must do when the horse moves.
If you buy blankets that have anything other than nylon lining make sure the shoulder panel is nylon lines of you will have bare spots at the shoulders from rubs when the horse walks and blanket moves, also possibly at the hips again from blanket movement with every step taken.
My blankets are all turnout rug styled so they can be worn inside or out and have/offer protection from inclement weather or any type.
There are several kinds of exterior materials used...I've never honestly investigated some of that but are more concerned with the thread count, denier and that then dictates much about fabric choices.


The big differences in stable blanket/rug style to a turnout style that I have found...
Turnout style is water resistant/waterproof.
There is no center seam so no place for water to invade the blanket along a stitching line.
A tail flap of good size is on every blanket/sheet.
Sides are longer affording more coverage of the rib-cage of the animal.
A slighter tighter neck size so water, winds don't get inside creating draft and unfavorable conditions to the horses body as easily.
Belly surcingles are often criss-cross or belly band as they offer more "stay-put" than other types of surcingle choices.
You will have leg straps which can help to anchor the blanket in place when the horse is out running in a field, windy conditions present, when rolling it helps to stabilize blanket position. Leg straps can be elastic or just narrower non elastic strapping material.
I've found more coverage of the chest area.
Stable style...
They are cut not as full a fit but more fitted in look.
They do not offer any waterproof or water resistant capabilities...so if the horse lies down in poop or pee in the stall the blanket aside from soiled also now has a wet spot on it.
Often there is no tail flap or a small one which doesn't afford much protection.
Often there are no leg straps.
Belly surcingles can be straight drop or criss-cross style or a belly band.
Blankets seem to have a larger cut neck opening than t/o style does.
Chest area meets but doesn't seem to overlap quite as full as a t/o.
There are more "sections", channels on a stable blanket which if a rip occurs limits the loss of insulating material to a smaller spot.

Both styles of blankets, whether heavy with insulating value or just a sheet and no insulation can be bought that they will have the rings to attach a neck cover...buy a matched set though so your attachements line up correctly.
Very dependent upon where the horse will wear the blanket is what makes the choice of stable or t/o...
Turnout can be worn indoors or out.
Stable can be worn indoors or out, they do not protect from rain or bad weather and soak through soaking the horse underneath quickly.
In both type of blankets, the higher the "denier", this is thread count per inch, the higher that number the stronger the blanket material = takes more of a beating before destruction occurs.
In your situation where horses nip or bite at yours I would buy nothing less than 1200 denier count and would investigate 1680 think it is strongly...costs more but will give greater protection and lasting ability before rips, tears take apart the large investment.

No pressure to answer all of them (or any of them :D) I know there's a tonne! It's not an urgent topic either! If you do answer any though, thank you in advance :))
Hope that gives you some information and other members will also share their thoughts on the subject too.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Your welcome. I hope my sharing helps..
I know you are in Australia by your avatar given...
With that some things maybe slightly different but much is the same.
Biggest difference might be in where you purchase and what companies are available to you as I am in the USA, state of Florida and have so many companies to choose from for anything and everything...
Not sure what you face in your nation for horse goods.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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1.
Blanketing doesn't effect coat length. If they are allowed to get wet underneath without drying, it can encourage some skin ailments.

2.
Year round blanketing isn't inherently bad. I will blanket all winter, then a fly sheet for most of summer. If the weather is mild and there aren't bad bugs, I'll leave him naked. Some horses get blankets every time they are outside, and some inside too. Either way, the blanket needs to be removed and checked a few times a week minimum.

3.
A poorly fitted blanket can cause neck rubs, but I haven't seen it often. More common are rubs on the withers, shoulders and hips.

4.
Every style and manufacturer has their own fit of blanket. Some but broad shoulders, some narrow, some have more drop, some are better for high withers, no withers, ect. Its a bit of trail and error as far as what style works for your horse.
As far as measurements, most brands measure length, not height. You measure from the middle of the chest, across the point of the shoulder, along their side to the middle of their tail across the point of the hip. Different manufacturers might have different guidelines, so you can check their websites. A tall but short and narrow horse might take a smaller size. Short, stocky horses might take a huge size.

5.
Belly straps should be no more than a snug fist. Too loose and you risk them stepping through with their hind legs. I do my winter blankets looser and my fly sheet have the straps right against the skin.
Leg straps should he on the shorter side. You dont want them to stepping out of them. You want them to attach to the same side, but loop one around the other strap so its makes an X. Keeps them from rubbing and out of the way. There are also tail cords. These are single straps that go under the tail. I prefer these, easy to use. You want those shorter too so the strap doesn't sag and keeps the back of the blanket from flapping. Having it under the tail prevents the back of the blanket from flipping upwards.

6.
Depends what kind of blanket you are talking about. In general fleece/felt lined blankets cause static and rubs and have fallen out of favour. Nylon lined slide better and reduce rubs. Anything worn outside should be waterproof. You can find turnouts in different strengths, denier, with the higher numbers the better. If your guy gets beat on, you want a higher one. Things like fly sheets can be stiff or soft mesh. Both have their advantages.


If you want to keep him blanketed most of the time, you'll need a large wardrobe. You can't use the same one year round. A filled turnout sheet would be way too hot during the summer and a sheet would be too cold during winter. I have fly sheets for summer, rain sheets for rainy and colder weather, and turnouts and liners for winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you want to keep him blanketed most of the time, you'll need a large wardrobe. You can't use the same one year round. A filled turnout sheet would be way too hot during the summer and a sheet would be too cold during winter. I have fly sheets for summer, rain sheets for rainy and colder weather, and turnouts and liners for winter.
Right now he's got a cotton rug and a winter combo, plus a rain sheet but I don't really like it because it rubs his wither. I'll look at getting a fly sheet and a better rain sheet. Thanks for all your help!!
 

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Right now he's got a cotton rug and a winter combo, plus a rain sheet but I don't really like it because it rubs his wither. I'll look at getting a fly sheet and a better rain sheet. Thanks for all your help!!

I tend to collect doubles of blankets too, specifically rain sheets. That way if it's raining for a couple days I can swap sheets and let one dry. I also use my rain sheets in the winter over liners. With liners and sheets, you can turn 3 blankets into just about everything you need.


If your horse gets bitten enough that it's damaging the blankets, you can buy some of those old, stiff fly sheets and put those on top of rain sheets/winter blankets to protect them.
 

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I think the questions have all been answered, but I thought I'd add that sometimes certain blankets can cause rubs. My 20 year old never had a rub before even though I blanket him a lot more than the other two, but this past winter, rubs appeared on his shoulders. Maybe because he lost weight (it was intentional - vet's orders), maybe because he's moving differently, I have no idea. He needs the blankets though, so I bought a shoulder guard. They're pretty cheap, and are just made of a thin, lycra type material that is very stretchy and just provides a little protection against the skin.

As for leaving blankets on year round, I prefer not to. My 20 year old gelding is naked all summer long and he loves it. Sure, he gets dirty, but if you've ever seen the joy in a horse's face when they get to roll in the dirt after you remove a blanket, you understand that they just can't get to some of those itchy spots with a blanket on. So even if it's only part of the day, I'd opt for leaving the blanket off for a bit. It's important for the skin to air out, for the sun to reach it (or they can become deficient in Vitamin D), and for them to be able to get a good deep roll in! If you absolutely must keep a blanket on a horse 24/7, take it off at least once a day for a thorough grooming and airing out. You'll also need a LOT of blankets because they'll need to be washed regularly, and you'll need many different weights and fabrics. A blanket put on at 6 am may be too hot at 10, 11 or 12 noon, and unbearable for the warmer hours of the day. Unlike us, they can't take a layer off if they get too hot. Sweating under a blanket causes a myriad of other issues, like bacteria, fungus, etc. So blanketing 24/7 would require a lot more work throughout the day to change the blankets as the weather changes. Which is why my other two horses are almost never blanketed... mother nature has given them the ability to grow a coat that protects them in cold weather and they have access to a shelter and food at all times. But they are all different, and must be cared for as individuals.
 

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1) Does it affect the horse's coat condition? I know rugging stops other horses from biting the coat out, but does it affect the length or make it easier or harder to get diseases?

Nope. It doesn't affect the coat at all IMO. I would keep the horse clean underneath the blanket though, but my TB has sensitive skin of course so I always make sure she's clean before I put her blanket on. Of course, make sure the blanket is waterproof if you want to avoid skin issues if it rains & they need to be blanketed.

2) Is rugging year-round bad? I've heard mixed things. The reason I wanted to keep some sort of rug on is because he's always in a paddock with lots of other horses, he tends to get patches of hair that are ripped out.

I wouldn't say it's bad. Some horses need it. I only blanket in winter & I use a fly sheet in the spring/summer when necessary. Otherwise, my horse is naked. I do have a heavy blanket for winter & a light waterproof sheet when it's not super cold though. But other than that, she's naked. Horses will be horses & it's hard to keep them untouched by the others! :lol:

3) Do neck rugs rub the mane out? My parents said that that's why our old horses have half their mane gone. But when I googled it, most people said that it didn't. Does it just depend on what sort of neck rug they are wearing?

Depends on the fit. Any blanket can rub. Just have to make sure it fits. I don't think they rub the mane out though.

4) How does rug fitting work? The way we did it was just measuring how tall Ninja was and then looking at the chart thing that said how big of a rug they should have for their height. Are there any other factors? Is it like with saddles where their back shape effects the fit?


This has already been explained on how to measure. But, most blankets fit the same. Like if my horse is a 75 in one brand, she's probably a 75 in another. :lol: Very rarely do the sizes not 'match up', from my experience anyway.

5) How close should the straps fit? I feel like the ones around his back legs are quite tight? I'm not sure if it's just because the other horse's rugs are too loose though. Is there a method to see? Like you have 4 fingers in the throatlash?

Don't make the leg straps too loose, because they could possibly get caught in them. Not too tight either though. You want them to be short, but not extra tight either, if that makes sense...I criss-cross mine too, but some people don't. Depends on the blanket I think too. As for the belly straps, make them snug too. Not extra tight. Just enough.

6) Are there any materials that rugs are made of that are better than others? Someone said that nylon-lined rugs are good, so I'm just curious if the materials affect the rug's quality significantly.

I personally won't get a blanket that isn't waterproof. The more money you spend, the better the quality I think. Although, I don't spend an arm & a leg either...https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/p...-turnout-blanket-with-adjustable-snuggit-neck that's the winter blanket I use. It kept my mare very warm & it's waterproof too. :) $88. My fly sheet was like $20 but this is the second season I'm using it, it is still in good condition. It's lightweight too, so on hot summer days she won't sweat underneath it if I have it on her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If your horse gets bitten enough that it's damaging the blankets, you can buy some of those old, stiff fly sheets and put those on top of rain sheets/winter blankets to protect them.
They're not damaging the rugs, it's just that when he didn't have rugs he had a couple bald spots/shorter spots and they STILL haven't grown back.

He's actually the boss of all of our horses so I have no idea who's biting him. I have a suspicion it's one of the little minis though because the mini got out and was eating his food and he didn't stop him. I don't know though, maybe they're just friends :Angel:

Also thanks for the rest of your info! I'll see what I can do - might have to save up for a while though haha
 
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