A well-fitting rug is a must, not just for your horse’s comfort, but for safety too.
A rug that fits correctly should cover your horse’s body well. There should be no tightness, or it will rub your horse’s shoulders and withers.
Also, a rug that’s too big may slip causing discomfort, and can be dangerous.
If you’re not sure what you should be checking, follow our five simple points to ensure your horse is comfortable and safe.
Does he have freedom to move?
The rug should be roomy enough to do the front fastenings up without putting pressure on your horse’s chest.
Once fastened, you should be able to easily slide your hand inside the rug, down the side of his shoulder and around his chest.
Is it positioned well?
The rug should sit approximately 2in to 4in in front of your horse’s withers, so it doesn’t cause any pressure or rubbing.
It should also reach to the top of his tail.
Is it the right depth?
Take a step back and see how deep the rug is.
It should come down your horse’s sides far enough so that you can’t see his belly.
If the rug isn’t deep enough it’ll look a bit like a miniskirt, exposing some of his tummy to the elements.
Do the surcingles fit?
These need to be adjusted so you can comfortable fit your hand between the strap and your horse’s belly.
Too loose and he could get a leg caught when he rolls, too tight and they may cause discomfort by pulling the rug down over his withers.
Does the neck cover fit?
Check the neck cover is long enough so it offers protection from the wind and rain especially when your horse has his head down while grazing.
Also check the neck cover is deep enough, if it’s too tight it will rub his mane.
Do the leg straps need adjusting?
Not all rugs have them, some will have just a fillet string.
Careful adjustment is needed so your horse can move freely, but so they’re tight enough that there’s no danger of him getting caught in them when he rolls.
Loop one leg strap around his back leg and fasten it to the ‘D’ rung on the same side.
Repeat on the other side, passing the second leg strap through the first so they’re linked before fastening.
The straps should be adjusted to allow a hands’ width between your horse’s thigh and the strap.