Rug Season – Winter rugs

Rug season.

Deciphering the lingo!

It’s that time of year again when we start thinking about the winter rug season.  Many people will be looking to buy new ones or source good quality second hand.  If you are lucky and have horses that don’t wreck their rugs you may only need to get yours cleaned and re-proofed.


These come in lots of variations, from a rain sheet with no fill right through to heavyweight.  Standard rugs come without neck covers, and there are combos with fully integrated necks and others that have detachable neck covers which make for a more versatile option. Every person and horse have their own preference and it will depend on many factors including the amount and type of work that your horse is doing, what kind of clip they have and even the area you live in.

Medium weights are popular and usually have an inner fill of between 150g – 220g and heavyweights are usually 300g – 450g, good for horses that are fully clipped, when it gets snowy and really cold, or you are up in the North!

100g fill rugs are increasingly popular as they are good for Spring and Autumn rug season when the weather is slightly cooler but not cold enough to start really wrapping them up.

The denier of a rug is the outer layer and determines the strength of the outer fabric, most turnout rugs are between 600 and 1200 denier, with the highest being the strongest.  There are also rip stop fabrics which help prevent tears spreading.

There are a lot of brands on the market, each with a slightly different fit so getting advice from your local tack shop can be helpful if you are unsure.

Every horse person will have their own view on what rugs should be used.  However,  nature does work with horses and they will grow their hair according to how cold they are.  It’s probably the wet that they suffer from the most.

What size is your horse?

Check other rugs for sizing or alternatively measure your horse from the centre of your horse’s chest to the middle of his tail. Most rugs are measured in feet and inches, but most usually have the cm equivalent too.