How Do I Measure My Horse For A Rug?

As we head towards winter, it’s time to start thinking about your horse’s winter wardrobe. Do they need a new stable rug or turnout rug? Getting the right size and fit is essential to protect them fully and safely through the colder months. A rug that fits incorrectly can cause problems, like discomfort and chaffing if it’s too tight, or slipping and getting caught up in your horse’s legs if it is too big.

So if you’re in the market for a new horse rug, here are some tips on achieving a great fit. Your horse will thank you.

How do I measure my horse for a rug?

You have two options here:

  • If you already have a rug that’s a good fit for your horse, lay it flat and measure it from the middle of the chest at the top end down the length of the rug to the opposite end.
  • Or to measure your horse, use a soft tape measure starting at the centre of your horse’s chest measuring horizontally along to your horse’s rump where you would expect the rug to end.

Horse rugs are sized in feet and inches, going up a size in 3 inch increments. Select the size closest to your measurement. Generally it is best to go up rather than down to the nearest size if your horse is in between sizes. However, use your discretion here – if your horse is quite slight, it may be wise to go down slightly to the smaller size. Likewise, if your horse is very sturdy it might be an idea to go up a size.

Trying a horse rug on

After purchasing your rug you need to check you’ve got the right fit. When trying it on your horse for the first time leave the tags on and try it on over a thin summer sheet if possible. This will stop the rug getting hairy and will mean that you should be able to return it for an exchange or refund in immaculate condition if it doesn’t fit. To test out the size, check the fit around your horse’s chest, withers and shoulders by running your hands around and under the edge of the rug. The fit should be snug enough that it doesn’t slip back, but not so much that it restricts movement or rubs. Get a second opinion on the fit from an experienced horse owner if you’re not sure, you don’t want to end up with a costly mistake!