As for the question, "Should I blanket my horse?" When you consider the weather some horses evolved to survive in, such as the Shetland pony or the Arabian horse, you have a good idea that they can and do manage very well under extreme conditions. Horses and ponies cope very well in the cold but wet and windy conditions are more challenging so consider the weather on a daily basis and remember there’s no need to put on the heavyweight if it is 12°C and sunny! First thing in the morning is the coldest time, so is a good time to assess their coping mechanisms. And if your horse is unwell, homeopathy may be able to provide the best solution. Many people rug a horse, by putting a rug on at the outset of winter and leaving it on throughout the winter, regardless of the weather. Unclipped stabled horses may not require rugging. Just make sure the open side is on the opposite side from the prevailing winds. BLACK FRIDAY: Get an Extra 10% off! What Do Horses Eat – Supporting Optimum Horse Health. With winter setting in, most people immediately start without really giving it any thought. Can It Help Your Horse? If you are rugging a horse or pony for cleanliness, eg to keep him clean so you can ride, go for the lightest weight turnout rug that is suitable. If these (dry) areas are warm, so is your horse. In general, if the temperature is between 5-25 degrees Celsius, the horse or pony can comfortably maintain their body temperature without feeling hot or cold. Be seen and safe: Hi-vis gear put to the test, 5 tips to keep body protectors in good condition. Depending on the conditions and the horse, I think most horses prefer to be a bit chilly for a couple of hours or so, rather than to sweat. Thinner-skinned horses with lighter coats such as thoroughbreds usually feeling the cold more than a Welsh Mountain Pony or Irish Cob. If they went out to look on a fine day, they would likely be confronted with an excessively sweating horse, dying to have a roll in the dirt to satisfy the itch that this entails. Most horses who aren’t clipped or have a small clip will be more than warm enough in a lightweight rug. They feel helpless and at the mercy of another. Provide ad lib hay if pasture is limited or insufficient. Privacy Policy / Disclaimer / Terms of Use, Gastric Ulcers In Horses: Causes and Natural Solutions, Stomach Ulcers in Horses – Avoiding or Healing. You know how often people struggle with their horse’s health? Our ideal world scenario also includes suitable quantities of forage (whether that’s good quality grazing or ad lib hay, as this forage acts as an internal heating system to provide warmth via digestion); and turn out that encourages movement. I suggest that you rug a horse only when absolutely necessary and only for the shortest time necessary. Again, movement plays a huge role in a naturally healthy horse, especially in the winter months when they need extra movement … Horses and ponies cope very well in the cold but wet and windy conditions are more challenging so consider the weather on a daily basis and remember there’s no need to put on the heavyweight if it is 12°C and sunny! For example, if your strong (and cold) winds, which carry the most moisture, comes from the west or south west, then the field shelter should have its opening on the northern side. Let’s look at some scenarios in more detail. Horse rug companies go to great lengths to tell you their rugs allow the horse’s skin to breathe. Of course, their origin has a lot to do with how they manage. If you are debating whether your horse requires a rug or not, follow this checklist to decide what is right for him. It’s simply good sales talk. Zero-fill horse rugs are ideal. Whether your horse is sweaty from a hard ride or "soaked to the bone" by rain, his wet coat temporarily loses its ability to create a warming air space around him. Along with the decision on whether to rug or not is what type and thickness of rug to use. There are some times when you do, without a doubt, need to rug a horse. Instead you'll have to get used to grooming the mud off on a Saturday morning. Native ponies with a small bib clip may not need extra protection and warmth although a thoroughbred who is fully clipped will. Allow plenty of movement. Lightweight turnout rugs (or rain sheets) keep your horse clean and dry, making them a good option for damp spring and autumn days or cool summer nights. Rug thickness. the answer could also be "no," but special circumstances make "maybe" or "definitely" the correct responses for certain classes of horses. Continue to browse if you're happy with our Privacy & Cookie Policy. Many people rug a horse, by putting a rug on at the outset of winter and leaving it on throughout the winter, regardless of the weather. A strategy that restores their health and allows you, and them, to enjoy life. Providing inner heat through good food is a much better way to ensure your horse copes with any extremes of weather. For poor doers that really feel the cold go for thicker rugs and remember what your Mum told you about layers! In general, if the temperature is between 5-25 degrees Celsius, the horse or pony can comfortably maintain their body temperature without feeling hot or cold. If they went out to look on a fine day, they would likely be confronted with an excessively sweating horse, dying to have a … If you only ride once a week and your horse isn’t clipped, there's no real reason to rug him up unless he’s a poor doer. Well, what I do is to help you pinpoint WHY your horse is getting sick and implement a strategy that takes you to a feeling of empowerment, of being in control of their life. They can shelter from the sun, wind and driving rain. However, the type of protection is not best had from rugging your horse. What Is Homeopathy? A good example of a horse needing a rug is the sensitive, thin skinned Thoroughbred that may feel the cold if rain is persistent, the temperature has dropped, or the equine is clipped. Use code: 10BLACK20*Excludes products marked ’special offer', Covid-19 Update: All Orders & Deliveries Will Be Fulfilled As Normal, Click For Full Details. A good example of a horse needing a rug is the sensitive, thin skinned Thoroughbred that may feel the cold if rain is persistent, the temperature has dropped, or the equine is clipped. Horse type and breed may also influence your decision to rug. A good way to check how your horse is faring in cold weather is the temperature of their ears and their chest.