Those clever marketers with all their sales hype could get us to believe the earth was square with all their snazzy fashion designs for horse-rugs etc...
They do such a good job preying on our insecurities as women (as lets face it 96% of all horse owners within NZ are female) and they try to make you feel like your horse is a giant baby puppy who needs his Pyjamas or he will get cold.
Well lets dispell a few myths here....
Horses are in general much larger animals than us, which measn they hol heat far more efficently than we do.
Therefore due to this, rarely do HORSES NEED RUGS as they can thermoregulate their own body temperatures really well as long as they have somewhere to get out of the cold when wet (NOT A LOCKED STABLE) like under a tree or against a hedgerow just like they do in the wild.
But that doesn't mean that you go out there and just take their rugs away in the middle of winter as if they are used to being rugged a gradual re-introduction to natural temparature control is needed until they can accustom their own temparatures to the cold again like the horses shown below.
Now I really do appreciate how hard this can be to take the plunge into going rugless as initially it was
really hard for me not to rug too as I really worried my horses would get
cold as I'm sure a lot of you are doing right now so I truly sympathise,
however after initally using just a light summer waterproof rug for my first winter then transitioning to going completely rugless the next year our herd is a testament to the benefits which have been 4 years now and still all good including our thoroughbred rescue horses too.
Even the most placid and well domesticated horse is still a genuine wild
animal underneath and due to this they honestly don't need covers as they can and do manage
better without them due to being able to naturally regulate their own
body temparature which is so much healthier for the horse.
each hair on a horses body is surrounded by a little muscle that when
flexed can make the hair stand up or lay down depending on what
temparature is required and this is how horses regulate their own body
My horses are left to grow a natural healthy coat
which protects them from the elements.
Leaving a warm cover on a horse in summer is nothing short of cruelty plus rugs restrict the horses freedom to move too much aswell as make the horse sweat which plays a big part for fungal infections and skin problems like rainscald etc...
you want to buy a new rug, maybe plant a tree instead or make a feild shelter which is so much better than rugging or locking the horse up in a stable.
personally provide plenty of hay as I track graze anyway plus food allows the body to generate
heat aswell as we picked this property for it's natural clusters of cover in the form of a small area of trees and some larger pinetrees in a differnt area plus we have
open fronted field shelter for my herd to stand under as
it's important for our horses to have shelter from the cold winds
especially when wet.
Life is so much easier and healthier for our herd of Natural Horses and I couldn't imagine going back to having to faff about with those rugs again-my advice is to save your money and opt out of the horse-rug fashion show and spend it on something your horse really needs like hay or some trees:)
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