Sunday, November 10, 2013

Horse Rugs Are Excellent Protection Against Extreme Weather

By Katrina Wheeler

During extreme weather conditions, the safety of your animal should be a top priority. Horse rugs provide additional protection during those times. Many times horses require supplementary support for warming up, cooling down, staying warm and dry. These covers allow freedom of movement while protecting them from harsh, inclement weather.

Placing a blanket on your equestrian friend is much easier than you would think. There are clasps, clips and straps to allow you to keep the blanket in place once it is properly positioned. There are straps that wrap around the belly, straps that go between the back legs and fasten to the sides and straps that wrap around the chest. These strategically placed straps assure you that the animal will not be able to remove the blanket easily. Covers come in a wide variety of colors, weights and styles. Thicker weighted coverlets are for the winter months, while the lighter weighted ones are for the warmer seasons. Some will even provide protection against mosquitoes and flies.

In order to keep your equestrian friend warm on harsh winter days, use a thick and heavy weighted fleece blanket. Many blankets have the added benefit of being water resistant or water proof. If you need even more protection, you may choose to add a neck cover.

Fabric choices will affect the weight of the cover. There are water proof, anti-sweat, cooling, fly and turnout blankets. Each type serves a different purpose and their weights will vary based on that purpose.

During the winter, when your animal is out to pasture, a turnout cover is an excellent option. Choose one that is rated based on the weather conditions appropriate for your climate. During the summer months many people choose to use fly sheets for protection against pesky flies. After an intense workout, you might choose to use a cooling blanket to assist in cooling the core temperature of your animal until it reaches the appropriate level. There are blankets and rugs for many different purposes.

If your animal is damp, it would be important to use an anti-sweat sheet, which is usually made of cotton, to absorb excess moisture from his coat. This should be removed before blanketing. He should receive a good rub down with dry towels before placing the blanket on him. Your animal should be dry before blanketing, otherwise, it could hold the moisture in, and he could become ill.

As the weather changes and the temperatures begin to drop, allow your animal to adjust to the temperature changes naturally. This will allow him to grow a winter coat. His winter coat will provide him with a great deal of protection. Make certain that you only blanket your animals when it is necessary. Blanketing early in the season means less natural protection for you animal.

Protecting your horse from problems caused by different seasons has never been easier. Determine his needs. Consider the climate. Each different season will bring different needs. Be attentive. Take your time when deciding what type, weight and size of coverlet your animal will need. Although it serves a physical purpose, horses look adorable when wearing horse rugs.

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