How to Tell If Your Horse May Need a Horse Rug

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Do you know how to tell if your horse needs a horse rug? Colder weather may make horse rugs necessary, but before you start looking at horse rugs for sale, consider the following factors.


Temperature should be a major factor in deciding whether your horse needs a horse rug. Depending on the climate where you live, your horse might be perfectly fine without a rug year-round, or he may need a rug during the colder seasons. If your climate is fairly consistent, your horse can better cope with it than he can cope with sudden colder days. If you have unusually cold days, putting a rug on your horse might be necessary


Precipitation can make any day’s temperature colder. Rain or snow on a cold day can be a good reason to put a rug on your horse. If you do use a rug, make sure that the rug is waterproof to help keep your horse dry.

Thickness of the Horse’s Coat

Different breeds of horses grow coats with different thicknesses, some of which can better protect them against the cold than others. If your horse’s coat stays thin through the winter, or if you clip your horse’s coat, then he will probably need a horse rug to stay warm.

Availability of Shelter

If your horse has shelter available in his pasture, then he can escape the precipitation and windchill. However, if your horse does not have shelter available when he is outside, then a rug may be necessary to protect him from cold wind, rain, and snow.

Age of Horse

You will also want to consider your horse’s age. Elderly horses may need more help staying warm, and the same is true of very young horses.

Temperature of Horse’s Ears

If all else fails, feeling your horse’s ears can give you a sense of whether your horse may be cold. For this technique to best work, you should feel your horse’s ears regularly during warmer weather to get a sense of their normal temperature. If your horse is cold, the tips of his ears will be cold to the touch. You can also look for signs of shivering.

Alternatively, it is important to monitor your horse to make sure that if you put a rug on him, he doesn’t get too hot. You can do this by feeling his chest and shoulders and checking to make sure that he isn’t sweating. If your horse begins to sweat, remove his rug, put a cooler on him until he is dry, and replace the rug with a thinner one, or let your horse go without a rug entirely.

Whether your horse needs a rug will depend on your horse’s physical characteristics and the climate where you live. If you decide that your horse does need a rug, then there are plenty of horse rugs for sale to choose from.

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