Turnout rugs are designed to keep the horse clean and dry when out in the field, and also warm during the winter. Totally secure with double front chest and neck fastenings, cross surcingles and two clips at the rear which attach to the outer rug.
Manufacturers are constantly innovating and introducing new features to their best lightweight turnout rugs, such as shaped padding to protect the withers and new designs of shoulder gusset to allow additional freedom of movement. Fastenings are important because there’s nothing more annoying that having to find a spare buckle or replace your leg straps with a fillet string made of baler twine.
It also has a number of technical features, including the strong 1680D outer and a shaped, detachable neck with fleece poll pad and storm flap. This high-neck turnout is described as waterproof and breathable, and is made of tear-resistant 1260D ripstopmaterial in a classic checked look, with leather-look piping and embossed imitation leather badges.
Bringing the best in technical soft shell materials to the Rambo range, this turnout offers a waterproof and breathable top section, polyester mesh sides and a 600D drip strip. The waterproof and breathable soft shell top section is designed to prevent your horse from getting wet during summer showers, while the 100g liner keeps the chill off as temperatures drop overnight.
It is designed to relieve wither pressure and the polyester mesh sides allow maximum breathability and airflow to keep your horse from overheating on hotter days, while elasticated cross surcingles offer improved fit and a V-front closure system to remove pressure from the shoulder and chest area. It has a shoulder gusset allowing for freedom of movement as well as twin front fastenings, adjustable belly straps and fillet string.
The detachable neck piece features a generous overlap, which prevents leaking and helps to maximize use indifferent weather conditions. The chest fastening is a twin D-ring attachment for convenience, with a handy Velcro flap to secure the rug in place.
For comfort in warmer wet conditions, the Air Motion turnout rugs are lined across the back with a ventilated 3D fabric that draws moisture and heat into a cooling, breathable microclimate away from the skin. Additional key features include 600D rip stop fabric, a waterproof and breathable outer with taped seams, and an integrated contour neck cover.
This turnout is designed for the changeable weather, featuring a waterproof and breathable, 600D rip stop outer with taped seams, 50g filling and full lining. The fleece-lined wither area prevents rubbing and the large tail flap adds extra protection from the elements.
Rug design has come a long way from the days of the simple canvas New Zealand, but this does mean that choosing an outdoor model from the many variations on the market can be little overwhelming. In simple terms, lightweight is sufficient for spring or autumn, while medium and heavyweight are more suited to the British winter and the colder months either side of it.
It’s also worth considering the quality of the materials and the overall design and construction of the rug, however, as it’s the complete package that counts where warmth is concerned. There’s no easy answer to this one, as his type, age, weight, workload and general health will all affect his ability to bear the cold.
Some rugs feature detachable layers or quilts as a solution to changing seasons and conditions, allowing you the flexibility to add or remove insulation as necessary. A turnout rug needs a tough outer shell, able to withstand not just the elements but also hazards ranging from other horses’ teeth to bramble bushes.
Although a high denier count does not indicate a rug’s waterproof qualities, a tightly woven fabric does tend to repel water (and wind) more efficiently. The rug’s waterproof qualities come from the treatment of its outer material, so look for modern finishes and barrier technologies designed to keep the wet out.
Incessant rain may eventually penetrate even a quality rug, most probably through any seams and openings, so opt for a seamless model to minimize this or invest in a spare. Unless you want your horse to be wrapped in the equivalent of a sweaty plastic bag, pay attention to the rug’s ability to allow perspiration to evaporate.
Modern turnouts are designed to cocoon a horse in an envelope of warmth, with many offering a choice of shapes to cover the extremities. An added advantage of full neck cover is a cleaner horse, but downsides include the possibility of a rubbed mane and the fact that you can’t remove this extra insulation during a warm spell.