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Temperature Guide to rugging a horse

Posted on 06 September 2017 by Kim

Temperature guide to rugging a horse

What rug to put on is a daily debate at our yard. Is it at yours?

It’s especially tricky with changeable temperatures and conditions. Combined with which rugging is very different for every horse as it depends on breed, weight, climate, his work load, and even their coats themselves. Horses that are used to the colder weather and have spent most of their time outside, tend to cope better with cooler temperatures than horses that are stabled all the time. It also depends on the actual weather, for example - is it just cold or is it cold and raining or even snowing?

So when deciding what rug to reach for, here’s our handy little chart to assist you. 




Turned out/Unclipped

Turned out/Clipped

15 degrees and warmer

Zero fill




10 to 15 degrees

Light weight (100g) or zero fill

Nothing or zero fill


Nothing or light weight (100g) or zero fill if wet & windy

5 to 10 degrees

Medium weight (250g)

Light weight (150g)

Nothing or light weight (100g)

Light weight (150g) plus neck cover

Zero to 4 degrees

Heavy weight (300g)

Medium weight (200g)

Nothing or light/ medium weight (150-250g)

Medium weight (200g) with neck cover

-10 to zero degrees

Heavy weight (300-400g) with neck cover

Medium weight (200-300g) with liner

Light or medium weight

(150-300g) with neck cover

Heavy weight (300-400g) with neck cover plus liner

-10 degrees or colder

Heavyweight (300-500g) with neck cover plus liner

Medium or heavy weight (300-400g) with neck cover

Heavy weight (300-500g) plus neck cover

Heavy weight (300-500g) plus liner and/or under blanket and hood

Know what you need? Shop our turnout rugs by weight...

Special offer: for a limited time, get 10% off all full-priced turnout rugs. Use code TURNOUT10 in checkout. And remember - you get free UK delivery on ALL orders at EQUUS, regardless of how much you spend!

Shop zero-fill and lightweight turnout rugs (0g - 100g)
Shop mediumweight turnout rugs (101g - 250g)
Shop heavyweight turnout rugs (Over 250g)

Need some tips on how to measure your horse for a rug?

Read my quick guide on how to measure your horse for a rug before you buy!

How to measure a horse for a rug


Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.


  • Gill Coles posted on November 02 2017 at 03:11 PM

    Of our two cobs – the only one rugged is the Welsh D, in a fly rug, to stop him itching/scratching his neck and tail!! He will wear a no fill rug when it is raining as (joy) he gets rain scald as well!!! They live 600ft up on top of the South Downs!!
    But, it is a very useful chart and should be used by everyone. Too much rugging of horses seen – they get so hot!

  • Donna posted on November 12 2017 at 10:11 AM

    This chart is great. I was wondering about the 2 warmbloods am looking after while owner away. They have med on but tonight is gonna be frosty so am just making sure they’ll be ok. They’re both in their 20’s.

  • Caz Wilson posted on September 07 2018 at 06:09 PM

    This is a great guide, but it really is important to remember that your horse may be warmer or cooler. My fully clipped Thoroughbred was actually warm in only a 300g rug with no fill hood at temperatures of -14 degC last year! Access to forage makes a huge difference. Rugging less can also help those fatties lose weight in the winter – always a good thing!

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