When to Rug?

evsj

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My horsey is on box rest for the next 4 weeks to be followed by 3 or 4 months field rest and I am not sure when to start rugging her, if at all?

She is a ten year old ISH and was eventing up until her tendon sprain last month, I've never had to 'rough off' such a horse before. She doesn't keep weight on her that well and despite hay ad lib and two feeds of alfalfa per day she already looking quite woolly and a bit poor.

Obviously, I won't need to rug her up as extensively as when she is clipped and in work and I should be encouraging her natural coat to grow but I don't want her to lose any more condition. Aparrantly it will be only 7 degrees c tonight where we live and I am wondering if because she is not able to move around and keep warm in her stable, should I be putting something light on her? Or will this counter the effect of her own coat?
 

Amymay

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Personally I wouldn't rug her in the stable at all. You may have to play it by ear when you turn her out though - especially if she has lost condition.

My horse went totally rugless for the first time last year - and I found it very, very hard to begin with. But she grew the most glorious winter coat and absolutely thrived. Each horse is different though.
 

evsj

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Thanks AmyMay - expect it is just me not being used to seeing her out of work and looking more native! Will leave any rugging til winter really gets a grip and let nature do its thing in the meantime. Farrier comes out tomorrow to remove her shoes...until March! Boohoo. Still, the swelling of the tendon has pretty much gone so hopefully she will be right to go on as normal after her rest.
 

brightmount

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I have a 10 year old ISH and I'm also in Kent and mine has a light waffle rug on tonight. (My other horse which is finer has a fleece).
 

MagicMelon

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Personally I would rug now. If you say she is already looking a bit "poor" and you know she doesn't hold weight well (and considering winter hasnt even started yet!) then I would rug her now but keep the rugs quite thin to try to encourage the coat through at the same time.
 

Rambo

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My two WB's have just gone into fleeces at night the past couple of nights. The temperature is about 10C in the mornings now so getting cool.
 

Ginn

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My girl is ish and has a l/w turnout on in the day unless warm and sunny (but is has been horrible for the last week!) and has had a fleece on when she's come in at night. But she is only 2, so is still growing, and is very tb to look at. Best thing to do is play it by ear. My girl stands sulking and won't eat if she gets cold or wet (she is the biggest wimp I know!) so rugging her, though very lightly, helps.

Also, if your girl is dropping condition have you thought about adding some oil or something to her feed?
 

evsj

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Oh, yes I was going to ask about putting oil in her food! I am giving two feed per day just to keep her morale up - I feel that on this box rest, it is something for her to look forward to!

She's on Simple System so just soaked alfalfa and vits as well as more hay than she can eat but I wondered if oil would be right for a horse on box rest?
 
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