Those with un-rugged horses...question

pottamus

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I made the decision this year to winter out my lad with no rug on as I am always struggling to keep the weight off him and he is a Welsh un-clipped type that has a huge coat. I am hoping to keep his weight down by not rugging and he seems to be coping fine so far. I did put a rain sheet on him during the snow and -15 degrees we had lately but wondered now whether he did actually need it at all?!
Those with horses not rugged...did you do anything different when the temperatures were dropping to -7 and worse...or still leave them out un-rugged?
He is in at night on hay and has grass to nibble in the field in the day and is not too bad weight wise but carrying a bit more than I would prefer.
 

Tiarella

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Mine has always been un-rugged (newfie pony) until this year when it was stupidly cold, he had a heavyweight with neck on during day and medium weight stable rug without neck at night. He is naked again now until it gets colder again.
 

BigRed

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My pony does not wear a rug, regardless of the weather. It means his coat fluffs up, and he is very warm. It can rain all day, but the coat close to his skin is greasy and so his skin is dry. No amount of dry, cold weather bothers him. he gets the classic frost on his bottom which shows how well the insulation works.
 

Ellies_mum2

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Bella is Sec D x Trad Cob and lives out unrugged. Other than as-lib hay in the field and 1 hard feed a day as she is only 2 and still growing I have changed nothing. With others in the herd the owners have done nothing either apart from a couple are rugged and some have a hard feed. We have a lot of Welsh blood for some reason in this herd :p One is a Sec D x TB and just has a thin rug and no hard feed and is a good do-er :eek:
 

Happytohack

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I have an incredibly hairy 4 year old. He is in at night with plenty of hay and out in the day. He is unrugged whatever the weather and hasn't actually noticed that we have had snow! I wouldn't put a rug on him and flatten his lovely fluffy coat - he has his own insulation and is warm and toasty.
 

AngieandBen

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Leicestershire
Same as BigRed; My NF pony has never had a rug on, he lives out 24/7 and is 18 years old, he loses a little weight in the winter and puts a bit on in the summer, just as it should be.

If he's coming in at night then he will be fine left unrugged during the day no matter what the weather, especially if he's carryng too much weight
 

Dubsie

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The Edge of Suburbia, Berkshire.
Out NF is unclipped, and un rugged. I do have a photo from the snow in January where it is snowing and he has as much snow settled on his back/mane as the arab x with a 300g + under-rug. He is getting fatter with more hay put out than grass is there when it was frozen last week, but the Arab x is a poor do-er so have to balance things out. We (accidentally) have found we have a great forage system - we have an acre of wooded land which has lots of grass but in sparse patches , means there's enough to eat but they have to look for it rather than continual head down munch on flush grass - lots is under leaves right now which has meant if they scrape or blow the leaves off there's nice un-frozen grass underneath.
 

lyndy

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Essex
I have 3 unrugged, in at night out during the day - usually in the past they would have been rugged but they are all carrying more weight this year, so i thought they might lose a bit of it unrugged but they havn't lost any yet so they must be warm enough.
 

amandap

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None of mine have been rugged since I got them, longest atm now nine years. I used to open the gate so they had access to the stables mainly to get out of the mud. Since moving I have them in a big yard now in winter with barn access as the fields are just too boggy in winter and very wet weather. It is reclaimed bog though! lol
 

TGM

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One of mine is unrugged - she is also in at night and out during the day. She has been absolutely fine in the cold and the snow - only thing I changed was to give her an extra section of hay when the grass was hidden under thick snow. She is probably the perfect weight now and the girth has gone up an extra hole!
 

Randonneuse

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My 13.2hh 16year old haflinger x anglo arab is out 24/7 unrugged and handling the english weather (first winter in the UK, was in France before and never rugged) very well :)
No man made shelter in field though so may have to put a lightweight rug on him when it starts raining with wind as wouldn't like him to get rain scald..
Never heard of rain scald when he was in France and have been told recently about it, so does anyone know how long he would be fine out in the rain in the winter (with no rug) without risking rain scald or anything nasty? (don't want to put a rug on him unless I really have to!)

Thanks!
 

Tinypony

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My fluffy pony is never rugged, no matter what the weather does. She is in a field with a lot of natural shelter, but no building. I wouldn't put a filled rug on her because I am sure she would get too cold. And I wouldn't put a rain sheet on her because that would flatten her hair, which would stop her natural insulation working effectively, and therefore could make her cold. The fact that she's always naked doesn't seem to help with her weight by the way, she's always "well covered"!
 

Jojo_Pea4

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I have a 2year old Connie, He is out 24/7 and is never rugged. There was one night where I thought he might need it when I felt him his skin was warm. This is my 1st winter where I have one living out and unrugged I thought I might wimp out but hes coping so well.
 

lavery834

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my two,and my sisters 11,are out 24/7 in fields with hard standing and large field shelters.none of them have ever been rugged.they all are fed adlib haylage and havent lost any weight. one of my two even had a pregnancy scan a few weeks ago as she came from ireland in august and has put on too much weight!
 

Slinkyunicorn

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Should be working.....
My cob was clipped about 7/8 weeks ago (fully) and her coat has grown back more than ever - I was about to reclip her when the snow came. I put her out in her no fill rain sheet - it was -7 that day and she came in sweating!! I took her rug off and there was steam coming off her. She is now naked 24/7 and her coat is about 4 inches deep:eek: - I think she knows something we don't;):D
 

Joyous70

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My 23 yr old connie X last year was out 24/7 unrugged even when the temperatures dropped to -10 etc., i started to get worried that he would be cold, but he was as warm as toast & as happy as a pig in muck. The field they had only had trees/bushes for shelter, but seriously i haven't seen such a happy old boy :cool:

He's only clipped & rugged this year as he's back in work and sweats like you wouldn't believe :rolleyes: otherwise he would be unrugged again this year :D
 

bryngelenponies

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South Wales
My section A hasn't had a rug on at all this year and she is extremely perky in herself. I think she thrives on the cold! As yet she hasn't lost quite the amount of weight I want but the cold weather hasn't affected her at all. She stays out 24/7 and has a shelter and hay- apart from that she goes completely au naturelle :)
 

jinglejoys

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Picasso (20yrs it says on his passport ;) ) came over fro Spain in October last year so I got a rug for hi and he told me what I could do with it!
This year he has a nice thick coat and although he has the option to come in he says stuff it!!:D
 

Arabelle

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My 2 natives aren't rugged and we have had some very cold weather in Perthshire (-17:eek:). Their coats fluff up and are far more effective than a rug - putting a lightweight on would squish it down and be worse than no rug. They live out 24/7 but have a field shelter and ad lib hay. They both look great :)
 

Headpiece

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West Wales
I have an Arab and a Spanish horse, both living out 24/7 and unrugged. They are fine and have not been cold at all in this weather.

There is no need to rug horses for the cold, if you do it flattens the coat which needs to puff up to insulate them. I remind people that it gets cold in the dessert too!:)

The only time I rug is when it is very wet, when they wear lightweight rainsheets to guard against rainscald.
 

Bryndu

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My 8 yr old A, 7 yr old C and 1 yr old D are all out next to the Irish Sea without rugs. They have good hedges to hide under and come in twice a day, the D needs a feed and hay as he is growing, and then I ride. The A & C just have hay, 8 nuts and a min/vit supplement. If cold weather is meant to make your pony lose weight...nobody bothered to let mine know!!!!!!!:)
Bryndu
 

fidleyspromise

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Scotland
Un-rugged and living out 24/7.
This includes when it dropped to -15/-20.

If he's in during night and only out during day, then I would leave unrugged (unless he is particularly showing signs of being bothered by wind/rain etc).

Bryndu - I agree. Tilly kept putting weight on last winter and all she got was one haynet a day.
 

JadeWisc

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24 July 2005
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Wisconsin, US
This may sound odd but makes sense if you really think about it. The horses are actually warmer and less in need of a rug the colder it gets imo. When it gets very cold to the point it snows instead of rains it is actually far more dry. Most of the time the horses with a good coat will fluff up in these temps and keep a nice dry barrier against snow falling on them. My horses are far colder when it is less cold but raining That is what penetrates the hair and gets them cold. If you see the snow piling up on their backs, go and put your hand into the coat and you will see what I mean. The snow will pile up but not get to the skin at all.

I have even heard theories that a blanket can make them colder by not allowing the hair to fluff like it should.


My guess is that if your horse is not shivering it is 100% fine. The shivering is what tells you there is a problem imo
 

JadeWisc

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I have an Arab and a Spanish horse, both living out 24/7 and unrugged. They are fine and have not been cold at all in this weather.

There is no need to rug horses for the cold, if you do it flattens the coat which needs to puff up to insulate them. I remind people that it gets cold in the dessert too!:)

The only time I rug is when it is very wet, when they wear lightweight rainsheets to guard against rainscald.
100%agree with this. If I had read this before I posted I could have saved myself the typing
 
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