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How to Pick The Right Size For Your Summer Horse Rug

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Thursday, 23 February 2017

How to Pick The Right Size For Your Summer Horse Rug

Rugging in the hotter months can be a challenge at times. Hot days, cool nights and the odd shower of rain can leave you wondering which one to put on your horse in the mornings!

If you’re looking for a great guide for fitting your horse rug, look no further. When choosing a summer horse rug you must consider the measurement of the horse in relation to the size of the rug that it needs. It is important to fit your horse’s rug for comfort and ease of movement.

  • Place the rug forward and in front of the wither. The chest buckle should be fastened to the 1st or 2nd hole. Any further back than this, and the horse may need a larger size rug.
  • Make sure the rug fits firmly around the neck and chest. This prevents the rug from “rolling” and slipping out of place.
  • Leg straps should be looped around each other, and loose enough to prevent chafing – but not so loose that they hang down anywhere near the horses hock.
  • To prevent mane rub, clean the satin lining on the neck rug (where applicable) once a week, and spray the mane with a conditioner or detangler.
  • Leg strap clips should face inwards (towards the horse) to reduce the chance of catching on fences and other hazards.

Rug Fitting Hints

Height of Horse

Rug Size

Rug Size

9 Hands & Under
9.2 - 10 Hands
10 - 11.2 Hands
11.2 - 12 Hands
12 - 13 Hands
13 - 14 Hands
14 - 14.2 Hands
14.2 - 15 Hands
15 - 15.2 Hands
15.2 - 16 Hands
16 - 16.2 Hands
16.2 - 17 Hands
17 Hands & Over


122 cm
130 cm
137 cm
145 cm
152 cm
160 cm
168 cm
175 cm
183 cm
190 cm
198 cm
206 cm
213 cm


Not sure on which rugs to choose? Here is a quick guide to some of the main types of summer horse rugs:

Flag Rug

The flag rug is one of the lightest weight rugs you can put on your horse, and are ideal on very hot days and in stables to filter sunlight and keep dust off the coat. The flag rug is soft and breezy while providing UV protection for your horse.


Mesh Rug (also known as Fly Sheets or Fly Mesh Rugs)

The mesh rug or fly sheet is made from mesh fabric and useful for keeping insects off your horse, while filtering some of the hot sun. Small holes in the mesh allow air to circulate around your horse and breeze to pass through, keeping them cool and comfortable. Fly mesh rugs, such as the Eurohunter Cool Air will keep most insects off your horse, as the fabric is by nature full of holes to allow air and deter bugs!


Ripstop Rugs

Ripstop Horse Rugs are suitable to use all year round. The ripstop rug can be used under other rugs during the cooler months, or alone during the summer months, for example the Eurohunter Grand National Deluxe RugZilco Defender Supaguard Rug, or the Mustad Summer Deluxe.

When used on their own they will keep the sun off your horse, helping to reduce fading and keep your horse’s coat clean.

Cotton/mesh Combination

Cotton mesh combination rugs provide the best of both worlds. Ripstop material on the top provides sun protection, while mesh fabric along the side assists in maintaining good airflow on hot days for your horse.

At Mustad, we have a great range of summer horse rugs, including brands such as Mustad, Derby, Eurohunter, Academy, and Zilco.

All of our summer rugs will fit under one of these categories. When deciding on which rug will best suit your horse this summer season, follow our chart below to help you make the best decision. Each rug type (Flag, Mesh, Ripstop and Cotton/Mesh) has a rating from 1 – 4 (1 being most true to each category, and 4 being least true, with X being not applicable). 

You can also visit one our stores for great advice and excellent prices!

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