8 of the best anti-rub vests and hoods to protect your horse

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  • Finding the best anti-rub vests 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. But there’s more to a good anti-rub vest, hood or shoulder guard than just preventing rubs – you can also use the hoods to protect the mane from rubbing and keep your horse clean before a show.

    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 — 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.

    Here’s a selection of some of the best anti-rub vests and hoods for horses listed alphabetically…

    Bossy's Bib anti-rub vest

    Bossy’s Bib

    Colours: Black, navy, white, burgundy or bottle green | Sizes: 9 size options or can be made to measure | RRP: £29.99 |

    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. This shoulder guard was reviewed as part of our independent testing scheme and awarded 8/10read the full review.

    View now at amazon.co.uk

    LeMieux anti-rub bib anti-rub vest

    LeMieux anti-rub bib

    Colours: Black | Sizes: XXS–XXL | RRP: £36.95 |

    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.

    View now at viovet.co.uk or amazon.co.uk

    Mark Todd stretch shoulder anti-rub vest

    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. 

    View now at viovet.co.uk or amazon.co.uk

    Premier Equine stretch lycra hood anti-rub vest

    Premier Equine stretch lycra hood 

    Sizes: S–L | RRP: £46 |

    This Premier Equine hood covers the face, neck, mane, withers, chest and shoulders. It has a simple pull-on design and is secured with the adjustable belly strap. It is designed to keep dust and bedding out of the mane and coat and to keep the hair flat before a competition. This hood is only recommended for indoor use.

    View now at ebay.co.uk

    Shires anti-rub stretch vest anti-rub vest

    Shires anti-rub stretch vest

    Colours: Black | Sizes: Pony – extra-full | RRP: £32.99 |

    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.

    View now at amazon.co.uk or equus.co.uk

    Snuggy Hoods shoulder guard anti-rub vest

    Snuggy Hoods shoulder guard

    Colours: Navy | Sizes: XS–XXL | RRP: £19 |

    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. This shoulder guard was reviewed as part of our independent testing scheme and awarded 10/10 and H&H Approvedread the full review.

    View now at amazon.co.uk

    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.

    View now at viovet.co.uk, equus.co.uk, rideawaystore.com or amazon.co.uk

    WeatherBeeta Stretch shoulder guard anti-rub vest

    WeatherBeeta Stretch shoulder guard 

    Colours: Navy or black | Sizes: Pony – full | RRP: £39.99 |

    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. This shoulder guard was reviewed as part of our independent testing scheme and awarded 9/10 and H&H Approvedread the full review.

    View now at viovet.co.uk, equus.co.uk, rideawaystore.com or amazon.co.uk

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    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. 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.

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