7 anti-rub vests to increase comfort and prevent bald patches

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  • Finding the best anti-rub vests for horses to go under your horse’s stable rug or turnout rug can be the difference between him having a bald chest (and you pulling your own hair out in the process) and being able to rug him without worry.

    When considering the different anti-rub options, you need to decide how much of your horse’s body you are looking to protect as you can find simple shoulder guards, complex body suits and everything in between. Then, as well as the obvious necessity for the best anti-rub vests for horses — good fit and quality material — you want one that’s easy to put on and stays in place. Finally, your shoulder guard is likely to pick up some grease and dirt, so something that’s easy to wash might not be your first thought but is certainly an important factor.

    If you’re looking for something that does more than just prevent rubs, check out the best hoods for horses, which help protect the mane from rubbing and keep your horse clean before a show.

    Why do horses get rug rub?

    Horses can get rubbed by their rugs for a number of reasons, but the main problem is poor fit. A rug can rub if it’s too tight or too loose and this is common on the shoulders and chest, so rugs often have silky linings to reduce the friction – or you have the option of using an anti-rub vest. A rug that sits heavily on the withers can also rub, which is why many rugs feature designs that help to relieve pressure in this area.

    Best anti-rub vests for horses

    Snuggy Hoods shoulder guard anti-rub vest

    Snuggy Hoods Shoulder Guard

    Colours: Navy
    Sizes: XS–XXL
    RRP: £25
    H&H Rating: 10/10, H&H Approved 

    Described as suitable for use under any rug or hood, this Snuggy Hoods guard prevents rubs to the chest, shoulders and withers. The fabric is lightweight and silky, and has no seam at the withers. It has a rug buckle loop at the chest for security but otherwise no clips, straps or buckles.

    Read H&H’s independent Snuggy Hoods Shoulder Guard review.

    In the UK? View now at ebay.co.uk
    In the US? View now at ebay.com

    WeatherBeeta Stretch shoulder guard anti-rub vest

    WeatherBeeta Stretch Shoulder Guard

    Colours: Navy or black
    Sizes: Pony – full
    RRP: £39.99
    H&H Rating: 9/10, H&H Approved

    This Weatherbeeta shoulder guard simply slips over the head and attaches at the girth area with touch tape. If you have a smaller or larger horse, try the quilted version, which offers more size options.

    Read H&H’s independent WeatherBeeta Stretch Shoulder Guard review.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk, gsequestrian.co.uk or equus.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Bossy's Bib anti-rub vest for horses

    Bossy’s Bib

    Colours: Black, navy, white, burgundy or bottle green
    Sizes: 9 size options or can be made to measure
    RRP: £31.99
    H&H Rating: 8/10 

    This simple bib from Bossy’s Bibs helps to prevent hair loss on your horse’s shoulders, chest and wither. The silky breathable layer can be worn under stable or turnout rugs and is available in a wide range of colours and sizes.

    Read H&H’s independent Bossy’s Bib review.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Shires anti-rub stretch vest anti-rub vest for horses

    Shires Anti-Rub Stretch Vest

    Colours: Black
    Sizes: Pony – extra-full
    RRP: £34.99

    This Shires vest is simple to fit and made from stretch fabric that goes on over the horse’s head. It is secured using an elasticated surcingle that fastens round the girth area, creating a second skin to keep the horse comfortable.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk, gsequestrian.co.uk or equus.co.uk

    Supreme Products anti-rub vest for horses

    Supreme Products Padded Bib

    Colours: Black
    Sizes: XS–XL
    RRP: From £43.60

    This triple-layered bib from Supreme Products will protect the withers, shoulders and chest area. It has a satin outer and inner that smoothes the coat, with a padded foam inner for comfort and protection. It is exceptionally light and comfortable and will move with the horse or pony, ensuring maximum protection from rubbing. This garment can be worn under indoor and outdoor rugs. Designed and handmade in the UK.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk or equus.co.uk

    LeMieux Anti-Rub Bib

    LeMieux Anti-Rub Bib

    Colours: Black
    Sizes: XXS–XXL
    RRP: £39.95 

    This LeMieux bib is made from friction-free polyester combined with four-way stretch bamboo chest and wither guard to make for the perfect fit. The elasticated belly strap also incorporates stretch bamboo and has strong, wide Velcro secure fastening. Can be used under stable or turnout rugs. The merino wither guard protects from the weight of rugs and minimises friction.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or equus.co.uk

    Mark Todd stretch shoulder anti-rub vest for horses

    Mark Todd Stretch Shoulder Vest

    Colours: Navy
    Sizes: S–XL
    RRP: £29.99

    Made from durable yet super stretchy and soft fabric, this vest helps to prevent rubbing and is easy to use with touch-tape fastenings.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

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