Should I rug the ponies? Opinions please!

catembi

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I have 3 at home, QHxTB, NF and Shetland. Ponies are 4 and in their summer coats i.e. shed winter woolies, pretty much. All out 24/7 in fields with lots of trees and hedges. They have free access to new, not draughty stables and hard standing area, and a constant supply of hay. They are hanging around the stables most of the time but must be in and out as all are wet. However, the ponies are shivering and the QH isn’t warm in his summer turnout! I am unsure what to do as I thought that natives were okay unrugged if they had hay and shelter! I also don’t have any Shetland or New Forest sized rugs as up til now I haven’t believed in rugging natives. But now I am not so sure. I shouldn’t let them shiver, should I? It’s not even that cold...but it’s very wet. Can put a thicker rug on the QH...unsure whether to get some pony rugs!
 

ihatework

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Anything expected to work/perform would be rugged.

Anything not working, unless old or ill, gets no rug provided there is some kind of shelter. That currently applies to my 3yo sporthorse who is fat, out 24/7 with good natural shelter.
 

catembi

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That’s what I thought! But they are shivering! Neither are ill or thin. Not looking sad or tucked up.
 

Fanatical

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It's probably the wind chill combined with the rain. Shivering is how they keep warm. If they have enough food and access to shelter, which it sounds like they do I would leave them be.
 

milliepops

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Anything expected to work/perform would be rugged.

Anything not working, unless old or ill, gets no rug provided there is some kind of shelter
yep this is the way I tend to do things. My welsh D gets rugged if lots of rain is forecast, because I don't want her getting tight.
The others I figure it won't hurt if they shiver a bit, if it was properly cold and wet then I will pop a sheet on but on the whole they get enough to eat to recover as soon as it stops. Or they could go in the shelter :rolleyes:
 

Pearlsasinger

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Ours are both in rugs because the wind is from the east and most of our shelter is from westerlies. It isn't anywhere near as cold as it gets in winter but they only have their summer coats. If you haven't got suitable rugs can you bring the in to dry off and get warm for a few hours?
 
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Unless its ill, old, a wimp, needs a bit of help with weight or needs to be dry/clean to be worked its naked for us today. Felt sorry for them yesterday so went to catch them in early (stabled overnight)... apart from the odd one they all made it their personal mission to refuse to come to the gate so i got soaked marching across to them- quite happy out munching away. Personally i wouldnt worry about the natives though id be tempted to rug the tb x
 

Tiddlypom

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I appreciate that the OP’s ponies are young, but I would rug a shivering pony in today’s unseasonal weather. We nearly lost the ancient pony on a similar day when we were away one May bank holiday - he had lain down and given up. My mum, who was left in charge, cajoled him to his feet and got him into a stable and a rug, which saved his life.
 

catembi

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That’s the thing...they ARE in the dry as they can go in the stables which are well supplied with hay. But they wander in and out and get wet. And I thought they would make up their own minds whether they wanted to be in or out. Aaaarrrrggghhh!

I have been desperate to get a lickle ickle Shetland rug ever since I got a Shetland and have managed to resist the urge for nearly 4 years! 😄
 

sport horse

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None of them should be rugged. It may be cold to you and I but it is 15 c here in home counties. Yes they are 'shivering'. That is how they keep warm. More problems these days from over rugging than starvation!
 

sport horse

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That’s the thing...they ARE in the dry as they can go in the stables which are well supplied with hay. But they wander in and out and get wet. And I thought they would make up their own minds whether they wanted to be in or out. Aaaarrrrggghhh!

I have been desperate to get a lickle ickle Shetland rug ever since I got a Shetland and have managed to resist the urge for nearly 4 years! 😄
Shetland ponies are bred to thrive in the shetland isles all the year round. They are hardy and do not need rugging!
 

indie1282

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48 hours of solid rain and high winds will make any horse, with a summer coat on, cold and miserable. It is unseasonable weather. In winter they will have a winter coat and the grease associated with it. In summer they won't.
This.

I'm all for not over rugging but imo if a horse is shivering and cold then I would either bring them in or rug them. As AA said above horses with summer coats have no grease to keep them waterproof.

I fell foul of this earlier in the year when I bathed my WB when it was boiling then a week later we had heavy rain for a few days, still warm so I left him unrugged. He ended up getting rain scold.

Also bear in mind that even if there is shelter, horses dont always have the sense to use them!
 

Equine_Dream

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Totally depends on the horse. I rug my TBx standardbred because he hates the rain and develops rainscald, even during summer months, when rain falls directly onto his back. He is out in a field with natural shelter and currently in a no fill lightweight rug.
My other 2, who are both welshies, are naked and fine at the moment, but if this weather continues I will review. They are hardier than my tbx but a cold horse is a cold horse.
 
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paddy555

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None of them should be rugged. It may be cold to you and I but it is 15 c here in home counties. Yes they are 'shivering'. That is how they keep warm. More problems these days from over rugging than starvation!
sorry but no. No one can make blanket statements without knowing each horse and the circumstances. Some need rugging especially in their summer coats with this lousy weather and some do just fine. It is 8 degrees here.
 

AdorableAlice

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None of them should be rugged. It may be cold to you and I but it is 15 c here in home counties. Yes they are 'shivering'. That is how they keep warm. More problems these days from over rugging than starvation!
You are wrong, know your individual horse and care for it. 8 degrees here and a driving wind onto horses with summer coat on. Yes natives may be ok, it all depends on the coat - their natural protection, and their surroundings - shelter belt of hedging/ trees they will use and be protected. Hard pushed to get shelter between 4 strands of saggy electric tape.

It is a very sweeping statement to say no horse needs a rug today in unseasonable weather, and very misleading to members who make lack experience and look to the forum for guidance.

Your Shetland pony may well be fine and indeed should be, he is bred to cope, my aged thoroughbred would be suffering greatly if left un rugged and without shelter today.
 

SEL

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sorry but no. No one can make blanket statements without knowing each horse and the circumstances. Some need rugging especially in their summer coats with this lousy weather and some do just fine. It is 8 degrees here.
Thank you! I found my PSSM mare tied-up solid yesterday. She'd been out in a rainsheet with bum in the hedge but had got cold so hadn't moved around. Even the Ardennes who has a good coating of blubber was desperate to see me.

Although if I had a Shetland who has free access to a stable and they weren't using it I'd likely leave them to it.
 

paddy555

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It is a very sweeping statement to say no horse needs a rug today in unseasonable weather, and very misleading to members who make lack experience and look to the forum for guidance.

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very true. One of my hill ponies, who should be some of the toughest, has had to be rugged. His body was absolutely frozen this morning and he had the chance to use his shelter all night. 5 hours with a rug and inside and he is a different lad.
 

paddy555

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Thank you! I found my PSSM mare tied-up solid yesterday. She'd been out in a rainsheet with bum in the hedge but had got cold so hadn't moved around.
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Yes, I dare not tell you how thick a rug my PSSM has on. There would be a page of criticism :D but he is totally loose and happy. Hope your girl is OK.
 

Meredith

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sorry but no. No one can make blanket statements without knowing each horse and the circumstances. Some need rugging especially in their summer coats with this lousy weather and some do just fine. It is 8 degrees here.
When I brought my horse in early this morning she was shivering. I took off her sweet itch rug, replaced it with a thick waffle stable sheet, gave her her feed and a little hay and left her to get warm. At lunchtime I put her out with a light outdoor rug and a Snuggy hood and neck on. She is sheltering under the hedge now so will be popping out to check how warm she is.
 

meleeka

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If mine were shivering when I arrived I’d give them a fibre feed and some loose hay and reassess in 20 minutes. That’s usually enough to warm my natives up (apart from the oldie who thinks she’ll dissolve in rain so is rugged).
 

SEL

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Yes, I dare not tell you how thick a rug my PSSM has on. There would be a page of criticism :D but he is totally loose and happy. Hope your girl is OK.
Loads better this morning thanks. Horrible yesterday tho - she was shivering and twitching which was making her back legs do weird twitches. Sort of like a shivers action. Felt like the world's worst horse owner!!
 
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