How to put a rug on your pony

Posted in Stable Management

Can you put a rug on correctly? Our fab how-to guide has all you need to know

From turnouts to coolers, rugs are an essential part of most ponies’ wardrobe.

Follow these simple steps for perfect rugging, every time… 


Rugs tend to slip back slightly as your pony moves, so start off with it loose around his shoulders so it doesn’t rub him.

Putting a rug on

1. With your pony tied up securely, fold his rug in half so the back section is on top. Place it over his withers so it’s sitting straight.

2. Fasten one of the chest straps to keep the rug in place, then unfold the back section over his quarters. The end of the rug should reach the top of his tail.

How to put a rug on a pony


The chest straps are fastened first so the rug can’t slip backwards and get tangled in your pony’s back legs if he moves.

3. Fasten the other chest strap. You should be able to fit four fingers between the rug and your pony’s chest – if you can’t, the straps are too tight or the rug is pulled too far back. 


Throwing a rug over your pony’s back is dangerous and could cause him to spook, so it’s important to put it on slowly and carefully.

4. Do up the belly straps so they cross over under your pony’s tummy. Again, you should be able to fit four fingers between them and his body.

5. Pull his tail through the fillet string. If the rug has leg straps, too, fasten one around his leg on the same side, and then loop the other through before fastening it, too.

How to put a rug on a pony

Types of rug

  • Turnout rugs help keep your pony warm and dry when he’s in the field. They have a tough, waterproof outer layer and a silky lining. Turnout rugs are usually broken down into lightweight, medium weight and heavyweight, depending on how much filling they have.
  • Cooler rugs are great for stopping your pony getting a chill if he’s worked up a sweat or had a bath. They’re often made from fleece or waffle fabric and work by pulling the moisture from his coat and through the rug so it can evaporate away.
  • Stable rugs are your pony’s pyjamas and keep him warm in his stable. They’re also great for making sure he stays clean! Like turnout rugs, they come in lightweight, medium weight and heavyweight, so you can choose the perfect thickness whatever the weather. 
  • Fly rugs keep pesky flies and other biting insects off your pony when he’s in the field. They’re made of mesh, which means they’re cool and breathable in warm weather, and often have a piece that wraps around under his belly for extra protection.


To check if your pony’s the right temperature in his rug, put your hand underneath and feel his coat. If he still feels a bit chilly or is starting to sweat, you may need to choose a different rug.


If your pony isn’t clipped, he may not need to wear a rug at all. Native breeds are designed to live outside in harsh conditions and their thick coats are brilliant at keeping them warm. 


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