A Guide To Rugs | Types | Sizes & Fitting


Fitting The Right Type & Size Of Rug For a Comfortable Horse

Scroll down to cast your vote on the best value horse rugs

Types of Horse Rugs

Heavy-weight, medium-weight and light-weight turnout rugs are designed for use in autumn and winter, particularly on finer horses or those that have been clipped. Many turnout rugs are now made of breathable material and should be waterproof

The D which stands for the ‘denier’ of a rug describes the strength of the outer fabric; the higher the denier the tougher the fabric is

The warmth offered by the rug depends on the amount of filling (also described as the weight) in the rug, similar to that of a duvet

So Heavier rugs will afford better protection when temperatures really drop and weather conditions are harsh whereas:-

Lightweight Turnout Rugs

These are typically 600D with no fill or up to 100g, they offer adequate protection in autumn or spring when the weather is variable and not too extreme and can also provide a solution to rugging more hardy, or hairy types through the winter; some have a fleece lining for extra warmth

Middleweight Turnout Rugs

These tend to come in 600d, 800d or 1000d outer with anything from 200g to 280g of filling
A middleweight would be perfectly adequate for most unclipped horses throughout the winter

Heavyweight Turnout Rugs

These rugs come in anything from 600d right up to 1680d, the filling is from 300g up to 450g

In the UK we rarely have the type of winters where such a warm rug would be required. Most horses would need no more than 1000d with 350g of filling to keep them warm while living out all year. This does depend of course, on the age and condition of the horse

Neck Covers

These are either fixed or detachable, the advantage of a detachable neck is that it can be removed during the day if it is milder and re-attached at night or when the weather is particularly wet

A neck cover is ideal in the worst of the winter weather, unless your horse has a nice long thick mane which gives good weather protection, often a neck cover in these circumstances would probably be too warm and could cause rubbing

New Zealand Rugs

These were once the only turnout rug available, they are made from a thick canvas material that is waxed to provide some shower proofing; they can be re-waxed. They are practically indestructible as they are so strong and many owners swear by them for all year round use, although some regard them as too cumbersome

Stable Rugs

These also come in different weights and are available from lightweight fleeces to 12 tog duvets; even if your stable is sheltered you will probably need a stable rug as a stabled horse is quite often colder than one that is turned out. Just think how you feel on a cold day if you are sat around at home, probably colder than if you were out for a walk

Summer and Show Sheets

Unless otherwise stated, these are not waterproof; they are designed basically to keep your horse clean and are often used on the way to a show or event

Coolers and Sweat Rugs

These are used after your horse has exercised and will ‘wick’ moisture away from their skin – similar to wrapping yourself in a towel after a bath

They can be put under a turnout rug or stable rug on cold days


These are incredibly versatile and come in gorgeous colours and designs. Used as a substitute to a cooler they can also be worn as light stable rugs or for travel and can be put under a turnout rug or stable rug for added warmth

Exercise and Rain Sheets

These can look the same but generally you can ride in an excercise sheet whereas a rain sheet is a throw over waterproof cover designed to keep animal and tack dry , often used at shows

Dirty and torn rugs? Horse Rug Cleaning | Repair Service At Great Prices

Although the featured rugs below are new, we often sell secondhand ones on our trade stand , and sometimes you will find them in our online shop here

Turnout & Stable Rugs Chosen For Quality & Price



This Is Just A Guide As Horses Differ As Do The Rugs

The measurements given are the length of the rug as in this diagram

Diagram to show how to measure for horse rugs

Measure Properly To Ensure a Safe & Comfortable Fit For Your Horse Or Pony

Small Pony and Foal

3’0 (91cm) Under 10hh/Foal

3’3 (99cm) Under 10hh/Foal

3’6 (107cm) Under 10hh/Foal

3’9 (114cm) Under 10hh/Foal

Pony Size Rugs

4’0 (122cm) 10.0hh – 10.2hh

4’3 (130cm) 10.2hh – 11.0hh

4’6 (137cm) 11.0hh – 11.2hh

4’9 (145cm) 11.2hh – 12.2hh

5’0 (152cm) 12.2hh – 13.2hh

5’3 (160cm) 13.2hh – 14.0hh

5’6 (168cm) 14.0hh – 14.2hh

Horse Size Rugs

5’9 (175cm) 14.2hh – 15.2hh

6’0 (183cm) 15.2hh – 16.0hh

6’3 (191cm) 16.0hh – 16.2hh

6’6 (198cm) 16.2hh – 16.3hh

6’9 (206cm) 16.3hh – 17.0hh

7’0 (213cm) 17.0hh – 17.2hh

7’3 (221cm) 17.2hh – 18.0hh

7’6 (229cm) 18.0hh plus


Who Do You Think Makes The
Best Value Horse & Pony Rugs?

14 Responses

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  1. Mark Todd rugs? good value or just TOO expensive?

  2. http://secondhandhorsestuff.com/shop/2011/09/24/rug-fitting/
    cast your vote for the best horse rugs on the market

  3. personally…bucas horse rugs are great although not cheap

  4. if you follow the link above, there is a list of rug makers that you can vote on

  5. if you follow the link above, there is a list of rug makers that you can vote on

  6. Who Do You Think Makes The
    Best Value Horse & Pony Rugs?

  7. Who Do You Think Makes The
    Best Value Horse & Pony Rugs?

  8. just accidentally deleted the last post, sorry Angie….

  9. Can we have your vote please? and feedback on rug makes will be really helpful for others….thanks folks 🙂

  10. your opinions are wanted! which are the best rugs for very small ponies / Shetlands etc? we keep hearing about rugs that fit one way but are often too deep and therefore too long…cheers people.

  11. a guide to rug types and sizing………..feel free to add your comments to our website to share your thoughts and advice on rug sizing and fitting.

  12. and i was only saying, …..its amazing how many people take size guides as gosple then wonder why their pony has bald spots of gets funny about being rugged up, i was agreeing with you and showing how out they can be?

  13. as it says – its a guide…………..no horse/pony is the same and rug manufactureres differ greatly…hence the “just a guide….”

  14. just a simple guide for sizing and measuring, feel free to add your comments – just follow the above link

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