To Rug or Not to Rug – that is the question

It is that time of year when I am not sure whether I should be putting a rug on Haakon.

Reasons to:

  • he is a nice weight and should keep that on
  • he is 26 years old and can get stiff in the cold
  • the weather is not nice now – endless rain and a cold wind chill factor

Reasons not to ruf:

  • Haakon stops moving about the field if he has a rug on
  • he is a good weight and has plenty of padding to keep him warm. He is not losing weight.
  • he tolerates a rug but is never very happy in one
  • he is an Icelandic horse – he is designed for this weather
  • if he wears a rug, he won’t grow a proper winter coat.

I have asked Haakon what he wants and mostly, this year, as he is so much better health-wise than last year, I am not rugging him.  He is not a fan of rugs.

When it is the odd really awful day/night then I give in and put a rug on the old man up but only in a no-fill rain sheet – enough to keep him dry but not enough to stop his internal boiler from working efficiently.

I regularly look at the weather forecast (yes, I am obssessed), I try to think “scientifically” about the pros and cons and then I ask Daisy for her opinion as she is actually understands the biology and gives me a science-based reason.

The others in Haakon’s field don’t get rugged.

Just the oldest man on the block, occasionally.  Twice this winter, to date.

9 thoughts on “To Rug or Not to Rug – that is the question

  1. Sam

    Must be very hard to juggle the rug or not to rug question daily. Nice to know Daisy is your sounding board.
    Would putting the Older Gents in the riding school be better? Or would they get into mischief?

    1. Frances Post author

      They would hate it. We put them in there at night if the weather is dangerous. And then they want out. But we would if we had to.

  2. Sherry Walter

    My two mountain mares are 21 and 22 and my old arab gelding was 23 and none were ever blanketed but they do have a three sided and roofed shelter available to them. None of them tolerate(d) being stalled either.

  3. Deb

    My little welsh pony is 29 in February and doesn’t wear a rug (Cumbria). She does have a shelter to use if she wants to but she uses that a lot more in summer to escape the flies rather than in winter to get out of the rain and mud! Keep doing what you are doing – they all look great and I love keeping up with your blog!

  4. Jean

    I agree with Lucy McArthur, I only rugged if absolutely necessary and then only a light waterproof cover.
    Happy Christmas to you all,


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