Sunday, April 20, 2014

Choosing The Best Horse Rugs

By Essie Osborn

Owning horses is a wonderful privilege. Many people save for years to realize their dream of ownership. Most horses are boarded at large barns where they receive excellent care. This involves being fed at regular intervals, having their stalls cleaned daily and being turned out in the field to get some exercise. When horses are turned out in the winter time they often need one or more blankets to keep them warm and dry.

Although shopping on line is a very common choice, some people still like to visit their local tack store. They may have built up a good working relationship with the owners and staff over many years. They can also ask question and really look at the products to see which they like best. This is very important, especially when buying big ticket items such as horse rugs and saddlery.

Most owners will purchase at least one or two rugs for each of their horses. There are many different types to choose from. During the summer it is handy to have a couple of light cotton summer sheets. These are usually in a traditional plaid design, with red or navy blue being the most popular colors. They are designed to keep the animals clean and dust free. They also help to prevent flies bothering the horses when they are turned out in the field.

When they no longer have a thick coat of their own the horse will need some warm and water proof blankets to keep them warm and comfortable. In addition, the animal will stay clean and this saves a lot of grooming time. Busy owners hate to have to spend hours brushing the mud off their horses before they can ride. It is very important as putting a saddle on a dirty back will cause painful sore spots and rubbing that may take weeks to heal.

Most summer sheets are fairly inexpensive and it is a good idea to have at least two sheets available. One for everyday where and one for shows. They are easy to machine wash and dry fast on the line or in the sun. If the owner is in a hurry they may be able to tumble dry the sheet, but they should check the washing instructions. Anything that is 100 percent cotton may well shrink.

The new line of equine clothing also has the crossed surcingle feature. This is a set of stitched in belly straps that cross and are held secure by snaps. In conjunction with detachable leg straps they help to keep the rug in place whilst eliminating pressure on the horses back. This has prevented many of the back problems caused by pressure points and also the rubbing caused by a badly fitting rug.

The new line of turn out blankets are available in either shower or water proof. The shower proof are for horses that are only turned out for a few hours each day and can be brought in if the weather gets bad. However, an animal that lives out all the time will need a much higher degree of weather protection.

Some rugs have a special lining that actually helps to polish the horses coat. This can be a real advantage in the show ring where every point counts. Riders are very happy to use the new style of horse clothing that is versatile, affordable and easy to care for.

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