When Should You Put a Rug on a Horse?

When Should You Put a Rug on a Horse

Horses are beautiful creatures, and one of their most remarkable characteristics is their ability to withstand cold temperatures. Horses are animals with excellent insulation abilities that enable them to survive winter weather, there are some studies that show that they can withstand up to 5° F. 

Considering this remarkable feature, the question most people have is, if they should get their horse a rug for warmth during winter? In this article, we will mention some situations that getting a horse a sheet, or a rug may be the best choice.

When Is the Appropriate Time to Put a Rug on a Horse?

While horses have natural ways to keep themselves warm during winter, there are some special conditions in which they may need an extra layer. If you need a horse rug or a horse scarf, now you can find them at Kentucky horsewear products and invest in quality material for your horse during winter.

Here are some situations where your horse may need a rug to keep themselves in warmth:


Horses generally can keep themselves warm in the cold. However, if a horse has had a full trim or has not fully grown out its winter coat, then you might consider getting a scarf or a rug to help keep them warm. 

Injuries or Sickness

If your horse is sick or injured, they may be unable to keep themselves warm as they usually would if they were healthy. In this scenario, you should really consider getting a rug for your horse and help them to keep warm while they recover. 

Young Horses

Young horses, especially if they are sick or premature, may need a little extra warmth to survive. In this case, the top-notch way to help them survive thought winter, it is providing rugs, sheets, or scarfs and keep them warm and comfortable. 


As an injured or sick horse, an underweight horse might lack the layer of fat that would typically help them generate heat in the colder months. 

Some scenarios that can lead to a horse being underweight is poor nutrition or old age.


Although horses can adapt to cold temperature, if you are moving a horse to a colder region may take up to three weeks to adjust to the new temperatures. You should consider provided them a rug to help them thought these weeks. 

Wind and Rain

Horses can generally survive in snow. However, rain and wind affect their ability to be stay warm. In this scenario, you might consider getting them a waterproof rug or a raincoat. 

In rainy weather, a horse’s hair coat will flatten, affecting the undercoat’s ability to produce warmth. Wind generally blows the warm air away from the skin’s surface. It’s best to get the horse a waterproof rug in windy and rainy conditions. 


It goes without saying, that shelter plays a crucial role to horses in cold and hot weather. A horse without somewhere warm and void of harsh weather elements will need the extra insulation of a rug. 

Tips when Picking the Right Rug for Your Horse

The first tip is always ensuring the sheet, or the rug is the appropriate design, size, and weight for the horse. If they are too heavy, the gear will put too much pressure on the horses’ shoulders and chest. The smaller ones are not warm enough, and larger ones are looser.

The second tip is to consider the best products available, with the best quality. 

The last tip is to use the proper undergarments and grooming spray on your horse before putting on a rug or sheet to avoid rub marks. 


While providing a horse with an extra layer of warmth is generally unnecessary, there can be a few exceptions, like we saw in this article. Always ensure that the horse really needs the added heat, and check the horse temperature frequently to ensure that the equine does not get too warm.