Horse Rugs for sale
Your horse will require a variety of horse rugs or blankets in order to keep warm in all weathers both outdoors and whilst in the stable. The Equi Supermarket range features all the rugs that you will need and at the lowest prices. With the finest rugs from Weatherbeeta, Amigo, Rambo, Shires, Masta and more, you are sure to find the perfect rugs for your horse.
When Does Your Horse Need to Wear a Rug?
You might be feeling a bit chilly but does that mean that your horse is? Horses are very different to people in the way that they feel and tackle the cold. Winter will get you reaching for those turnout rugs but are you using them too soon? It is important to ensure that horses do not get too cold or too hot but how do you tell?
The Equine Thermoneutral Zone
The thermoneutral zone is the temperature range between which a person or an animal feels cold. But that zone varies between species. Humans have a narrow thermoneutral zone of between 25 and 30°C. We might feel chilly without our clothes on when the temperature is below 25°C and we start to feel hot, even without our clothes, once the temperature reaches 30°C.
Life is very different for horses. Their thermoneutral zone is 0°C to 25°C. So you can’t decide whether or not your horse is cold based on how you feel. It is perfectly possible for you to be shivering when your horse is feeling quite comfortable.
Holding on to the Heat
Horses retain heat much more efficiently than people do due to their coat. They will lose heat from the skin, through breath, faeces and urine, and through contact with colder surfaces. However, clipped horses lose heat at a faster rate.
Horses’ bodies generate heat by breaking down food and this helps them to maintain their core temperature. Their metabolic rate naturally increases when required to help with heat retention. If they get too hot, then they burn off less calories and can start to gain weight.
Making the Right Judgement
So keeping warm is a bit of a balancing act for the horse and for you when it comes to using horse rugs. You can’t tell how cold your horse is by feeling its ears, face or legs. These areas of the body are poor indicators of how warm a horse actually is. It is better to place your hand behind the withers. If this area feels cold, then your horse might benefit from a rug or an additional layer if they are already wearing a rug. If the area is damp or wet, your horse is too hot.
If they are not clipped, most horses will not need a rug at all until temperatures drop to 5-10°C. Older horses, young horses and clipped horses may require protection sooner.
Horse cooler rugs and horse fleece blankets
Cooler blankets and fleece rugs enable your horse to cool down after exercise in cold weather and without catching a chill. These rugs are fashioned from moisture wicking textiles which draw moisture away from the skin and direct it towards the surface of the rug where it then evaporates. The sheets are designed to allow air to freely circulate so your horse can dry out naturally. Meanwhile, the rugs insulate your horse so their temperature does not drop too rapidly. Coolers are also extremely useful if you travel with your horse. They will help to keep your horse clean in transit but without them overheating.
At Equi supermarket we offer a comprehensive range of horse sheets. Exercise sheets are worn whilst you ride and cover your horse’s hind quarters. They will protect them from the elements and high visibility styles enhance safety on the road. Stable sheets provide additional insulation in the stable and help to keep your horse clean. Summer sheets protect your horse from the harmful rays of the sun. This prevents their coat from fading but without the risk of overheating.
Choosing a Horse Exercise Sheet
You will need a variety of rugs and sheets for your horse if you are to provide it with adequate protection. It can start to seem like your horse has more clothes than you do! You definitely need a stable rug and a turnout rug and if you ride out in all weathers, then a horse exercise sheet is also a good idea.
What is a Horse Exercise Sheet?
An exercise rug or sheet is also known as a quarter sheet because it is designed to cover your horse’s hindquarters. It is worn when you are riding out. Some styles sit under the saddle but above the saddle pad. Others sit behind the saddle and can easily be removed and replaced when required. You can choose an exercise sheet which is fashioned from waterproof synthetic fabrics and this variety of sheet will keep your horse dry in wet weather. Alternatively you may prefer a wool or synthetic fleece exercise sheet which keeps your horse warm when exercising in the winter.
How you use the exercise sheet will depend on exactly how cold it is, your horse’s condition, how hard it is working and whether or not it has been clipped. You may only need to use the sheet on the coldest days or at the beginning of a workout. The sheet can also be used at the end of a session to prevent clipped horses from developing a chill as they cool down.
Your exercise sheet can also double as a safety aid if you choose one of the many styles fashioned from high visibility fabric. A florescent yellow, orange or even pink sheet helps to make you more visible when riding on public roads and that is always a good thing. The hi vis sheets also include reflective strips of material that bounce light and increase visibility in poorer conditions such as misty mornings or dusk.
As with any horse rug, it is important that your chosen exercise sheet is the right size for your horse. Some exercise sheets are only available in one size and may be too large for smaller animals. If the sheet you are looking at is available in more than one size then take the appropriate measurements to ensure that you achieve the best fit. The sheet should afford sufficient freedom of movement but should not be so large that there is excessive fabric dangling down as this can get caught on bushes and fixed objects.
A horse exercise sheet is certainly a practical addition to your equine wardrobe. You may not use the exercise sheet every day, even in the winter, but it is good to know that it is there. You can never predict what the weather is going to do next and it is possible to experience all four seasons in one day! With an exercise sheet to hand you will always be able to ride out knowing that your horse has the protection it needs. A good quality sheet will be well constructed and durable and so can be used over an extended period of time.
Does Your Horse Need a Stable Rug?
Well the answer to that question is almost certainly yes. You may have been asking yourself how many rugs you need to invest in. It is tempting to try to get away with too few, but this really isn't a good idea. Your horse will need at least one turnout rug to remain clean, dry and warm when outside but it will also require a stable rug for warmth in winter and possibly to keep clean and in tip top condition for competitions.
Horses do have their coats to protect them from the elements but stables can be cold and draughty places in the winter months. Horses are unable to move about enough in the stable to warm up and so your horse may well need extra insulation, particularly if it has been clipped. So why can’t you use a turnout rug in the stable?
Turnout Rugs vs Stable Rugs
It is not pleasant for your horse to be left in a damp turnout rug when it returns to the stable. It will also be impossible for you to dry the rug out or to clean it if your horse is wearing it and so a stable rug is a must. Stable rugs for horses are designed to afford the right amount of movement for the stable environment and will leave your horse less prone to rubbing and itching. In turn, the stable rug should not be used as a turnout rug as it will lack the necessary waterproof layer for outdoor use.
Which Horse Stable Rug?
So, you need a stable rug but which one? Stable rugs for horses are available with light, medium and heavy fills. Horses vary in their ability to retain heat and so require different levels of insulation. You should keep a close eye on your horse to make sure that it is neither too hot nor too cold. If it is too cold its ears will be cold to the touch and any exposed hair will stand on end. Your horse will adopt a rigid stance with a clamped down tail and may shiver. If your horse is too hot it will be visibly sweating and appear restless. As temperatures can change dramatically across the seasons you may require rugs of different weights to cover all eventualities. It may also depend on whether you have clipped your horse for the winter.
Whichever weight of stable rug that you require you must ensure that it fits correctly. A rug which is too tight will restrict your horse’s movement and quickly become uncomfortable, whilst a rug which is too large can slip leaving your horse with inadequate protection. To guarantee the right fit you should measure your horse using a tape measure. Rugs are sold in both UK sizes and European sizes. For UK sizes measure your horse from the centre of its chest to its buttocks where the rug should finish. For European sizes measure from the top of the withers to the tail. You can then consult the size charts of the brands whose rugs you are considering. Stable rugs for horses are a wise investment which will serve your horse well but it has to be a rug of the correct weight and size otherwise you may not get the full benefit.
Horse turnout rugs
Just as a turnout rug is an unwise choice for the stable environment, so a horse stable blankets should not be used outdoors. Stable rugs lack the required waterproof layer for wet weather. Turnout rugs are fashioned from technical fabrics which are robust yet breathable. They wick sweat away from your horse whilst providing valuable insulation against the cold. Horses vary in their ability to keep warm and so turnout rugs are available with a variety of fills.
Horse Rugs: What is Ballistic Nylon?
If you have been thinking about investing in a turnout rug for your horse or already have one, you will probably have noticed that many styles are fashioned from ballistic nylon. This sounds pretty impressive but what exactly is ballistic nylon?
An Accidental Invention
Perhaps we should first look at conventional nylon. It is a fabric that you will be familiar with but might not have though much about.
A chemist called Julian W. Hill invented this silky material by accident. In 1930, he was working for Dupont and created a cold drawing process which produced a new polyamide. This was to become nylon.
Companies first used the new material commercially to make the bristles for toothbrushes. However, it was something of a revolution when they started to make ladies’ stockings with the fabric in 1940. Silk stockings were very expensive and silk was in short supply during World War II. Most women struggled to afford stockings but the new "nylons" changed everything.
Nylon was a replacement for silk and was useful for military applications including parachutes.
Dupont developed ballistic nylon for use in military flak jackets. This was a light yet strong fabric which protected airman from flying debris and the fragmentation caused by bullet and shell impacts. Unfortunately it offered no protection from the bullets themselves!
Ballistic nylon has now been replaced by Kevlar in military applications as Kevlar is also resistant to impacts from bullets. But Ballistic nylon is still a fabulous fabric with many uses. You will find the material in luggage, cave packs, tool belts, police belts, watch straps and motorcycle jackets.
Using an extremely high-denier nylon thread count, ballistic nylon is created using a specific weave. This weave pattern produces fabric with excellent tear resistance and exceptional strength versus its weight. The fabric is breathable but must be coated to become waterproof.
You can certainly see why this fabric is an excellent choice for turnout rugs! Tough, protective and waterproof, ballistic nylon is a fabulous and versatile material. This lightweight material is comfortable for your horse and affords the freedom of movement that a horse needs. They should really have called it anti-ballistic nylon but hey!
Choosing Turnout Rugs for your Horse
Your horse should be kept clean, warm and dry throughout the seasons. In order to properly protect them against the elements you will probably require more than one horse rug to suit different conditions.
A turnout rug is a water resistant, insulating and breathable cover that is use to protect horses from the elements when they are turned out into a field. They tend to have a water-resistant outer material to protect against wet weather and then an insulating filling to maintain warmth. Turnout rugs generally aren't used in the stable as they can be damp after being worn outdoors.
So you may need both a stable rug and a turnout rug. You might even find that you need more than one turnout rug as various levels of insulation could be required to cope with the different conditions throughout the year. It is important to ensure that you have an appropriate rug for your horse and there are several factors to consider when making your choice.
These days, turnout rugs for horses are made from durable and robust technical fabrics which are resistant to tears. These synthetic fabrics are strong enough to suit even the most active and athletic animals. However, the quality of horse rugs does vary and it could be the case that you get what you pay for. A high-quality horse rug will cost a little more but will last longer and so could prove more cost effective in the long run if well cared for.
Turnout rugs are available with different levels of fill, a bit like duvets! You can choose between light, medium and heavy fills and so there are rugs to suit all weather conditions. You should also be aware that horses vary in their ability to keep warm. Just as it is important that they don’t get too cold, it is also crucial that they don’t get too hot and sweat under a rug. You should watch your horse carefully after purchasing a new rug to make sure that you have struck the right balance. Consider things like the thickness of your horse's coat at different times of year, whether they are clipped, how much your horse feels the cold and what your seasonal weather is like.
You could purchaser a medium or heavyweight turnout rug as a winter rug and then switch to a lightweight turnout rug for the chillier/damper side of spring and autumn.
You must also be careful to choose a rug which fits your horse well. If the rug is too loose it will not provide good insulation and may slip. If the rug is too tight then your horse won’t have the freedom of movement that they need and the rug could rub them. You can measure your horse to establish the size of rug required. Do this by measuring from the centre of the chest along the horse’s side to the tail using a tape measure or piece of string that you can mark and measure afterwards. Horse rugs are usually shown as sizes in feet and inches such as 6'3". If you find that your horse is between sizes then choose the larger of the two options.
Horse rugs generally have adjustable chest straps, cross surcingles (straps that cross under the horses belly) and leg or fillet straps (strap that goes across under the tail) so that you can get just the right fit.
Turnout rugs are available in both standard and combo styles. Standard rugs offer no protection for the neck. Combo rugs feature an integral neck cover for additional warmth. This can sometimes be rolled back but for maximum flexibility a detachable neck cover is the best option.
It is well worth taking the time to ensure that you choose the right turnout rug. This is an important investment that will serve you and your horse well if you make the right decision. We have a superb collection of horse rugs here at Equi Supermarket. We have chosen the finest turnout rugs from the Amigo, Bridleway, Horseware Ireland, Shires, Mark Todd, Weatherbeeta and Masta ranges. You are sure to find the perfect rug for your horse here at Equi Supermarket.
Horse under rugs
From time to time your horse may benefit from an extra layer. An under rug provides extra warmth on the coldest days and prevents your horse’s turnout rug from rubbing. Horse rugs are available in several sizes and to suit every horse. It is important that you choose the correct size as this will ensure that your horse has the freedom of movements it needs and that the rug will not slip.
Rugging a horse:
For further information on rugging a horse, click here.