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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.


  • Linda Dungey posted on September 07 2017 at 11:09 PM

    Hi there,
    I love your chart; it is really informative and offers piece of mind. However there is not a column for my horse, who will be clipped and out. He is an extremely good doer, very strongly built Irish cob, 15.1hh. I have to clip him as he gets extremely hot when working and generally; I know how bad it is for them to get too warm when rugged up. He competes at elementary affiliated BD and trains at medium. I have chosen to winter him out this year for a number of reasons but mainly to keep him free and in the fresh air. He is 22 years and really needs to lose some weight! He has his own field shelter. Please could you advise for rugs when he is clipped?

    Kind regards

  • Jan shaw posted on September 08 2017 at 07:09 AM

    Same comment as Annabelle. Would appreciate a column for turned out/clipped

  • Diane Cowell posted on September 08 2017 at 07:09 AM

    Thank you for including the ‘nothing’ option for turned out and unclipped horses! I board at a yard where horses rarely spend any time out of rugs (to be fair, many are skinny thoroughbreds) and I don’t use rugs myself except for the most inclement weather. My two are good doers who grow lovely warm coats naturally and I use cooler weather to help keep their weight in check,which means I can feed them more without them gaining weight. The pressure to rug is immense sometimes, when not all horses need it.

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