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I have written a lot of posts over the years about the dangers of over rugging your horse. But when it comes to safely rugging your horse, it’s not just about the weight of the rug, but the fit of the rug. You may have noticed that many horse owners have their go to rug brands for their horse. While this is partly because we all have our favourite brands, it is also because all brands are slightly different shapes and sizes.
How to check the fit of a rug
The only way to really know if a new rug fits is to put it on your horse. If you don’t have any other rugs, you can put a double bed sheet on your horse first to keep the new rug clean incase you need to return it.
Put the rug on and do it up. Take a step back and look at your horse. The front of the rug should be at least 2 inches in front of their withers and the back of the rug should cover the top of their tail. It should be deep enough that you can’t see their belly. The rug should not look tight anywhere and the horse should have space to move.
You should be able to fit your hand down the front of the rug. If you can’t it is too tight and could restrict and rub the shoulders. The surcingles under the belly should be loose enough to fit the width of your hand. Any looser and you risk horses getting their legs stick and any tighter the rug might get tighter across the back and withers.
Obviously all horses are different shapes and sizes and what fits Scottie may not fit your horse. But I have bought a lot of different rugs over the years, all in a 6 foot 6. Scottie is usually a perfect 6 foot 6 with there usually only being a few small imperfections.
So I thought that being able to share with you what rugs he has and how I find they fit, might help you decide what brands might be worth trying for your horse. (Also I love my rug collection and it’s nice to have an excuse to dig out photos and take some new ones!) For example, if you have a chunky horse, you could try some of the rugs what come up deeper on Scottie.
I am a big advocate of having spares for turnout rugs as I always worry that if you don’t your horse will go out in the field and rip one apart in the pouring rain. Then the next day you have to decide whether to keep in or layer other rugs to give them the same level of warmth. So I have lots of doubles for Scottie.
Shires Tempest 0g
I like this rug as it is quite roomy on Scottie. It’s nice and deep with plenty of room in the shoulders. The neck cut is a slightly funny shape, so I think if he had small shoulders or withers there would be a risk of it slipping back and cutting into the withers.
Gallop Trojan 0g
This fits Scottie well, but is a bit more snug around his shoulders than his other 0g. So it is our emergency rug. It was one of his first rugs and lasted him really well. But has also started to lose its waterproofing.
Loveson Allpro 100g
This has been one of Scottie’s longest lasting rugs, which is great as Loveson are usually a bargain. It has always fit him really well with the neck being nice and big, perhaps a bit too long even for Scottie’s long neck. Unfortunately this is now our emergency spare after Scottie spent a winter turned out in a playful herd…
Premier Equine Adonis Stratus 100g
I love how Premier Equine rugs fit Scottie. They are the perfect length and so deep. I find these rugs so deep that once the surcingles are done up, they almost act as a belly flap, giving extra warmth while not restricting movement at all. I also love the elastic around the top of the neck which means even though the hoods are HUGE, they fit really nicely. And the tail flap comes quite far down too.
Masta Zing 200g
This is a combo and fits really nicely, although maybe a bit more snug around the shoulders than some of his other rugs. I also prefer detachable necks so it is a spare.
Fitwise, I find this somewhere in between the Loveson Allpro and the Premier Equine Adonis Stratus. Lengthwise it is perfect. But it is not as deep as the Premier Equine, but also roomier than the Loveson Allpro.
I don’t think stable rugs are as important as turnout rugs. You don’t need them, but they are nice to have. Apart from a few different fleeces, I only have one of each weight for stable rugs and if they get damaged, they can stay in their turnout overnight.
The Mio Cooler is quite roomy on Scottie. It is definitely a little bit long, but being a cooler it’s not something he ever wears for very long. I do think a size down would be too tight over the chest.
I think this fleece fits really well. It is perhaps a smidge long, being a bit baggy over the bum. But it’s not tight anywhere and isn’t too baggy either. It’s my go to rug for when it starts to get chilly going into winter.
Rambo Newmarket Fleece
This is one of the first rugs I bought and is one of my all time favourites. I am a sucker for a thoroughbred in a Newmarket fleece, especially on a chestnut! Fit wise, it’s not perfect. I do find it a bit snug over the withers. But not too tight in anyway.
Mark Tood 100g
This Mark Todd rug fits Scottie nicely. It is quite nice and long, covering a lot of his bum. But isn’t baggy anywhere. Plus the attachable neck is nice and roomy too.
Where the Loveson Allpro fits Scottie really well, I find their stable rug really shallow. The length and fit of the rug is perfect. It’s just a bit short, from the front Scottie’s looks like he is wearing a mini skirt!
EquiSafety Hi Vis
This ride on sheet is great both with and without a saddle. However, I don’t like having it under my saddle, usually just putting it under the stirrups and round the front. This usually means the breast strap at the front is too short and I cant use it. But other than that, it fits really well.
Rambo Newmarket Rug
The ride on Newmarket rug is another one of my favourites. I think it fits perfectly, my only issue being the hole for the saddle could be a smidge bigger as it can be a bit tight.
WeatherBeeta Waterproof Exercise Sheet
I don’t tend to use this one too much as I find it a bit too small for my saddle. But it fits Scottie really well and is great for those in between days where it isn’t cold, but is raining quite a bit.
Snuggy Hoods Jams
The body of the Snuggy Hood jams fit Scottie really well. I also think the hood fits his neck really nicely. But I do find the face a tiny bit tight over the jaw. Scottie eats and drinks happily, but I would be happier if it was a bit looser.
I love the fit of this on Scottie. It’s a stretchier material than the Snuggy Hoods Jams, so I don’t find it too snug anywhere. It is perhaps a tiny bit long for him, with a bit extra over his bum. But this is far from being a problem.
While marketed as a horse walker rug, I also find it great for light lunging in cold weather or rain. This fits really nicely, allowing Scottie plenty of movement. But is also tight enough to not slip at all.
Loveson Zebra Fly Rug (6’9)
This is the only rug I have ever had to size up in. We had the 6’6 which was okay. But I found it a tiny bit tight in places. The 6’9 is a much better fit. But I find the neck is a little bit short and the body is a bit too long. Scottie rarely wears a fly rug, so it’s not a huge issue. But if he ever needs to wear one more often I will replace it.