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Rugging - when - and clipping?


This morning I went to see my boys and they were a bit damp, but felt warm non the less. I was going to rug and stopped myself, I am already thinking of rugging tonight....

I don't want to end up with several rugs on them in December but I think I am being soft rugging so early and that I should leave them to grow a good coat.

Please tell me what to do. (I have been looking at the rain today and feel really bad)

PS They are out 24/7, TB, and aren't getting a stable built until this weekend (hopefully) so shelter is limited although they can get out of the wind against hedges.

Unless they are elderly, underweight or you are about to clip, I would leave them if they feel warm in the early morning. When the sun does come out, they would be horribly hot and itchy whilst loosing summer coats under rugs.

And if you put even a waterproof rug on at night, it could flatten out the coat so they feel a sudden cool or wet day even more.

I did have my heating on at home the other night and even though our horses are stabled at night I still feel a pang of doubt that they are out there and I'm tucked up in bed nice and cosy warm.
They haven't had rugs on so far and probably won't until a) they get clipped, b) it gets REALLY cold during the day.
My other half is a bit harder and won't hear of it - reckons that they are hardy, healthy enough and "they are bloody horses woman". Oh well. We can't help it if we have a mothering instinct.
I do think many people go over the top in rugging their horses unnecessarily - even if there's a hint of rain, on go the NZs and the next day the sun comes out so the NZs come off.
Fair enough if you have a 'fine' type of horse that needs the extra warmth - but they WILL be the ones with layer upon layer of rugs on by Dec.

SO - I'd leave them off for a while yet.

I rugged my boy last night (in a Rhino Lite) but all others were unrugged. He is 27 so I felt justified - my 2yo I wouldn't dream of rugging!!

They are actually coping with this weather so much better than in August when it rained, had some very chilled horses then!

I'm a softy too but I keep telling myself that mine is FAT and happy - while the others huddle in the field (some with rugs on) mine goes round biting bums and wanting to play so he can't be that cold - does help that he is turning into a furry 14Hh thellwell - arrrgh! HOW MUCH ARE CLIPPERS!!!!! 

Trust me - you don't want to know how much clippers are !

...on that note how much do people charge to clip for you - either if I take my horse to them or they come to me either way ? (Just a trace probably)

  I have my horse rugged in a N/Z at day and he has his first light quilt on at night!! Yes I am bad but also I am doing a Hunter Trial next w/e and didn't want to have to clip him in Sept he grows quite a thick coat and sweats a lot so felt it was fairer to rug to prevent coat growth and touch wood it seems to be working. He will be kept fit and compete all winter. He will SJ, affiliated Dressage and Hunt if it gets started, he is out during the day and in at night!!

Rugging depends on everyone's circumstances and how they manage their horses, if mine were living out I would not rug yet as I don't like to see horses that live out carrying the extra bulk of 3 rugs in the middle of winter - I think it is unfair.

Round here trace clip would be around 15-20

When I used to work in a riding school, we wouldn't put rugs on this early (apart from the oldies). It's far too early and later in the winter, you'll have to use loads of rugs.

The only thing is - if you don't want to clip, you can put rugs on to prevent the horse's winter coat growing through. It's probably not worth the hassle though (and I'm not convinced it always works!)

If your horses feel warm and are not looking hunched up and miserable then you don't need to rug yet.

My cob will be living out this winter and she doesn't feel the cold or wet easily so I am going to leave it as long as possible until rugging her so she will grow a woolly mammoth coat.  Rugging her up would just make extra work for me so I won't rug until I really have to.

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