Rugs off

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
Ive just been out and taken the boys rugs off. I know some of you are already taking them off in the day. Some of you have them unrugged 24/7. Im getting too soft or maybe im cruel leaving them on. I just cant decide what to do. Its 9 degrees here. But 9 degrees can feel cold with a wind chill. No rain forecast.
Never worried when chunky was younger. Rug came off but with his old bones im getting worried him being cold will make him more arthritic. Chunky has only had the odd stray hair coming out but this last week theres more coming out. He was clipped in December though so not masses to moult. Being hes older im feel like a bad mummy taking his rug off.

Billy was sweating a couple of weeks ago under his rug when it suddenly turned warm, but hes moulted quite a bit so isnt sweating underneath now. Not too worried about taking his rug off. Down side, i do hate riding a muddy horse.

I know it would do there skin the world of good unrugged and would help with the weight control.

When do you decide what temperatures the rugs come off on the oldies.

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
Visit site
Ben is 18 now and hasn’t worn a rug for years. I know that isn’t much help but I generally think most horses would be OK naked at this time of year, especially during the day.


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
I have odd days where Zi is without rug but I adjust accordingly because here at this time of year it can go very cold very quickly or very wet and windy and as he free ranges then he does need one. He’s not old though at 15. Storm never wears a rug as she’s only out during the day with access to her box. Chloe is rugged during the day if need be and at 31 I do keep a close eye on her but she can always come in if she wants to. Sorry that’s not much help! If it were me I wouldn’t not rug just because of the clock change or time of year, I’d just do the rug thing if it feels right, and if they are clipped with no access to field shelter I would rather they were comfortable than cold, specially if a little older. Nine degrees is pretty warm for us so most likely Zi would be naked providing not torrential rain.


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
I will only take off Mattie's rug if it's going to be above about 12 degrees and warm. He looks like a Spindles victim, he always does at this time of year, and he shivers. Poor chap, he should live in Morocco.


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
If it’s double digits and dry mine are naked, but neither are struggling for weight and no arthritis to worry about. Unless there’s a frost or persistent rain they’re only in rain sheets too.
I prefer to keep my lot a bit cold than too hot, horses are physiologically very good at warming themselves up, but pretty poor at cooling themselves down. If they’re ‘toasty’ under a rug it’s too much for my liking and they go down a weight/to nothing. Unfortunately at this time of year it often means rugs are on/off twice a day.
Having said that, when Phoenix was in his mid 30’s he was riddled with arthritis and was notably more mobile if kept slightly warmer.


Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
It’s a tough one really, personally if they’re used to being rugged I’d probably keep the rugs on depending on temp/wind chill, if their hair has got used to being rugged don’t they lose the ability to fluff up as normal (I may have dreamed that)
Belle hasn’t had a rug on at all this winter, while she is arthritic she shows no sign of the weather making it worse and she’s very used to being naked which I do think makes a difference.
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