Horse rugging options can range from ripstop, woollen, canvas, rain sheets with no fill or 100 gm/200 gm fill, outers with 600 or 1200 denier (which refers to the thickness of the thread used to manufacture the fabric), and can come in a rug or combo. So how do you choose?
Sometimes it can be difficult not knowing what type of weather protection to get for your horse and/or pony but we’re here to give you an overview of some options so that you can find the perfect combination for your equine friend.
There are a few things to consider before your next rug purchase, for example: Are your horses/ponies in a paddock or a stable? Will you be able to take the rug off if the weather is warm? Is your horse/pony already getting a thicker coat? Will your horse be clipped or left ‘au naturel’?
For the in between seasons ie Autumn and Spring when the weather can range from 25 degree days to pouring rain, a ripstop during the day with a rainsheet will suffice to help keep your horses protected in the varying weather - especially if you’re keeping it natural.
A rain sheet without any fill will keep the coat dry when it’s wet, avoid rain scald and keep the chill off when the nights/days are cold and windy. A light rain sheet can also be used as an additional layer to reinforce against any extreme weather that may occur later in the seasons - if needed.
If you're in a cooler area and want light protection with some added warmth, then the Zilco Explorer with 100 gm fill would be the next option.
During the midst of winter, if you’re unable to take the rugs off during the day, a 600 denier rug with no more than 200gm of fill would be well suited, (compared to a combo), to allow more airflow and general comfort for your horse.
If your horse/pony requires more warmth, then the Zilco Crusader or Defender with 1200 denier versions would be recommended. The 1200 denier rugs have a stronger outer shell made with stronger fabric (particularly suitable for those rug wreckers), but you need to be mindful that it will be a much warmer rug - even if the fill is the same, as it takes longer for the heat to pass through the waterproof membrane on the inside of the material.
If you’re planning on having your horse/pony ready for the competition season and are considering clipping, then you need to have a suitable array of rugs to compensate for the lack of hair and to maintain a healthy environment for your horse or pony. Layering is a great option, with a combination of a wool or jersey rugs to provide extra warmth underneath a heavier rug.
We always recommend having a cotton sheet underneath all rugs/combos for a few reasons, including:
- protection against rubbing (shoulders/wither/neck/mane)
- keeps coats clean
- extends the life of your heavy rug or combo
- stops dirt and hair from becoming embedded in the lining
- also reduces the need to wash the heavier rugs so frequently
The cotton sheets include the Zilco Econo Air, Supa Stop, SupaAir as well as the Shanga Ripstop options, just to name a few.
The most important point to remember when selecting a combo or rug is that is good quality, it's the right size and fits well. Any ill fitting rug will cause rubbing and be uncomfortable for your horse or pony which may create other issues as a result – something we all want to avoid!
We have a great range of rugs/combos available in different sizes and colours, but if you're unsure about anything, please don't hesitate to give us a call on 02 4353 1922 or send us a message. Happy shopping!