Watch: Are we over-rugging our horses?

As we head into autumn, we reach for our body warmers – but does that mean that our horses need their coats on too?

The fact is horse owners hugely overestimate how cold their horses are feeling.

“Many owners are over-rugging,” says Dr David Marlin, a scientific and equine consultant, “mostly because they think horses feel the cold like we do. But they don’t.”

The risks of over-rugging your horse include:

  • Rubbing and friction, especially if he’s sweating.

  • Fungal infection due to the moisture trapped between him and his rug.

  • Reduced levels of calcium and phosphorus (needed to keep bones strong) due to the vitamin D he normally gets from sunlight not penetrating the rug.

  • Becoming overweight as he’s not using his energy to keep warm.

To read more about over-rugging and how keeping your horse more naturally could make them healthier, read the full article in issue 457.

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