Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting GAZETTE NEWS to 80360, or email
Get snug in a rug
10:09am Tuesday 21st September 2010 in september
SUMMER is already starting to become a distant memory, so now is the time to turn your attention to preparations for autumn and winter.
The turnout rug is designed to keep a horse clean and dry when out in the field, and also warm during the winter.
Turnout rugs are made from waterproof synthetic material and are available in different colours and thicknesses/weights of filling that offer varying degrees of warmth to the horse.
Lightweight summer turnout rugs may have no filling, while lightweight winter rugs usually have up to 150 grams of filling, medium-weight turnout rugs 150 grams to 300 grams of filling and heavyweight turnout rugs rugs have more than 300 grams of filling.
There are also under blankets and under rugs available to be used with rugs to provide extra warmth.
To ensure the rug gives maximum protection against the weather, the rug should be sufficiently long that none of the horse’s belly is visible and the front should have a good overlap Turnout rugs are usually held in place by cross surcingles that are passed from the front of one side, under the belly and fastened towards the rear on the other side and another that is passed from the rear, under the belly and fastened at the front.
Most turnout rugs have hind leg straps and these are fastened by passing one strap between the hind legs and fastening it to the back on the same side.
The second strap is then passed between the legs, through the first strap, and fastened to the back of the same side.This way the leg straps are linked between the hind legs.
The leg straps should be adjusted to allow a hand’s width to be placed comfortably between the back of the horse’s leg and the strap. If the leg straps are too tight they can cause rubbing, and if too loose the horse may get its hooves caught in the straps when lying down.
Some turnout rugs lack legs straps and instead have a fillet string attached to both sides of the turnout rug at the rear,over which the tail is pulled through.
However, a fillet string does not help to prevent the rug from slipping if the horse rolls in the way that hind legs straps do.