For some people, it is still a debate whether you need to rug a horse or not. Since many wild horses survive outdoors without rugs, it makes people think that horses can withstand any weather condition without extra care from people. However, domestic horses are a lot different than wild ones. They can’t move freely unlike their wild counterparts and most likely reach an older age when taken care of by a horse keeper.
Each horse breed also differs in their toughness when it comes to battling outdoor weather conditions. Some are well suited to extreme cold while others are better in warmer climates. In general, horses are really a hardy species but it would still help them a lot if we give them extra care as horse owners.
You could actually rug a horse no matter what the season is, as long as you do it correctly. Here’s how to properly rug a horse depending on the season.
Using horse rugs during summer is not mainly for keeping them warm. If you rug a horse during summer, you are preventing the natural cooling breeze to cool the horse’s body as well as increase sweating when the temperature is high. However, some people rug their horses during summer months to protect them from insect bites. Insects are more prevalent during the summer season because they could roam around freely unlike in wet season.
If your horse is sensitive to insect bites or you just want to provide extra protection, you could rug the horse especially at night-time. Aside from insect bites, you could also rug the horse to prevent its coat from fading in direct sunlight. However, you need to take extra precaution that it won’t cause the horse to overheat instead.
Winter is the best time to use rugs on horses. It helps keep them warm and comfortable even when the temperatures are colder. Younger horses tend to have fat which serves as an insulator for their body, keeping them warm during winter months. However, they will burn off these fats through the winter if you don’t keep them warm. You could preserve these fats by putting a well fitted wool horse rug perfect for winter months.
When using horse rugs, be sure that it fits the horse well to keep it comfortable. Also, inspect the rug regularly for tears or any signs of damage. Aside from being an injury hazard, torn or damaged horse rugs are also not that efficient in keeping warmth within. If you’re keeping your horse rugged, be sure to groom it regularly since the rug prevents the natural grooming and exfoliating process of its skin.
Using horse rugs is somehow an important part of taking care of horses. Whether it is summer or winter, you could definitely use this basic horse accessory to provide extra care and protection to your horse. Before putting on a horse rug, see first if it really needs it or not to avoid potential health risks.