Equestrian Blog

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Quick Guide To Turnout Rugs

Using a turnout rug will help protect your horse from harsh weather conditions such as the cold, rain, wind and snow…keeping them warm and dry while they’re out in their field. The type of turnout chosen depends on many factors ranging from the temperature and weather conditions to your horse’s lifestyle, his age and what breeding he is. Turnout Weights: Turnout rugs are generally available in three weights based on the amount of filling in the rug. This filling is measured in grams per square metre and the higher the fill number, the warmer the rug. Light weight turnouts have no filling and so are ideal for warmer conditions when your horse may need protection from passing showers. Medium weight turnouts have a filling of approximately 200gm and are best used in between seasons when conditions are beginning to get colder. Heavy weight turnouts have a filling of approximately 300+gm and are ideal for cold winter conditions. Turnout Styles: Turnout rugs come in a variety of styles:
  • Standard - Typical rug shape that ends at the horse’s withers – no neck cover.
  • Combo - Same shape as the standard rugs but features an integrated neck cover which cannot be removed. These keep as much of your horse as warm and dry as possible.
  • Half Neck - This is a standard rug shape but with an extended neck. The aim of this design is to reduce the amount of pressure put on the withers and to offer a little extra coverage.
  • Separate neck cover – you can also buy a standard turnout rug along with a separate neck cover, which enables you to choose whether to add the extra coverage or not depending on weather conditions.
Weather Proof: A degree of common sense has to be applied to the performance expectations of your horse’s rug. No turnout, or human coat can be absolutely waterproof when subjected to hours of torrential rain. Today’s high tech materials will withstand and repel a high level of rain and weather but will eventually begin to allow some water through. With this in mind it is highly advisable to have at least one spare turnout rug to use on your horse while the other is drying in a barn or tack room. Rip Proof: How many times have you read the description of a turnout and been confused by the '1200D' reference that appears in the product title or description? When you see this, it’s simply referring to the strength of the outer fabric using a denier rating. The higher the denier rating, the stronger the fabric, for example, 1200 denier is stronger than 600 denier. Although many turnouts have tough, ‘ripstop’ outers, this does not mean that the material will never rip. Horses are large, powerful animals and their scratching or rubbing on branches or fences in a field can result in rugs getting snagged and entangled. Horses will always attempt to free themselves if they’re restrained so the rugs have to be designed to rip or give way when put under a large amount of pressure. If you had a choice between a damaged rug or damaged horse, which would you choose? Increasing Your Turnout’s Life Span: A good quality turnout should last for many years - accidents permitting. To increase the lifetime of a turnout it needs to be cleaned, repaired and reproofed at least once a year and stored away when not in use so that it doesn’t go mouldy or get munched by rodents! If you’re still unsure about anything related to turnouts or horse rugs in general, please email our friendly customer service team on customer.service@robinsonsequestrian.com or use our ‘Live Chat’ facility online.

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