We can’t ignore that rugs are needed by elderly horses that are underweight and don’t have those body reserves to burn, finer horses and to an extent horses that are stabled, that aren’t creating as much body heat from moving. Many leisure horses do perfectly well on forage alone, but it is difficult to know exactly what amount of vitamins, minerals and proteins they’re receiving to ensure a balanced diet. Recorded moisture levels under the rug were the only significant negative correlation to rug weight found (P = 0.000; r = -0.27). Turning horses out all summer but then stabling them during the winter is common For further details, please see our Privacy Policy. Lancashire It is really important to provide enough forage to help satisfy their behavioural needs, especially during winter when grass may not be readily available, or turnout time may be restricted. “In the long term, if an obese horse is rugged too much it will prevent them from losing weight — this puts them at massive risk of laminitis in the spring, summer and autumn. “A horse should be coming out of winter with his ribs just visible. PR3 2JQ Fulwood, Preston This adjustment in routine represents a significant change in the horse’s diet and exercise so must be completed gradually over 10-14 days to help reduce the risk of colic. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 71 Station Road During the colder temperatures, giving an extra scoop of Turmash or handful of hay will help to keep you horse warmer. Fulwood, Preston https://www.oakhill-vets.com/dangers-over-rugging/?upm_export=print However, the decision to rug your horse should be made based on the body condition of the horse or pony in question. We now know that over-rugging is an issue that can affect natural weight fluctuation. By over-rugging, horses are unable to reset their hormone levels and use thermo-regulation to control body temperature. This is a man-made welfare problem. – Try to record the horse’s body condition score throughout the year or weigh your horse if possible, this will give you guidance. Heavy weight (300-500g) plus liner and/or under blanket and hood. Horses naturally lose weight during the winter months but we can override this process by feeding them too much and over-rugging. When we feel cold horses might not due to the adaptations mentioned above. In the UK, vets have warned horse owners just how serious the consequences are when over-rugging their horse. “I recommend people body condition score so they can have a good gauge of their horse’s condition.”, For more information on rugging, don’t miss next week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out Thursday 28 September, {"piano":{"sandbox":"false","aid":"u28R38WdMo","rid":"R7EKS5F","offerId":"OF3HQTHR122A","offerTemplateId":"OTQ347EHGCHM"}}, {"location":"Keystone Header","subscribeText":"Subscribe now","version":"1","menuWidgetTitle":"H&H Plus","myAccountLnk":"\/my-account","premiumLnk":"\/hhplus","menuLnks":{"2":{"text":"Plus Hub","href":"\/plus-hub"}},"colors":{"text":"#000","button":"#000","link":"#00643f"}}. Update your contact information & preferences. Heavy weight (300-500g) plus liner and/or under blanket and hood. Breeds that tend to have a thinner winter coat such as a Thoroughbred or Arab, underweight, fully clipped, old or ill horses are more likely to require a rug for additional warmth in bad weather. 220 Watling St Road There are times where rugging maybe necessary. A 16hh horse needs at least 25 litres (6 gallons) of water per day, and some horses may need up to twice this amount. Horses, especially native breeds, should naturally gain weight during the summer and lose weight in the winter. The importance of ensuring your horse has a plentiful supply of fresh, clean drinking water shouldn’t be underestimated during the winter! This range is 5-25 degrees celsius. Small concentrate feeds will start to be broken down effectively by the stomach. In addition, temperatures in the morning or evening (when we usually see to our horses and decide on their daily costume), are currently 7 degrees different to the midday temperature.

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