When Should I rug my horse or pony?

Lots of different ideas as to when to rug your horse for winter and as long as the horse if comfortable, warm and not overheating find what’s best for your horse and your schedule.

Rather than list every breed of horse I’ll put it into 2 categories Horses and Ponies. This is based on a horse or pony that has not been clipped. You must also take age into considerations, like us the older we get the colder we feel, it’s the same for a horse that is ageing.

The British weather can be unpredictable most of the time, even weather forecasters get it wrong on a daily basis when it comes down to towns and location so make sure you are prepared before the winter months arrive.

Ponies and horses native to the UK are bred to withstand cold winters and can go the majority of the time without a rug, but shelter must be provided for them.

Horses not bred in this country such as Arabs, Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods and the like can withstand hot weather, but they do need more protection as the winter months start drawing in.

As a guide when to rug your horse/pony:


Temp: 15° and above they should not need a rug. A fly sheet however may be necessary if your horses gets bitten quite a bit.

Temp: 15° – 10° It’s time to bring out the Turnout rugs, the rain will be starting to feel cold now so a little protection is needed.

Temp: 10° – 5° Time for the medium weight rugs but do make sure you check them each day to ensure they are not overheating.

5° and below Heavy weight rugs essential.


Temp: 10° and above your pony should not really need a rug unless there is little shelter from harsh winds

Temp: 10° – 5° depending on their winter coat a medium weight or turn out rug will suffice.

5° and below if your pony has plenty of winter coverage they should still be alright in a medium weight rug.

Some people prefer not to rug their ponies at all, this should be alright for them but ensure they have plenty of extra hay so they can eat to keep warm too.

Hope it helps and if you’d like to add anything, pop a comment below.


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