Traditionally, horses are known for their ability to be able to hold their body temperature. However, with temperatures dipping in the autumn and winter months, your horse might need a little bit of extra help. We advise that you leave a thermometer outside of the stable to record how cold it is. If the temperatures have dropped to around 5 degrees Celsius, then you should get out a heavy stable rug. However, if your horse is particularly old, young, unclipped, or underweight, we recommend that you fit them with a heavy weight stable rug once temperatures have dropped to 10 degrees Celsius.
This can vary, however, as larger horses have a bigger body mass. This means that you’re going to have to consider opting for specially designed heavy stable rugs for big horses as they’re going to need extra heat. You should never use a heavyweight stable rug on a horse that isn’t large, such as a pony, as then you’re putting their health at risk by exposing them to overheating.
A heavyweight stable rug is just what it says on the tin. It’s heavy. This means that it shouldn’t be used in the summer months as the extra filling will swamp your horse which would inevitably lead to serious health complications due to overheating. Horses are great at managing their own temperature, so you should never be too quick to jump for horse heavyweight stable rugs. There are other options available on the market such as medium weight stable rugs which may be a more appropriate solution depending on the weather. If you follow our advice above you should be fine.
A normal, adult horse is considered to weigh around 400kg. Based on this, we’d say that if your horse weighs more than this, it can be considered to be a big horse and so in need of horse heavyweight stable rugs.
It’s a common misconception that a heavyweight stable rug is only used to keep a horse’s temperature up. Yet, they’re also used to keep a horse clean. Although a stable is generally much cleaner than the outdoors, a horse can still bring in bits of dirt and grime that can then fester in the stables after attaching itself to their coats. By wrapping them up in a horse heavyweight stable rug, you’re reducing the potential for your horse to develop a skin condition as a result of this lingering dirt, and you’re also reducing how often you need to bathe your horse as they aren’t getting as dirty. It adds in an air of respectability for those who like to show off their horses and keep them looking clean and presentable before events.
In addition to this, a heavyweight stable rug can be used on a big horse after they’ve been bathed to help them dry off quicker. A horse that has been left soaking after a bath without a rug is more exposed to chills and shakes that aren’t ideal for their health. However, when looking for this quality in a heavyweight stable rug you need to make sure that the material it is created from is suitable.
Heavyweight stable rugs are designed to provide extra warmth. This means that they’re made from around 300kg of filling with materials such as cotton and can be crafted to either a quilted or non-quilted finish that is often made from synthetic materials.
Heavyweight stable rugs differ from other types of stable rugs such as a fleece or a horse waffle rug. This is as a fleece rug is typically used to provide a layer of extra warmth for horses in the winter and cannot be used on its own as a heavyweight stable rug. This differs completely from a waffle rug as these are used more so in the summer and is typically used to dry a horse off after it’s had a bath.
A heavyweight rug is different to other stable rugs as they’re specially made heavy stable rugs for big horses. This makes them different already to a normal stable rug as they would be too overpowering for smaller rugs and could be potentially fatal if it overheats your horse for a prolonged period.
Heavyweight rugs are different to waterproof rugs as the former is meant for use inside the stable, whereas the other is used on a horse when they go outside. This also means that they’re made out of different materials and have different purposes. On the one hand, a heavyweight rug is made from cotton filling but can have an outer layer made of quilted material. Whereas a waterproof rug is made out of synthetic materials such as polyester which is usually fitted with a waterproofing sealant. This means that it is much more lightweight than a heavyweight stable rug. Although, some heavyweight rugs can be topped with a synthetic material which is better at blocking dirt and grime and repelling excess horse perspiration.
As a heavyweight stable rug is bigger than your average stable rug, it takes a lot more effort to clean. We recommend that you shouldn’t put yours into the washing machine and then the tumble dryer as this can damage the insides and ruin the rug. Instead, you should hand wash the heavyweight stable with non-biological detergent – as this is kinder for your horse’s skin – and cold water as this can be more effective at killing off bacteria acquired from grime and perspiration. When washed, you should let the heavyweight stable rug airdry.
A cooling rug is used on a horse after exercise to cool their body temperature down. This is different to a heavyweight stable rug as this is used to increase a horse’s temperature. Therefore, if you use a heavyweight stable rug as a cooling rug your horse will overheat.
Although it’s possible to use an ordinary stable rug and a fleece combination as a heavyweight stable rug to keep your horse warm, they’re not the same. This combination won’t offer the same level of heat and protection as the heavyweight stable rug alone and could end up getting dirtier.
If you notice bits of muck on the heavyweight stable rug then we recommend you spot clean this with a cloth of soapy cold water as and when you see them. However, you should aim to give it a deeper clean at least once per season to avoid smells and skin conditions.