The best lightweight turnout rugs for horses are designed to protect them from the elements, while preventing them from overheating in warmer temperatures. Rugs that are both waterproof and breathable are what everyone is looking for, although different types of horses will suit particular cuts and designs. It’s important that these rugs can withstand a heavy and prolonged rain shower and don’t slip or rub. Rug manufacturers are continually innovating and introducing new features to their rugs, such as shaped padding to protect the horses’ withers and new designs of shoulder gusset to allow additional freedom of movement.
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Horse & Hound has been working with a number of professional riders, trainers and yards to put a range of products to the test in a busy yard environment. And here are the results…
Meet the product testers
The lightweight turnout rugs in this group test were trialled by the Wild Farm Equestrian team. Wild Farm Equestrian is run by dressage trainer and competitor Keith Robertson, along with a dedicated team of grooms that produces young dressage horses right through to grand prix, alongside running a successful livery business.
Horse & Hound’s pick of the best lightweight turnout rugs 2018
* BEST IN TEST & BEST VALUE *
“This rug performed excellently and demonstrated superb water repellence. The full length, detachable neck, proved a real bonus keeping the horse particularly clean. The quality of the fixtures and fittings is excellent. Premier Equine rugs tend to generously sized. We particularly like the depth of this rug as we have numerous deep-girthed horses that have struggled with less generous rugs.”
“Loved the initial impression of this rug; well made, excellent fittings and attention to detail with the padded withers and the addition of the hidden safety style buckle at the front of the rug. The rug performed very well during testing keeping the horse completely dry. It stayed in place very well and everyone commented on how nice the colour and design was.”
“The rug performed extremely well in the conditions it was tested under. It was a perfect barrier in the rain without the horse overheating. It was so light it could be taken out to the field easily to put on, used while hand grazing or when the horse is stood for the farrier etc. We really liked the additional magnetic fastening at the front of the rug and the rubber washers around the belly strap fastenings to prevent them coming easily undone.”
“The rug performed extremely well and was tested by a particularly challenging horse when it comes to rugs. No signs of wear and tear as yet and has appeared to be extremely comfortable for the horse in question. She is an avid roller and we have never seen the rug twisted or out of place. An excellent fit.”
“This rug was tested by a horse that is a big fan of rolling multiple times in the field, seven days a week. The rug performed extremely well keeping her clean and dry and without any sign of rubbing, which can so easily happen with such an avid roller. Really liked the high neck and softshell insert, however the neck did feel a little tight at the top.”
“The rug performed well, but we felt it came up a little small, which meant it was slightly tighter on the chest than we would have liked, even with the adjustable front straps. We liked that the leg straps could be undone from either side of the rug or removed entirely if so desired.”
Horse & Hound is in the process of testing a wide range of equestrian kit, clothing and equipment, the results of which will be published on HorseandHound.co.uk
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