When it comes to horse rugs, Bucas is a name that horse owners’ world wide trust to ensure that their horses and ponies are suitably dressed whatever the weather or time of year, here are their top tips for winter rugging…
An ill-fitting rug will cost you more in the long run, through rips, wear and tear and even rug rubs and sores, as it slips, slides and pulls all over the place, than investing in a good quality rug, which should see you through many winters.
Rugs are generally measured from the centre of the chest following a horizontal line around the side of the horse to the back of the quarters – just before you reach the tail and come in 3 inch increments. If your horse falls in between go for the closest size and remember that just like shopping on the high street, sizes can vary between brands. Bucas offer a special measuring tape to ensure that you get the perfect fit for our collection, but remember some brands can be more generous than others with their sizing, so always check with the retailer about any brand you are buying from. Also double check that as long as you try the rug on a clean dry horse with a cotton sheet on underneath, you can exchange it for a bigger or smaller size if the fit is not right. For more information on how to find the perfect fitting rug, visit our guide on 'How to measure your horse for a rug' guide.
If your budget is tight, consider buying a rug with a detachable neck cover. This offers a practical solution to our ever-changing weather pattern and offers you two rugs for the price of one!
You should ensure that the chest area is not too restricted by the fastenings especially with the bigger chested horses such as cobs, warm bloods or heavier draft types; you need to allow freedom of movement. All Bucas rugs are designed to allow plenty of freedom of movement around this area as well as offering a snug fit around the shoulders Always do up the front straps, surcingles and leg straps and check that the rug doesn’t slip too far back, from observing the horse moving around the stable and also check he has plenty of room to put his head down. Even the best fitting rugs can soon start to pull back, if you start adding too many ‘layers’, which is why our collection of stable and outdoor rugs come in a number of different weights to keep your horse warm, with the added bonus of being breathable, so your horse will never be too hot or cold.
For thin skinned thoroughbreds, a good fit is imperative to preventing rug rubs. Choose a rug which has easy to open and close fastenings –the last thing you want to me doing is fiddling with fastenings with cold fingers! We have just launched our unique ‘Click & Go’ fastening on our turnout rugs and they ensure that the rug stays secure, whilst allowing for easy removal and some of our rugs also feature a generous padded flap that sits across your horse’s chest, helping to prevent the rug from being pulled back and adding to his comfort.
It’s common sense to never simply throw a new field rug on and turn the horse out straight away –especially with youngsters or nervous horses. Always check all is well with the horse and the rug before you let both loose in the field. The same applies to stable rugs!
Our collection of turnout rugs are designed to be your horse’s second skin and whilst they all have breathable and waterproof properties some are more advanced and intelligent than others using the very latest technology and fabrics. The Power Turnout Rugs have a heat-reflective aluminium coating, which helps to reflect body heat to keep the horse warm, a ‘Stay-Dry’ lining, which wicks moisture away and ensures that the horse is always dry. This lining is also anti-bacterial and is also used in our Celtic Stable rugs helping to protect your horse and keep the rug fresh. Many of our premium rugs feature this exclusive ‘Stay Dry’ lining (Power Turnout, Smartex, Celtic, Shamrock Power and Power Coolers) so they can all cleverly be put on a wet horse in exactly the same way as a sweat rug and will quickly dry the horse with moisture evaporating away from the horse –leaving the horse touch dry in minutes and thus avoiding extra rug changes after exercise. Always check with the manufacturer, should you be unsure of the rugs’ technical ability and also its use –some rugs for example, may be fine for field use, however they may not be advisable for use in the stable.
With our ever-changing climate – Bucas rugs ensure that they offer your horse perfect climate control so should the weather take a turn for the better or worse, your horse will still remain comfortable as the rugs regulate the temperature. Check that your rugs offer the same level of reassurance, before rugging him up only to discover that you have over rugged or under rugged to find a hot sweaty or chilly horse in the morning!!
We also give horse owners a handy temperature gauge guide on our website and our rug information to help horse owners decide the best rug for that time of year, but if in doubt contact your retailer for advice