When the weather gets colder and wetter, it’s tempting to want to snuggle your fave pony up in a lovely warm turnout rug when he’s in the field. But how do you know which one to use, and does he even need one at all? Our guide should help you decide…
What rug weight?
You can buy rugs in different weights to suit almost any type of weather conditions. They range from rain sheets that just protect your fave pony from showers and don’t offer any warmth, to heavyweights that will keep him extra cosy when it’s freezing cold! Rug weights are usually measured in grams…
- rain sheet: 0g
- lightweight: 50-100g
- mediumweight: 100-250g
- heavyweight: 300g plus
Neck and neck
You can also get turnout rugs that have a neck cover. These are either detachable, so you can choose whether or not to have it on, or it’ll be fixed, which is known as a combo rug.
Having a neck cover will keep more of your pony’s body warm and dry. It’s important that the neck’s the right weight and length for him, and some have elastic around the top to stop them from slipping down, too.
Ponies know best
Before you reach for a rug, it’s super-important to remember that ponies don’t feel the cold the same as we do! They’re awesome at regulating their own temperature, and can warm themselves up more easily than we can.
So, if you’re feeling a bit chilly one day, it doesn’t mean your pony is, too! Putting a rug on him when he doesn’t need one, or using one that’s thicker than he needs, can make him get sweaty and uncomfortable.
As well as looking at what the weather’s doing, take into account your pony’s breed, age, condition, health and whether or not he’s been clipped before you decide which rug to put on – or even whether to put one on him at all.
A rugging guide
If you want to know what rug to use when, our handy chart should help. Just remember that all ponies have different needs, and this rough guide refers to a pony with a trace clip who lives out.
Why not consider investing in a rugging system that will suit all of your pony’s needs? You buy one outer rug, then get separate liners of different weights that you attach to the inside to add extra warmth when you need it. It saves on storage space, and could even work out cheaper overall!