When buying any rug for your horse to wear, fit is key and should never be underestimated. Even if you’ve bought the most amazing rug with a whole range of features it could potentially cause more harm than good if it is ill fitting.
When you've bought the rug, take it home and try it on your horse over a clean bed sheet or clean summer sheet - make sure you leave all the tags on. If the rug fits then remove the tags and use. If not, you might be able to return the rug to the retail outlet you purchased it from as long as it is in a saleable condition- check with your retailer at the time you purchase the rug.
How to Fit a Rug
First, lay your rug over your horse’s back. If your horse has never worn a rug before you may need someone to help hold him while you make adjustments.
Fasten the breast straps so that the fabric overlaps underneath them. The straps should be tight enough to hold the rug in place, but not too tight that the rug’s shape distorts. This could cause pressure points around the chest and wither area.
Ensure the rug fits well over the withers and shoulders. Too loose and it will slip back when the horse moves, too tight and it may rub your horse sore.
Cross surcingles when fastened should allow an adult's hand between them and the horse’s body to ensure legs can't get caught when the horse lie down, but not so tight as to make the horse uncomfortable.
Leg straps should be fastened left strap around the left hind leg, fastening back to the left side. The right strap then passes around the right hind leg, looping through the left strap and fastening back to the right side. These should be about 4-5” between the strap and the horse’s legs to prevent the rug slipping but without causing the horse discomfort.
If the rug has a fillet string or strap instead of leg straps, loop this under the tail and attach so that it secures the back of the rug to help hold it in place during blustery conditions.