My vet recently posted this in regards to rugging your horse.
We’re seeing a lot more rugs appearing in fields over the last week or so. If you’re tempted to rug your horse consider the following and be honest with yourself.
– if my horse/pony is obese, unclipped and lives out he/she does not require a rug (use winter to your advantage to allow your horse to safely gradually lose some weight and dramatically reduce his/her laminitis risk for the spring time – laminitis kills)
– horses have a much lower thermoneutral zone (the temperature range where they do not have to expend energy to keep warm) than humans. Horses 5-25 degrees. Humans 20-35 degrees. This means that if you’re cold your horse may not be cold.
– horses have a caecum which acts as a giant internal combustion engine producing heat – the human equivalent is the appendix which produces no heat
– horses that are overheated by excessive rugging can suffer heatstroke, colic and stress – this is particularly difficult to avoid at this time of year when temperatures vary
– a survey recently found that peer pressure was the biggest factor in influencing an owners decision to rug their horse
Consider body condition scoring your horse to keep tabs on their condition over winter – https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-…/how-body-score-your-horse
And here’s a rough guide to rug weights that may be suitable – https://www.equus.co.uk/…/temperature-guide-to-rugging-a-ho…
Remember every horse is different and if you would like to discuss your individual horse/pony’s management over winter speak to your vet/vet nurse who will be able to help guide you.
It is a very good reminder and I am glad my vet posted it or to be honest I would start reaching for the rugs. My mare is out naked at the moment and I plan on keeping her that way until the temperature drops, only when it is raining heavily will she get a light rain sheet on but nothing else. The reason for this is I plan on using the winter to get a bit of weight off of her, she is not obese but she does need to drop a few pounds.
However, with this being said, I do plan on clipping her probably come November as that is the next time the farrier is out and she will be nice and sleepy for clipping but until then it will be a rain sheet or nothing.
I also agree that peer pressure plays a massive factor when it comes to what we do with our horses especially when it comes to rugging them, obviously it depends a lot on the breed and the weight of the horse in question, but it is hard to not rug your horse when all others in the field are starting to get layers on.
What do you think ?
What temperature do you tend to start putting rugs on ?