How to Tell if Your Horse Rug Fits Your Horse


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When you use horse rugs on your horse, it is important to make sure that each rug fits your horse properly. Poorly fitting rugs can result in rubs, chafing, and even dangerous situations where a rug slips down partially off of a horse.

Want to make sure that your rug fits your horse? Follow these tips.

Measure Your Horse

The first step in ensuring that a horse rug will fit your horse is to measure your horse. Using a soft measuring tape, such as those used for sewing, have a friend hold the beginning of the tape in the center of your horse’s chest. Keeping the tape even, stretch it around your horse’s side and measure all the way back to the center of your horse’s tail. This measurement should correspond to the horse rug size that your horse will wear.

Look for Gaps

Once you’ve purchased an appropriately sized horse rug, try the rug on your horse. With all of the buckles adjusted appropriately, check the horse rug for areas with significant gap. If you find that the rug is loose around your horse’s shoulders or hips, then the rug may be able to slide dangerously off of your horse.

Consider the Length

With the horse rugs on your horse, look to see how the end of the horse rug falls on your horse’s hind end. If the rug ends before your horse’s tail, it is really too short for him. However, if the rug drapes after your horse’s tail, excepting the tail flap, then it is too large for your horse and could be at risk of slipping.

Check the Wither Fit

With the front portion of the rug done up, check the design of the neck opening to make sure that it fits your horse appropriately. Your horse should be able to lower his head to eat without restriction, but it is also important to make sure that the withers area of the rug sits comfortably just ahead of your horse’s withers. If the rug slips back into and past your horse’s withers, then the neck opening is too large.

Adjust Surcingle Straps

Another potential area of poor fit is in the horse rug’s surcingles which secure beneath your horse’s body. Adjust the surcingles so that they land no more than a hand’s width below your horse’s belly. If the surcingles are too loose, your horse could catch a hoof in them. If they are too tight, they can cause the rug to rub your horse.

Each style of horse rug tends to fit horses a little bit differently, so it’s important that you try each rug on your horse when you buy it.

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