Chloe on choosing and fitting rugs wisely
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With winter fast approaching, it’s time to think about your horse’s winter wardrobe. US rug and accessories brand Kensington Rugs are now available exclusively through on-line retailer Shadow Horse in the UK and with a heritage spanning over 40 years and plenty of experience keeping state side equines warm and toasty, Kensington certainly know a thing or two about rugs!
- Check over your rugs now before the really cold/bad weather sets in and make sure that they are all clean and in good condition –the last thing you want is to pull them out when you really need them and be reminded that you forgot to send them away for repairs and cleaning when you have nothing else to put on your horse!
- Remember that 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
- If your budget is tight, consider buying a rug with a detachable neck cover. This offers not only a practical solution to our ever-changing weather pattern but also offers you two rugging options without the added expense of having to purchase two rugs.
- 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. We also offer a ‘Friesian Cut’ across our rug collection, which has been designed with big chested horses in mind. All Kensington Rugs are designed to allow plenty of freedom of movement around this area, as well as offering a snug fit around the shoulders. When trying on a rug, 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. Kensington Rugs are cut fractionally higher than most other rugs in the market around the chest to improve comfort and fit and help eliminate rug rubs and pressure points developing across the horses wither and should
- Another important consideration is that whilst the material must be strong, the attachments should be able to release in case of an emergency.
- 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
- 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!
- Winter turnout and stable rugs are a big investment for any horse owners so choosing the right rug is imperative. Look out for details such as high denier Ripstop materials and extra attention being paid to buckle and strap stitching, as these will not only help save money on rug repairs but also increase the life of your purchase!
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