Turnout Rugs are arguably the most important rugs in the horse’s wardrobe. To keep them warm and dry, even in the most inclement weather, horse turnout rugs need to be tough, fit well, and most importantly, be waterproof.
There are a multitude of brands, styles, weights and colours to choose from, which makes picking a turnout rug for your horse or pony confusing.
The first thing to consider when choosing a turnout rug is what the weather conditions are likely to be when you use it. You'll also need to be aware of how well the horse tolerates the cold, and whether he will be clipped when he is turned out. An unclipped Thoroughbred that stays out all winter will, for example, need a full-neck heavyweight rug, whereas an unclipped fat native will be happy with a lightweight standard neck rug to keep him clean and prevent rainscald.
Good quality turnout rugs are breathable, the waterproof outer fabric coated on the underside with a special hydrophilic layer with micro-pores which draws moisture away from the horse.
Obviously the higher the weight (presented in grams) of the thermal filling, the warmer the rug. Lightweight turnouts generally have no filling, while medium to heavyweight rugs have between 40 and 450 grams of filling.
When it comes to turnout rug style, there are three main options: a standard neck, with or without detachable neck cover; a full neck combo; or a high neck/half combo.