10 rugs to help prevent sweet itch this summer

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  • Sweet itch is an uncomfortable condition, partly caused and exacerbated by the biting insects who come out in force during the hotter months. As we approach the summer take a look at our pick of the best sweet itch rugs to help prevent this condition from becoming a larger issue.

    Sweet itch in horses is described as an unpleasant sensation that leads horses to bite, scratch or rub at their skin (a bit like eczema in humans). One of the causes of this is from biting insects. This health condition can cause damage to your horse and its surroundings. So it is important that you give your horse the treatment it needs, one of which is a specially-designed sweet itch rug.

    A sweet itch rug’s main aim is to protect your horse against biting insects. For that to happen they need to cover the whole body including the elbow and sheath. That being said, these rugs are predominantly worn in the summer, therefore they also need to be breathable, have UV protection, be comfortable and allow freedom of movement. Rugs with a built-in fly repellent are good, as well as darts and elastic features for maximum freedom of movement.

    NB: The shopping links below are provided to help you buy these items. We may earn a small commission from some of these links.

    BR Classic fly rug

    This fly rug is made of a supple polyester mesh fabric. The fine mesh material effectively protects your horse against biting flies and other insects. This rug is also machine washable and has good all-round coverage.
    RRP: £59.95
    Visit: www.br.nl

    Shires Sweet Itch Combo fly rug

    This rug from Shires is breathable with a strong 600 denier ripstop outer, built-in neck, adjustable belly flap and large tail flap for full protection against insects. The shaped chest and rear aims to provide an optimum fit for your horse.
    RRP: £71.99
    Visit: www.naylors.com
    Buy now from amazon.co.uk

    Horseware Rambo Vamoose Sweet Itch hoody

    This rug is designed to be effective in preventing a sweet itch developing and/or managing a horse with existing sweet itch. It is treated with Vamoose insect control technology which is powerful natural fly repellent. The 1000 Denier outer is soft and offers a full belly coverage with a large tail-flap.
    RRP: £144.95
    Visit: www.horseware.com
    Buy now from amazon.co.uk

    Snuggy Hoods Sweet Itch Anti-Itch Hood

    This hood offers good head and neck protection from midges, flies and sunshine. The hood comes complete with built in ears, fly-fringe and is lined with a no-seam silky shoulder and mane areas preventing rubbing. We think this works well with other body suits, one of which is available through Snuggy Hoods.
    RRP: from £89
    Buy now from amazon.co.uk

    Bridleway Sweet Itch Bug Stoppa rug

    A rug that provides a hard-wearing barrier to unwanted biting bugs such a midges and horse flies. It features a soft hood, adjustable belly and large tail flap for full body cover. The breathable fabric is great for when the weather gets hot plus the silky chest lining and leg gussets help ensure your horse is comfortable.
    RRP: £69.95
    Visit: www.naylors.com
    Buy now from amazon.co.uk

    Bucas Sweet Itch

    Bucas has developed a fabric with a fun, effective black and white stripe that prevents the tiny biting mites from getting to your horse. The fabric has been specially developed to protect your horse from small biting flies as well as repelling the bigger, aggressive horse flies due to it’s confusing zebra stripe. An elasticated, detachable belly flap covers from the elbow to the sheath, offering protection to the horse’s whole body. Shoulder darts enable freedom of movement and a generous tail flap covers any problematic areas. The rug also offers UV protection to prevent sunburn.
    RRP: £130
    Visit: www.bucas.com
    Buy now from amazon.co.uk

    Felix Bühler Sweet Itch rug

    An anti-sweet itch rug made from a specially developed breathable, functional fibrous material, which inhibits heavy sweating and dries quickly. It also is UV resistant, fits well, has good eye protection and offers unrestricted freedom of movement even when lying down.
    RRP: £109
    Visit: www.kramer.co.uk 

    Premier Equine Sweet Itch Buster

    A seamless rug offering head to tail protection from biting insects and the sun’s harmful rays. The materials used in manufacturing this rug have been specially developed to be 100% UV reflective, lightweight, breathable, hard-wearing as well as being cool and comfortable. There is an antibacterial breathable nylon lining over the shoulder and neck area to prevent rubbing whilst still being comfortable against the horse’s skin.
    RRP: £104.99
    Visit: www.premierequine.co.uk

    WeatherBeeta ComFiTec Shield

    This rug offers an all-round body protection from biting flies and UV rays by the use of a belly flap, full wrap tail flap, ear hood with elastic inserts around the ears and over the wither. Other useful features include a Ezi-Clip front closure, smooth nylon lined shoulders for rub protection and a traditional side gusset for freedom of movement.
    RRP: £89.99
    Visit: www.weatherbeeta.co.uk
    Buy now from amazon.co.uk

    Thermo Master Sweet Itch rug

    For horses afflicted with sweet itch this rug aims to provide good protection from the flies that will irritate your horse. It is made from a functional, breathable fibre material and is UV-resistant with good freedom of movement.
    RRP: £64.90
    Visit: www.kramer.co.uk

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